General Information

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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. In 2015, the Festival will take place between Third and Fourth streets, just north of the National Museum of the American Indian. There is no admission charge. Visitors should dress for hot and humid weather.

Parking around the Mall is extremely limited, so visitors are advised to use public transportation. Federal Center is the closest Metro station to the new Festival site. L’Enfant Plaza and National Archives stations are within a half-mile. For general Smithsonian visitor information, call 202.633.1000 (voice).

Getting Here

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.

Festival Hours

Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with special events taking place most evenings beginning at 7 p.m.

Services for Visitors with Disabilities

American Sign Language interpreters and real-time captioning services will be available at selected stages. The dates and times of these events can be found on the online Festival schedule and in a consolidated printed schedule at the Volunteer tent or information booths. All performance stages and narrative stages are equipped with assistive listening systems; please see a Festival volunteer or staff member in each tent if you need a receiver.

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Due to new regulations on the National Mall, a Radio Frequency (RF) system is being used in lieu of an induction loop at the Ralph Rinzler Concert Stage. Please see staff or volunteers at the stage to check out an RF receiver.

For visitors who are blind or have low vision, verbal-description and tactile tours of the Festival program are offered Saturday, June 27, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. and Thursday, July 2, from 3 to 5 p.m. An ASL-interpreted tour for visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing will be offered on Sunday, June 28, at 2 p.m. The Festival will also host “Morning at the Mall” with pre-visit materials for families with children with cognitive disabilities and sensory processing disabilities on Saturday, June 27, at 10 a.m. Please RSVP for these tours and events by calling 202.633.2921 or emailing

A number of other accessibility resources are available daily at the information booths and the Volunteer tent, which is located near the intersection of Third Street and Madison Drive. Large-print copies of the Festival schedule and food concession menus are available at both locations. Visit the Volunteer tent to request additional ASL interpreter services or borrow a wheelchair for the day. Service animals are welcomed with water stations throughout the Festival.

To request any other access services not mentioned above, please call 202.633.2921 or email

Once on the Mall, for information about other special services for visitors with disabilities, visit any information booth or the Volunteer tent.

First Aid

A first aid station will be located on the National Mall near the intersection of Third Street and Madison Drive.


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 the American Indian.

Lost and Found/Lost People

Lost items or family members should be brought to or picked up from the Volunteer tent near the intersection of Third Street and Madison Drive.