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MerriFest is sponsored by the Merrimack River Watershed Council.

LOWELL -- Lowell becomes a festival city each summer, coming alive most weekends with music, food and fun for folks both young and old.

On Saturday, Aug. 9, the Mill City welcomes MerriFEST 2014 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the DCR Sampas Pavilion, 500 Pawtucket Blvd., on the banks of the Merrimack River.

The free event includes two live bands, fun games for kids and adults, local food vendors, an art show, live river painting, a silent auction, raffles, kayak rentals and river information.

It is sponsored by the Merrimack River Watershed Council, which was formed 37 years ago by local activists to help clean up and protect the Merrimack River.

Lowell Mayor Rodney Elliot opens the day's events with greetings, and then the fun begins.

Blues artist Paul Prue and rock band Six are the featured performers. Prue has opened for many national acts in the past. Six played MerriFEST 2013 and does a number of fundraisers each year.

Dr. Caroly Shumway, executive director of the MRWC, and her staff have reached out to the art community and local businesses to get them involved.

"We are engaging artists from across the region to participate in our art show. MerriFEST is a celebration of the river and river life -- and what better way to celebrate than with music, fun and art," she said.

Artists are invited to come, set up their easels and paint images of the river from this ideal vantage point.

Many local businesses are participating with sponsorships, raffle and auction donations and booth rentals.


Funds raised at MerriFEST help to support the MRWC's outreach and educational efforts.

For information, to participate or donate, contact Deanne Guardino, acting director of development at 978-655-4742 or email at

-- Nancye Tuttle