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The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is held outdoors on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., during the last week of June and first week of July. The Festival is free of charge. Visitors should dress for hot and humid weather.
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 Mall is extremely limited, so visitors are advised to use public transportation. L’Enfant Plaza is the closest Metro station to the Festival site. National Archives, Smithsonian, and Federal Center stations are within a half-mile. For assistance planning the best Metro routes, especially during SafeTrack repairs, visitors can reference goDCgo.com.
Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with special events taking place most evenings beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Services for Visitors with Disabilities
American Sign Language interpreters and real-time captioning services are available for selected performances and presentations. An additional interpreter is on site each day for visitors with requests beyond the scheduled events. All performance stages and narrative stages are equipped with assistive listening systems; please see a Festival volunteer or staff member at each location if you need a receiver. Service animals are welcome, with water stations available throughout the Festival.
Other accessibility resources are available daily at the information kiosk and the volunteer tent. Large-print copies of the daily schedule and a Braille version of the Festival guide will be available at the information kiosk, and large-print menus will be available at concessions stands. Visit the volunteer tent to request additional ASL interpreter services or to borrow a wheelchair for the day.
To request any other access services not mentioned above, please call 202.633.2921 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Once on the Mall, for information about other special services for visitors with disabilities, visit any information booth or the Volunteer tent.
A first-aid station will be located on the Festival grounds, next to the volunteer tent.
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 Air and Space Museum.
Lost and Found/Lost People
Lost items or family members should be brought to or picked up from the volunteer tent.