EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

August 30, 2013

Get ready for a weekend of festivals in Lawrence

By Kelly Burch
Staff writer

---- — Although many kids have gone back to school, summer partying isn’t quite over as Lawrence will host three Labor Day weekend festivals, celebrating the many cultures that call the city home. From Japanese drummers to Middle Eastern treats, here’s your guide to the festivals in Lawrence this weekend.

Feast of the Three Saints

The largest festival is also the oldest. The 90th annual Feast of the Three Saints, hosted by the St. Alfio Society, will attract over 75,000 visitors to Lawrence over three days.

The festival is a religious and cultural celebration. The three saints — Alfio, Filadelfo and Cirino — were Italian brothers who were martyred in the third century. Since their deaths, many miracles have been attributed to the brothers, and Italians have been celebrating the Saints since the 16th century. The Feast was established in Lawrence in 1921.

The Feast opens Friday night at 6:30 with an opening parade, kicking off a weekend of music, cooking demonstrations, and carnival games. Cardinal Sean O’Malley will lead a Mass on Sunday morning at 10 a.m. in honor of the three saints at Holy Rosary Church on the corner of Essex and Union Streets. At 3 p.m. on Sunday, the statues of the Three Saints will be paraded down common street to close the festival.

Mahrajan

When you’ve had your fill of Italian food, head to St. Antony’s Church (145 Amesbury St.) for the Mahrajan, which means festival in Lebanese. The festival runs Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 11 p.m., and will feature Middle Eastern food and music, as well as performances of dabka, an Arabic folk dance. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Bread and Roses

The festivities continue Monday with the 29th Annual Bread and Roses festival, taking place on Campagnone Common from noon to 6 p.m. Although it commemorates the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike, the festival has become a celebration of Lawrence’s cultural diversity. There will be a kid’s craft area, story-telling, and plenty of international food and music.

Highlights of the three festivals Friday :6:Text ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/Solid$ID/NothingText ColorText Color$ID/NothingText ColorText Color30 p.m.: Feast of the Three Saints opens with a parade from City Hall to Holy Rosary Church 9:Text ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/Solid$ID/NothingText ColorText Color$ID/NothingText ColorText Color30 p.m.: Singer/songwriter Giada Valenti at the feast's Main Stage/Bandstand. Saturday :5 p.m.: Mahrajan opens at St. Antony's church 7:Text ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/Solid$ID/NothingText ColorText Color$ID/NothingText ColorText Color30 p.m.: Feast's Torchlight parade, ending with fireworks. 9 p.m.: Tony Pace at the feast's Main Stage Sunday :10 a.m.: Cardinal Sean O'Malley leads Mass at Holy Rosary Church Noon: Mahrajan opens 3 p.m.: Statues of The Saints are paraded through downtown Lawrence Monday :11:Text ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/Solid$ID/NothingText ColorText Color$ID/NothingText ColorText Color45 a.m.: Odaiko New England opens the Bread and Roses Festival with Japanese drumming. 3:Text ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/Solid$ID/NothingText ColorText Color$ID/NothingText ColorText Color05 p.m.: Ten Tumbao, an Afro Latin Caribean Band, performs at the Main Stage 4 p.m.: Bread and Puppet Theater on the lawn