Smithsonian Folklife Festival

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 2016, the Festival will take place between Fourth and Seventh streets, north of the National Air and Space Museum, from June 29 to July 4 and July 7 to 10. The Festival is free of charge. Visitors should dress for hot and humid weather.

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. 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 in 2016, visitors can reference

For those who plan to drive to the Festival, we have teamed up with Parking Panda, the nationwide leader in online parking reservations, to make parking near the National Mall easier. View real-time availability and pricing at many locations, and select the best option for your trip.

Reserve Smithsonian Folklife Festival Parking

Festival Hours

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.

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For visitors who are blind, deaf-blind, or have low vision, we offer a verbal-description and tactile-signing tour on Friday, July 1, at 3 p.m. ASL-interpreted tours for visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing will be on July 4 and July 9 at 2 p.m. We also host “Morning at the Mall” with pre-visit materials for individuals with cognitive and sensory processing disabilities on Saturday, July 9, at 10 a.m. Please RSVP for tours and events by calling (202) 633-2921 or emailing

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 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 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.