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5 Reasons to Check Out the 2019 Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, DC

Smithsonian Folklife Festival - Washington, DC

This free summer festival on the National Mall is a can't-miss family-friendly event in the nation's capital.

Each summer, the National Mall plays host to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, a massive, kid-friendly celebration of cultures across the globe. The 2019 edition takes place from June 29-30 and the festival will focus on the social power of music. Read on to learn what activities and offerings await as you plan your excursion to this only-in-DC festival.

1 Bring all your friends – the Smithsonian Folklife Festival is free!

Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall - Family Friendly Summer Festival in Washington, DC

Like the best things in life, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival is free to enjoy. The extravaganza is easy to find as well, as it’s centrally located on the National Mall. The festival’s general info page will come in handy as you plan your multicultural adventure.

2 Take your taste buds to new places

Woman making traditional bread at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival - Free summer festival on the National Mall in Washington, DC

Every year, this festival comes through with delicious eats. The 2019 edition will feature at least 20 local food trucks showcasing their latest offerings. For those over the age of 21, the Festival Bar will offer local beer, cider and mead generously provided by businesses in DC, Maryland and Virginia.

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3 Learn about the social power of music

Audience at a Smithsonian Folklife Festival free concert on the National Mall - Things to do this summer for the whole family in Washington, DC

This year's Folklife Festival will focus on the power of music and how it connects cultures and communities. Festival-goers will be able to join musicians and dancers for free performances and classes, learn about different musical instruments and so much more. Check back as it gets closer to the festival for more updates.

4 Go behind the scenes of DC's music culture

Musical performance at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival - Free summer festival on the National Mall in Washington, DC

Check out some of the groups that shape DC's music scene with the DC Music Preservation Pop-Up. You'll find a local record label market, zine-making activities, archiving demonstrations and even a musical memory recording station. 

5 Enjoy a schedule packed with family-friendly activities

Smithsonian Folklife Festival - Summer Events in Washington, DC

Sunday, June 30 is a great day to take the whole crew to the Folklife Festival. The family-centric day will feature a concert that honors the life and legacy of Pete Seger from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Musicians from Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, including Sonia De Los Santos, The Bright Siders, Dan Zanes + Claudia Eliaza and Elizabeth Mitchell, will all perform. Visitors can also participate in activities including instrument workshops and community sing-alongs on the Freer Gallery’s plaza.

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