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Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Festival 101

What is the Festival?

At the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival, you will find many exemplary practitioners of diverse, authentic, living traditions—both old and new. The goal of the Festival is to strengthen and preserve these traditions by presenting them on the National Mall. Tradition-bearers and the public can connect with and learn from one another and, in a respectful way, begin to understand cultural differences and similarities.

Here, members of our staff give their tips for getting the most out of the Festival.