After the 1967 Festival proved to be a great success, the Smithsonian decided that the Festival of American Folklife would become an annual event. The 1968 Festival took place July 3-7 on the National Mall, between Madison Drive and Jefferson Drive and between 10th Street and 14th Street, south of the Museum of History and Technology and the Museum of Natural History. It followed the same approach that had proven effective in 1967, but innovated by also including a program focused on a single State, Texas.
As in 1967, the Festival was organized by the Division of Performing Arts, James R. Morris, Director, and directed by Festival Director Ralph C. Rinzler.
The 1968 Program Book included information to complement each of the programs, ranging from discussions of the definitions of folklore and folklife to the relations between folklife and cultural history. Smithsonian Secretary S. Dillon Ripley, in his introduction to the booklet, noted that:
The Festival of American Folklife offers the Smithsonian Institution an opportunity to show through demonstration and performance some aspects of the cultural roots of the people of the United States. The Festival is a living exhibition of the creativity of the many ethnic groups that make up the culture of this country.