As a Jack Kerouac fan (or you wouldn't be reading this blog post), you know that it is a requirement to attend the Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival every year. Held in Jack's hometown of beautiful Lowell, Massachusetts, the festival features five days of events commemorating Jack's life and works. For details, click here to visit the official LCK website where you can see the schedule, download a brochure, buy merchandise, and make a donation (I recommend this because the LCK organization can always use help keeping this great event going). This year's LCK Festival kicks off this coming Thursday, October 10.
As usual, I plan to attend. For sure I'll be at the Saturday noon "Homage to 'Ti Jean' at Kerouac Gravesite." It's a chance to share Jack's spirit and readings, especially from Visions of Gerard since this year is the 50th anniversary of its publication. Also, as is my custom, I will be giving away a free copy of The Beat Handbook (past winners aren't eligible - sorry) to the first person who comes up to me over the weekedn and says the magic word. This year's magic word is "fellaheen."
Jack's grave isn't hard to find. Get yourself to the Edson Cemetery (1375 Gorham Street, Lowell, MA). Go in the main gate and go straight down Third Avenue. Take a left on Lincoln Avenue. Jack's grave is a flat marker on the right side just after Lincoln's intersection with Seventh Avenue. You can likely identify it by the tributes people leave on the gravestone (books, poetry, bottles, flowers, trinkets, etc.). You can also get there by jumping on the "Birthplace-to-Gravesite Bus Tour" leaving the Jack Kerouac Commemorative in downtown Lowell at 10:15 AM. Led by Kerouac docent Roger Brunelle, the bus will finish its tour at Jack's grave. There's a "Commemorative at the Commemorative" starting at 9:15 that morning, and I highly recommend attending that event.
See you around Lowell!