Back in the late 1980s, Lowell had its first St. Patrick’s Day breakfast which immediately became the signature political event of the year. Modeled on the much longer running South Boston St. Patrick’s Day breakfast, the Lowell version took place in the downtown Hilton Hotel (today’s UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center) and featured local realtor Ken Harkins as the master of ceremonies and local political officials as the featured speakers. The event evolved through the years with the biggest changes being the addition of a professional comedian to the roster of speakers and then, about 5 years ago, a switch from a breakfast to a dinner. The event was put on pause with the onset of Covid but presumably will return in the future.
Below are two video clips of Ken Harkins, both from the 1989 breakfast.