Smithsonian Folklife Festival: Today's Highlights

Las Americas, Wales and African-American storytelling traditions

The annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival kicked off yesterday on the National Mall today, as usual highlighting three cultures to share their music, goods, traditions and rituals. The lineup for this year sounds pretty enticing, which we haven't been able to say in recent years when planners seemed to choose some themes seemingly at random. U.S. maritime culture, anyone? Or what about that beekeeping year? That was weird. Did anyone even go to that?

This year features Giving Voice (a nod to African-American oral traditions), Las Américas (starring some prominent U.S. and Latino musical performers) and the culture of Wales.

Multiple events run nearly every hour on the hour, and it's all free. Because you don't really want to pay to attend an accordion workshop (3 p.m., today), but if it's free, how could you say no? The photo ops alone make it all worthwhile.

Festival highlights for Today, June 25:


11 a.m.: WPFW-FM Live Broadcast: Voices with Vision
Noon: Puppet Theater with Schroeder Cherry
1 p.m.: Beauty Tales with Charlotte Blake Alston with Branice McKenzie Vintage Black Radio Broadcast
2 p.m.: Wit and Wisdom of the Barbershop
5 p.m.: Hair Stories with Victoria Burnett


11 a.m.: Percussion Workshop
Noon: Mexican Son Traditions
1 p.m.: Accordion Workshop
2 p.m.: Merengue Tipico La India Canela
3 p.m.: Bomba Workshop
5 p.m.: Improvisation Styles


11 a.m.: Taste of Wales - Traditional Treats
Noon: Female Harmony Singing
12:30 p.m.: Working and Playing Outdoors: Rivers and Canals
1 p.m.: Welsh Lesson: ABCs
2 p.m.: Adapt, Reuse, Recycle: Art from Scrap
3 p.m.: Welsh Lesson: Children's Rhymes
4 p.m.: Welsh Dance Music
5 p.m.: Bakestone and Cauldron Cooking

See the full schedule here. The festival runs through Sunday, July 5.

Contact Us