In 2021, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival took place online, with master and community workshops, cooking demonstration, and Story Circle conversations. The presentation on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., has been postponed until 2022 due to public health guidelines and planning delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We encourage you to explore our website, where you will find a treasure trove of offerings spanning more than fifty years of performances, demonstrations, discussions, and workshops. The website contains audio/visual and educational materials, articles, and blog posts representing diverse cultural practices from all fifty states, over one hundred countries and scores of occupations. For the most updated information on the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and more resources, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
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.
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 (voice).
Parking around the National Mall is extremely limited, so visitors are advised to use public 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.
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.