Summer is upon us here in Washington DC and on June 29th the city will hold its annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Established in 1967, the festival pays homage to many of our contemporary living cultural traditions and celebrates those people who continue to practice and sustain them to this very day. The festival is primarily produced and organized by the Smithsonian Center for Folklife & Cultural Heritage and this year, the festival is set to feature participants from all fifty states and over one hundred countries in total.
We certainly are looking forward to it and many of our readers will have visited the Smithsonian Institution with us before. If you haven’t already then you certainly should! (Check our bus tours for more details). However, the festival is certainly not to be missed and the best bit is that it is absolutely free! The festival will begin from June 29th until July 4th before taking a small break and resuming July 6th to July 9th. There are plenty of great acts and shows to look out for so what exactly can you expect if you’ve never attended before?
There is a wide variety of acts set to take the stage with plenty to see and do. This year, the American Circus will make an appearance and the rich history and diversity of the circus acts cannot be understated. The National Mall is where the circus acts will be performing and you might even be able to get a lesson from generations of circus performers. There will be emerging talents and contemporary visionaries. This is certainly not to be missed and we’re really excited about it!
A bit more focus will also be placed on culture, youth and migration this year. There will be exhibits showing how American culture has evolved by the movement of people within the US. There will be cross-cultural displays and plenty of dialogue about the past and future of intergenerational movement within our country. Youth represent both vulnerable and powerful positions within our society and this section of the festival will explore these themes in great detail. There will be performances, workshops and visual arts. Definitely, not to be missed!
Not only, is the Smithsonian Folklife Festival set to be busier than ever this year but the event will also celebrate its 50th anniversary. In celebration, there will be special events held on July 8th and 9th with workshops, performances and storytellers. We have plenty of packages available to help you get there and you can also check out the Smithsonian Folklife Festival website for a full list of events. It certainly is shaping up to be the best festival yet and with so much going on, there really is something for everyone.
50 years really is something quite special and we cannot wait to celebrate with you all. If you need any information on travel, then feel free to drop us a message!