With the 1974 Festival of American Folklife (July 3-7 and July 10-14, 1974), the seven programs that would constitute the Bicentennial Festival were all in place. As in 1973, the Festival took place in the western part of the National Mall alongside the Reflecting Pool, between 17th and 23rd Streets, and between Constitution Avenue N.W. and Independence Avenue S.W.. It was co-organized by the Smithsonian Institution, Division of Performing Arts (James R. Morris, Director; Richard Lusher) and the National Park Service (Ronald H. Walker, Director). Ralph Rinzler was Director of the Folklife Program and the Festival.
The 1974 Festival included seven programs, with a Festival Stage bringing together performers from other programs and, in the second week, its own participants. The 1974 Program Book was supplemented by daily folios with additional information on that day's programs.