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    Smithsonian Folklife Festival

  • Recurring daily
  • Dates:
    July 6, 2017 - July 9, 2017
  • Time:
    11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with evening dance parties at 5:30 and circus performances most nights at 7 p.m.
  • Admission:
  • Location:
    National Mall - between 4th and 7th Streets north of the Air and Space Museum
  • Address:
    National Mall, Washington, DC
  • Phone:

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival, established in 1967, honors contemporary living cultural traditions and celebrates those who practice and sustain them. Produced annually by the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, the Festival has featured participants from all 50 states and more than 100 countries.

Our free Festival takes place for two weeks every summer, overlapping the Fourth of July holiday. It is an educational, research-based presentation that features master artisans and other tradition bearers. We invite visitors to sing and dance along, try craft and game workshops, learn traditional recipes, ask questions, and take part in this unique cultural exchange.

The 2017 programs are Circus Arts and American Folk. Performances, demonstrations and discussion sessions will highlight how cultural traditions are transformed when people and communities migrate. (via

Learn more at 


Christylez Baco, Photo courtesy of YTanou Photography; Circus Harmony’s St. Louis Arches, Photo by Jessica Hentoff; Visitors at the 2015 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Photo by Francisco Guerra, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Smithsonian Institution; Peruvian singer Julie Freundt performs at the 2015 Folklife Festival. Photo by Ronald Villasante, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Smithsonian Institution.