The 2023 Smithsonian Folklife Festival will take place on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., June 29–July 4 and July 6–July 9.
Since 1967, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival has welcomed participants and visitors from across the United States and around the world to the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The annual event takes place during the two weeks around the Fourth of July holiday. Our events are always free of charge.
Before Your Visit
Planning a visit to the Festival? The Visit | Smithsonian page can help you plan your trip—from where to stay to what’s happening at the museums. For general Smithsonian visitor information, call 202.633.1000.
A schedule of daily events will be available in May. With the exception of the evening concerts, many of the events repeat over the two weeks of the Festival.
Summers in D.C. are hot and humid. We recommend coming prepared with lightweight clothing, hat, sunscreen, and a refillable water bottle.
Parking around the National Mall is extremely limited, so we advise visitors to use public transit or other modes of transportation. Smithsonian is the closest Metro station to the Festival site. L’Enfant Plaza, National Archives, and Federal Triangle stations are within a half-mile. For assistance planning the best Metro routes, visitors can reference goDCgo.com.
Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with evening concerts most nights at 6 p.m.
Services for Visitors with Disabilities
We strive to make the Folklife Festival an accessible and inclusive environment for visitors of all abilities. All digital events are presented with real-time captioning and American Sign Language interpretation. For a complete list of services, see the Accessibility page.
A First Aid station will be located on the Festival grounds, next to the Smithsonian Metro station.
In case of a severe rainstorm, visitors should go inside a museum during visiting hours. Summer rainstorms are usually brief, and often the Festival resumes operations within an hour or two. In the event of a thunderstorm, the Festival must close. Do not remain under a tent or a tree!
Restrooms and Telephones
There are outdoor facilities for members of the public, including visitors with disabilities, located near each of the program areas on the Mall. Additional restroom facilities are available in the museum buildings during visiting hours. Public telephones are available inside the National Museum of Natural History.
Lost and Found/Lost People
Lost items or family members should be brought to or picked up from the Volunteer Tent.