Happy World Heritage Day!

With maybe the last fall of snow of the winter, spring is just around the corner. With either tears of joy or sadness, the snow hanging around the front and back of your houses, apartments, schools and more will slowly begin to melt. The skies will be gleaming with a bright blue, the plants will be blossoming, and the trees will be looking more lively and green. We are now moving onto the month of April which is filled with many celebrations including Earth day, April’s Fools day, Easter, and more. One exciting holiday that is coming up is World Heritage Day.

World Heritage Day will be celebrated on April 18. When you think of heritage, what pops up in your mind? Are you thinking of the Heritage farm ice cream stand on Pawtucket street? Or maybe culture? Heritage can be both tangible and intangible objects that we have inherited. It could be traditions that we have or historical buildings that are significant to us from our past. We all have different traditions and customs based on our ethnicities or where we have come from, making up our heritages.

Culture is significant in everyone’s life. It is also what makes Lowell so vibrant and unique today. Lowell is full of rich history and screams bold and different. With brick buildings located along the sides of many streets, nine neighborhoods carrying a diverse population of 108,861 people, and a sense of community lurking in the air, this is what makes Lowell a very interesting city. We do not need new tall glass skyscrapers to enjoy the beauty of Lowell. The old and rustic brick buildings alone are enough. Lowell became a city on April 1, 1826 after being founded by Francis Cabot Lowell. It was one of the major industrial cities in the country when it became the place for cotton textile manufacturing. Lowell became more known and popular when the mills began to hire women and girls who were commonly from rural communities which coined the name that we now use to refer to these girls as: the Lowell mill girls.

In the middle of the 20th century, Lowell began to decline until the Tsongas center and Lowell National Historical Park was built, regaining attention and popularity. Many buildings were being demolished and were vacant. There was then an influx of immigrants, primarily refugees from Cambodia that traveled to Lowell, making a large impact on what Lowell is today. Currently, Lowell is filled with many museums and historical buildings. Art is a prominent aspect of Lowell with many newly built studio spaces occupying the once vacant and ruined mills. Lowell is filled with many local artists and musicians. A tradition that Lowell has is hosting a folk festival every year. The Lowell Folk Festival is the second largest free folk festival in the US. With all of the influences from the past, Lowell has now become a place of comfort and of cultural diversity. Along the cobblestone streets of Downtown Lowell, we now see an array of organizations, eateries with cultural influences, and overall a busy place filled with people still walking when the lamps go dim and the skies become pitch black. This specific place which goes back to many decades ago where many once destroyed and vacant mills were occupied after Lowell was in the state of decline has now become a prominent location where people go to, to grab a quick lunch or enjoy a shopping spree. As a way of celebrating World Heritage Day, we should all take the time to appreciate the culture behind the vibrant place in which we live in and learn about its rich history. Happy World Heritage Day!