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  • Day Six: Top Ten Photos

    From rocking out with the Ozark Mountain Daredevils to dancing to Ukrainian folk songs of resistance, visitors enjoyed many different ways of celebrating the Fourth of July at the Folklife Festival.

    On the last day of Week One, visitors saw diverse traditions of American identity come together in one beautiful tapestry on the National Mall. With nomadic Persian folk dances still taught in our own Washington, D.C., to delicious lavender and coconut pies from the Ozarks, we ate, sang, and danced our way through the day. Come back for Week Two, beginning this Thursday and ending Sunday!

    How was your Fourth of July at the Festival? Tag your photos on social media with #2023Folklife.

    A close-up of a quilt with an alternating red, white, and blue speckled diamond pattern, with little children in red and blue caps and overalls holding bindles over their shoulders.
    We’re seeing red, white, and blue for the Fourth. Watch master quilters Martha Alsup, JoEtta Gleason, and Louise Sheridan work their magic in the Ozarks Quilting Corner.
    Photo by Josh Weilepp, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    A woman in a white head wrap singing with an open hymn book in hand, leaning against a tree.
    Practice makes perfect! Hear the lush harmonies of Mennonite hymns at the Crossroads Stage in Creative Encounters—and pick up a hymn book to add your own voice to the choir!
    Photo by Sonya Pencheva, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    A man holds a child on his leg with his left arm in front of a tall, round drum. The baby holds a wrench and looks at it with interest.
    This baby’s not here to throw a wrench in things—he’s learning the Puerto Rican art of bomba drumming. Dance along to his rhythms over at the Crossroads Stage.
    Photo by Grace Bowie, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    A child points to a jar full of a white liquid with plants floating inside.
    Rachael West’s son is schooling the adults in the world of foraging! Learn about the Ozarks’ many edible natural plants by the Teaching Garden.
    Photo by Grace Bowie, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    A row of dried plants hang from a rope, stirring in the breeze underneath a tent.
    What›s that smell of healing and restoration? In the Ozarks Community Agriculture tent, learn from experts what these different dried plants do!
    Photo by Amy Wilson, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    A man leads a procession of people over a mural of Our Lady of Guadalupe made from dyed sand, colored purple, yellow, orange, blue, red, and green.
    Nothing stays, everything changes—visitors learned this lesson firsthand from master alfombra creators as they were invited to walk over their masterful dyed sawdust carpet to close off the first week Festival.
    Photo by Sonya Pencheva, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    A man in a hat sings into a microphone while playing the raspers, a thin wooden strip of serrated wood with a stick pressed over its grooves, over a half-gourd.
    Is that a deer singing over in the Creative Encounters area? Nope, it’s just master Yoeme deer singer Felipe Molina, who sings songs that narrate a deer’s journey from youth to maturity over the course of an all-night festival.
    Photo by Phillip R. Lee, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    A woman pours a clear liquid into a jar full of green plants with a focused look on her face, while a man looks on in the background.
    Make sure not to spill, or else you›ll find yourself in a pickle! Visitors learned different methods of fermentation from Gefilteria, a food venture dedicated to reinventing Eastern European Jewish cuisine led by Jeffrey Yoskowitz and Liz Alpern.
    Photo by Phillip R. Lee, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    Nine singers in traditional Ukrainian dress sing into microphones on the Ralph Rinzler Main Stage, with a video of a man playing a traditional Ukrainian plucked string instrument.
    A delegation of artists and singers from Ukraine reminded us that as we celebrate freedom on the Fourth of July, we must be vigilant in protecting those who are still fighting for it. In fact, one performer and soldier joined virtually from the field, unable to leave mandatory military service.
    Photo by Sonya Pencheva, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives
    A man in an Ozark Mountain Daredevil shirt locks arms with a woman in a blue and white gingham dress while another woman in a red shirt watches them. The Ozark Mountain Daredevils rock on in the background!
    The OG Ozark Mountain Daredevil fans came out to dance on our July Fourth evening concert.
    Photo by Sonya Pencheva, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives

    The Festival will return on Thursday, July 6. Witness the protective Kazakh ritual of praying to Tengri, listen to the lush harmonies of the Ukrainian Village Voices, laugh along withBranson comedian Terry Wayne Sanders, experience the healing “song baths” of the Threshold Singers, and hear about the sweet memories associated with the Utah dish of pioneer salad.

    In the evening, stay for the Ozarks Opry featuring Terry Wayne Sanders, Sylamore Special, Williams Family, and Big Smith at 6 p.m., and a second concert celebrating Folkways at 75 with No-No Boy and Jake Blount at 8:30 p.m.

    Daniel Zhang is a media intern for the Folklife Festival.

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