It’s going to get extra busy on the National Mall next week — in a great way. The 48th Annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival begins on Wednesday and will feature loads of activities for all ages, including crafts, games, athletics, and musical performances.
Taking place on the Mall between 7th and 14th Streets from June 25-29, then July 2-6, this year’s programs are “China: Tradition and the Art of Living” and “Kenya: Mambo Poa.” Numerous tents will house all kinds of displays and more that showcase the cultural heritage of both countries.
In the “China: Tradition and the Art of Living” Family Style tent, families can try hands-on activities and watch special performances reflecting the country’s seasonal festivals. Visitors can play games, learn dances, make a lantern or kite, press a design into a moon cake, fill a sachet with herbs, and color their own Chinese zodiac chart. Mandarin language instructors will teach phrases and songs.
In the Tuchezeni! or Let’s Play tent in the “Kenya: Mambo Poa” program, visitors can play new games, sing songs, and participate in the Festival’s daily fun run with a Kenyan marathoner. They can also learn how to say native animals’ names in Swahili and design colorful khanga cloth. Children can discover how Kenyans are protecting the environment by using recycled items to create a beaded bracelet, water bottle planter, or mancala game.
Festival hours are 11am – 5:30pm each day it runs, with special evening events beginning at 6pm. Admission is free. For more information, including the schedule of events, visit the Festival website.