The Smithsonian Folklife Festival, one of DC’s most anticipated annual events begins this week. And even though it’s scaled down a bit from previous years, it’s sure to deliver on the rich cultural experience we’ve come to expect and enjoy.
Celebrating the spirit of Peru, this 49th festival will focus on one country instead of the usual two. And it will all take place on the National Mall between 3rd and 4th Streets, not the usual expanse down the middle of the iconic grassy strip, because of ongoing construction. However, the wonderful variety of activities and entertainment will remain.
All ages can experience the country’s cultural heritage through stories and art, music and dance performances, cooking and craft demonstrations, ritual and celebratory processions, moderated discussions, and other participatory activities. More than 150 artisans, musicians, dancers, cooks, and others will be part of the event. Attendees are encouraged to ask questions, learn a new dance or song, and taste the incredible flavors of Peru.
Take children to the Wawawasi Kids Corner for storytime, crafts, dance and language lessons, and more. Shop the Festival Marketplace in the National Museum of the American Indian. Share a pisco sour with friends before an evening concert featuring some of the best music Peru has to offer — bring a blanket and lawn chairs, grab dinner from the Peruvian concession stands, or pack your own picnic.
Before you go, read more about the Festival and what it takes to bring it all together in this interesting Washington Post feature.
The Smithsonian Folklife Festival will run June 24-28 and July 1-5, 11am – 5:30pm daily, with special events taking place most evenings beginning at 7pm. The Marketplace has an extended schedule and will be open daily June 24 – July 12, 10am – 5:30pm, in the National Museum of the American Indian, adjacent to the Festival site.