Winterfest Hangover: An Open Letter to the City of Lowell

March 20, 2008 at 9:55 pm | Posted in Lowell | 4 Comments
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Dear City Manager, City Councilors, and Office of Special Events:

On February 9th, you threw a party.  Your party made a mess.  And you should clean up that mess.


Lowell Winterfest is not exactly Lucy the Dog’s cup of tea.  We prefer staying indoors and feeling sorry for ourselves during these frigid, depressing months.  Plus, the fireworks frighten us to no end.  They cause us to lose control of our anal sacks and hide in the bathtub, shaking in horror.

But we appreciate that some people enjoy Winterfest.  Lowell hosts a multitude of festivals and cultural events year-round, appealing to folks of all stripes.  There’s something for everyone.  And that’s one thing we love about living in Lowell.

One thing we hate about living in Lowell is the fact that the city often looks like shit.  Whether it’s shopping carts abandoned on the banks of the Merrimack, car batteries and beer cans clogging the canals, or condoms strewn about the sidewalk, littering is an ongoing problem.

There are wonderful volunteer groups, such as the CanalWater Cleaners, who valiantly fight the uphill battle of urban filth.  But those volunteers are outnumbered by the litterbug culture of ‘who cares?’, which is so pervasive in this city. 

I have seen candy wrappers dropped on the street, scratch-off tickets tossed out car windows, and washing machines left in parking lots.  The culprits come in all ages, sexes, and colors.  And they all share that ‘who cares?’ mindset that ignores the repercussions of their actions. 

These people do not care about the city.  They do not feel ownership of the city.  Fuck it, it’s not my problem.  That’s their mantra.  It is a disheartening culture that should be addressed.

But when the city government not only fails to address it, but CONTRIBUTES to it…that is unacceptable and infuriating.


There are currently several piles of used fireworks casings on the lawn behind Tsongas Arena.  These piles are not nearly as large as they were a month ago, when they were first left by you, the City of Lowell, after the Winterfest fireworks celebration.  Since Winterfest, the wind has blown some of the casings into the river and all along the riverwalk.

I suppose one could argue that the casings are biodegradable and relatively harmless to our planet.  Whether that is true or not, I have no idea.  But even if it is, the city has set a terrible example. 

If you fail to clean up after your own messes, how can you expect your citizens to do so?  In its carelessness, the city is no better than the teenagers who sneak into the woods to drink a case of beer, and then leave the cardboard case on the ground.  It is no better than the man who tosses an empty box of Marlboros to the ground after removing the last cigarette.  Or leaves a newspaper on a park bench after reading it. 

These firework casings alone will not cause the planet’s ultimate demise.  However, they represent an endorsement of the ‘who cares?’ culture that taints this beautiful city. 

It would take all of ten minutes for someone to go down there with a garbage bag and clean up those piles.  I could do it myself, and perhaps I will if no one else does.

But you threw that party, City of Lowell.  You made the mess.  

And if you’re going to throw a party and make a mess, you should really take responsibility for cleaning it up.

Thank you,

Lucy the Dog




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  1. Dear Lucy,

    We don’t care about Lowell.


    Your readers

  2. Rose Ford’s Pop blog is currently better than yours. Can this be true?

  3. POP!

  4. […] New Jersey, where she and my father raised me, there’s far less shit.  Here in Lowell, even the city government leaves its shit around at least once a […]

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