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Reunion Weekend
“At the Folklife Festival, everyone becomes neighbors.”
—Phyllis Richman, Washington Post, 1987

Fifty years of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival is cause to celebrate, contemplate, and share stories with old and new friends. On July 8 and 9, visitors can participate in discussions, performances, and opportunities to record your thoughts about the Festival’s past, present, and future.

We invite past staff, interns, volunteers, participants, and visitors to join us for this momentous occasion!

See the full Reunion Weekend schedule

Special Venues

Fifty Years of Stories
A lively lineup of interactive discussion sessions features former and current Festival folk recounting favorite memories, explaining inner workings of this complex event, and voicing aspirations for the future.

Record your own memories of past Festivals and ideas for the future.

Story Swap Lounge
Relax and connect with fellow Festival enthusiasts, and leave us a message on a Festival “Postcard from the Mall.”

Featured Events

Jam Sessions
Anita’s Kitchen Dining Area, July 8 and 9, 2–5 p.m.

Music and dance have always been a central part of the Festival, and the weekend offers plenty of chances to dust off your instruments and sing along. Feel free to join the informal jam or just enjoy the music.

Dance Party
Ralph Rinzler Stage, July 8, 5:30 p.m.

From son huasteco to boleros, rancheras, and cumbia, come move to the sounds of award-winning NEA National Heritage Fellow Artemio Posadas and Los Angeles-based La Santa Cecilia. This program received federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.

If you can’t join us, participate online! Add your own favorite photos and stories via social media with the hashtag #50YearsofFolk.

Support the Center and our important work, including the Folklife Festival, Folkways Recordings, exhibitions, films, and educational materials.