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Folklife Festival

Jul 03, 2012 07:00PM ● By Anonymous

Held outdoors on the National Mall, the festival brings a variety of cultures to our nation's capital. There, you'll find specialists in authentic, diverse, living traditions—both old and new. The festival aims to bring attendees and artists together, with the hope that they'll connect with and learn from one another about cultural differences and similarities. 

And did I mention that it's also really fun? There is so much to do at the Folklife Festival, that I actually challenge you to try to be bored. Go ahead. You won't be able to. 

Broken down into three main themes, Campus and Community, Citified, and Creativity in Crisis, the festival offers up a huge selection of activities. There are demonstrations, lectures, live performances by musicians and dancers, workshops, and more. Like a test kitchen. How awesome is that? Stop by in the morning for some traditional Hawaiin fare and head back in the afternoon for a little Vermont maple syrup. Plus, there are special events taking place most evenings. 

On Thursday from 6 – 7:30 p.m., attendees can listen to the sounds of Azerbaijani music with Imamyar Hasanov and Pezhham Akhavass. On Friday, Smithsonian Folkway Recordings presents the University of Texas-Pan American's Mariachi 

Aztlán and Mariachi Los Cameros de Natino Cano, 

and on Saturday the University of the District Jazz Ensemble will perform. (Both also take place between 6 and 7:30 p.m.) Red Hot will finish things up on Sunday from 6 

– 8 p.m. with an evening cabaret. All performances take place at the 

Justin S. Morrill Performing Arts Center.



On Saturday, visitors to the Citified program site will be treated to a Chuck Brown tribute day.

Activities include performances by Cold Hearted Band, No Question Band, and Junkyard Band, GoGo Fitness—an hour-long physical workout to the sounds of go-go music led by certified instructors, a narrative stage session on "Go-Go Then/Go-Go Now"—Reflection on the path of go-go over the years; from traditional to bounce beat, and a narrative stage session on "The Musical Life of Chuck and Being in the Band," which brings a discussion with four decades of band members from the original Soul Searchers to today's Chuck Brown Band. 

The Smithsonian Foklife Festival is held each day from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. But, remember to check the schedule for the aforementioned evening events. Admission is free. 

Parking around the Mall is extremely limited, so visitors are advised to ride the Metro. The Smithsonian station (Mall exit) is at the Festival site. Federal Triangle and National Archives stations are close by. For general Smithsonian visitor information, call 202-633-1000 (voice) or 202-357-1729 (TTY).

For a complete schedule of events, click here