The 44th Annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival is about to begin. From June 24 – 28 & July 1 – 5, the National Mall will become the stomping grounds of people from around the globe to celebrate living cultural heritage and community traditions. In the spotlight this year: Asian Pacific American culture, the country of Mexico, and the occupational traditions of Smithsonian workers. There will also be a special tribute to Haiti, with musicians, artists, and over 2,000 crafts featured from the recovering nation.
For two weeks along the National Mall, visitors can both observe and participate in a variety of program-related activities—music & dance performances, arts & crafts, martial arts & food demos, and much more. There will be tons of activities especially for children to enjoy that embrace the festival themes. And in true Smithsonian spirit, it’s all free and open to the public.
Some specifics: The “Asian Pacific Americans: Local Lives, Global Ties” program will offer kids a chance to make leis, try origami, watch calligraphy demos, and play in a Burmese ball game. As part of “Mexico,” there will be a Mexican marbles game, tortilla making, and story telling. “Smithsonian Inside Out” will give kids a closer look at jobs within the Smithsonian through cool demos, staff-led talks, and creative activities. An online calendar lists activities by date and time, so check it out to determine your best time to visit.
And don’t forget the music. Just about every evening of the festival there will be performances on one of three stages. Times and artists vary, so check the website for the schedule.