See Photos of the 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival
2013 Smithsonian Folklife Festival Dates and HoursJune 26–30 and July 3–7. Open daily 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Evening events begin at 5:30 p.m. Admission is free.
LocationNational Mall, between 7th and 14th Streets in Washington, DC. Parking around the Mall is extremely limited, so the best way to get to the festival is by Metro. The closest stations are Smithsonian, Federal Triangle and National Archives.
- This event is held during the warmest time of year in Washington, DC. Plan ahead, dress appropriately and drink lots of water. Give yourself time to visit the Smithsonian Museums to cool off.
- Eat lunch or dinner at the festival. The food is great and reflects the themes of the festival. If children are picky, you can easily find a hotdog from a street vendor.
- Seek hands-on activities to keep children involved.
- Be sure to check out the Marketplace (located in front of the Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art) where you can find merchandise produced by festival artisans and related books and CDs.
2013 Smithsonian Folklife Festival ProgramHungarian Heritage: Roots to Revival - Produced in collaboration with the Hungarian Embassy, the Hungarian Cultural Center and the Balassi Institute, the program will feature more than 100 participants from this 1,000-year-old country. Artists, dancers, craftspeople and cooks will share and celebrate the customs and traditions from every part of the country.
One World, Many Voices: Endangered Languages and Cultural Heritage - This program will focus attention on the issue of global language loss by bringing together communities from around the world that are fighting to save their native tongues and cultural traditions. Musicians, storytellers, singers, dancers, poets, culinary experts, and craftspeople will share how language embodies cultural knowledge, identity, values, technologies and arts. The program will include performances, craft demonstrations, interactive discussion sessions, community celebrations and hands-on family activities.
Will to Adorn: African American Identity and the Aesthetics of Dress - This multicity collaboration examines the history and culture of the aesthetics of African Americans focusing on urban style centers like Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans, New York, Oakland, Calif., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The program, which features 40 participants, will occupy three tents, each devoted to different aspects of the program. In the Collaborative Research Tent, three stations will allow visitors to talk to researchers and artisans. The tent’s cultural documentation and research station will display the fieldwork that went into the development of the project.
Photos of the Smithsonian Folklife Festivals2011 Festival - Themes: Colombia, Peace Corps and Rhythm and Blues.
2010 Festival - Themes: México Profundo: A Deeper Mexico, Asian Pacific American Connections and Smithsonian Inside Out.
2009 Festival - Themes: Giving Voice: The Power of Words in African American Culture, The Americas: A Musical World, and Wales Smithsonian Cymru.
2008 Festival - Themes: A Celebration of Texas Music, Food and Wine, Bhutan: Land of the Thunder Dragon and NASA: 50 Years and Beyond.
2007 Festival - Themes: Mekong River: Connecting Cultures, Northern Ireland at the Smithsonian, and the Roots of Virginia Culture.
2006 Festival - Themes: Alberta at the Smithsonian, Carriers of Culture: Living Native Basket Traditions, and Nuestra Música 2006: Latino Chicago.
See Previous years
If you are planning to be in town for the 4th of July, read about Fourth of July Fireworks and Celebrations in the Washington, DC area.