I have it on fairly good authority that the tentative dates for Lowell Celebrates Kerouac (LCK) 2012 are Thursday October 11 to Sunday October 14. Of course, that is subject to change, and there may be some peripheral events circling about those dates. For example, the debut production of Kerouac's play "The Beat Generation" at the Merrimack Repertory Company is set for Wednesday, October 10 to Sunday October 14.
You can search archived entries here at The Daily Beat for reports from LCK. Just look in October for 2008, 2009, or 2011 (I had a conflict in 2010). It's a great time, and a necessary experience if you are a Kerouac fan.
I recommend the UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center for lodging. It's right downtown and easy walking distance to some of the LCK events. Their phone number is 800-321-2211. There's usually a block of rooms reserved for LCK, but it might be too early for that. You can always book a room and then cancel. Better to be an early bird. We Hotwired one year and ended up in Chelmsford, which was fine but not as good a location.
Every even year, LCK partners with UMass Lowell and the Cultural Organization of Lowell (COOL) to put on the Jack Kerouac Literary Festival, so if you visit the LCK website (click here), don't be surprised to see it called that. No details at the LCK site yet, but there will be. Keep checking it, and I'll keep you posted as well.
YOU HAVE TO GO TO LOWELL FOR THIS EVENT AT LEAST ONCE, IF NOT EVERY YEAR!
See you there. Once again this year I will establish a secret phrase to whisper in my ear and in return the first person to do so will get a signed copy of my book. Just ask Melissa from 2011. I'm not using "Rumplestiltskin" this year. I think I shall choose a Kerouacian word. One more reason to keep reading The Daily Beat: to learn the magic word for this year's LCK.