The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is held outdoors on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., between the Smithsonian museums during the last week of June and first week of July. 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 Metrorail. The Smithsonian station (Mall exit) is at the Festival site. Federal Triangle and National Archives stations are close by. For general Smithsonian visitor information, call 202.633.1000 (voice) or 202.357.1729 (TTY).
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 are 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with special events taking place most evenings.
Services for Visitors with Disabilities
American Sign Language interpreters and CART (Communication Access Real Time) transcription 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 induction loops, please see a volunteer or festival staff in each tent if you need a receiver. Service animals are welcomed with water stations throughout the Festival.
A number of other accessibility resources are available daily at the information booths and the Volunteer tent, which is located in the Festival Services area next to the Smithsonian Metro station. Large print copies of the Festival schedule and food concession menus are available at both locations. An audio version of the Festival schedule is available online at si.edu/accessibility. Visit the Volunteer tent to request additional ASL interpreter services or borrow a wheelchair for the day.
Program articles printed in the Program Book will be posted online in an accessible format.
To request any other access services not mentioned above, please call 202.633.2921 or email email@example.com.
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 is located near the Smithsonian Metro stop on the Mall at Jefferson Drive and Twelfth Street.
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 American History and Natural History museums.
Lost and Found/Lost People
Lost items or family members should be brought to or picked up from the Volunteer tent located near the Smithsonian Metro stop on the Mall at Jefferson Drive and Twelfth Street.