Around Town: Smithsonian Folklife Festival 2016 @ The National Mall, 6/29-7/4/16 & 7/7-7/10/16

Folklife Festival 2016Smithsonian Folklife Festival 2016

Come down to the National Mall this weekend and next, and experience the annual Folklife Festival.

This year’s themes are Basque culture (regions in Spain and France) and the Sounds of California (celebrating the rich diversity of cultures in the state).

I always enjoy the Folklife Festival for the ethnic food options each year. Sometimes from places I have yet to visit, or sometimes from countries where I love the food I’ve tried, but it’s a regional variation or area of that country I haven’t been to.

Basque cuisine is something I’ve yet to try, so looking at the menu offerings, it looks pretty good. The Talo con Chistorra (paprika pork sausages in tortillas), Sukalki (beef short rib stew) and the Pantxineta (Almond custard-filled puff pastry) are definitely going in my belly.

The California food options are tacos and Thai food. Alright!

There will be performances of Basque music and dance, as well as a variety of performers from cultures in California.

Each evening there is a concert at 6:30pm at the Ralph Rinzler Concert Stage.

Evening Concert Schedule

  • Friday, July 1 – NOKA, Biotzetik Basque Choir (Basque)
  • Saturday, July 2 – Quetzal & Meklit (California)
  • Sunday, July 3 – Ralph Rinzler Memorial Concert: NEA National Heritage Fellows: Celebrating 50 Years of the National Endowment for the Arts
  • Monday, July 4 – none
  • Thursday, July 7 – Armenian Public Radio & TmbaTa (California)
  • Friday, July 8 – Kalakan and Gatibu (Basque)
  • Saturday, July 9 – John Santos Sextet & Bobi C├ęspedes (California)
  • Sunday, July 10 (Time: 4:15pm) – Korrontzi, Low Leaf, TmbaTa (Basque and California)

Find the full schedule of events and activities here.

Folklife Festival 2016
The National Mall
June 29-July 4 and July 7-10
11am-5pm (Special events at 6:30pm)
Free entry (Pay for food and drink)
All ages

Food Park: The Last Truckaroo in 2015 @ Fairgrounds, 10/9/15

Far East Taco GrillTacos are good (Far East Taco Grill)

Food Trucks were all the rage in 2011 and 2012. And as some of the good ones came and went (like the Fojol Brothers’ three trucks) and new ones took their place, the allure of newness, the beat of a trend started to fade.

Just because food trucks aren’t the latest and greatest fad, doesn’t mean there aren’t still good eating options available.

Quite the opposite. Many of the food trucks parlayed their success into brick and mortar establishments. Like DC Empanada and TaKorean at Union Market or Chupacabra Taqueria or Sol Mexican Grill on H Street NE or Far East Taco Grill on the edge of Capitol Hill NE. Hint: Tacos. Invest in tacos.

There is no better forum to explore the current crop of food trucks in one place then at the monthly Truckaroo festival held at the Fairgrounds (near Nationals Park). Even though the Nationals’ season has ended, there is still at least one reason to head down to this SE neighborhood.

This Friday, October 9, marks the last Truckaroo of 2015.

Don’t miss out. There will be music and games and look for some of the good options among the 20+ trucks, like:

  • BONMi
  • Korean BBO Box
  • Tapas Truck
  • Red Hook Lobster Pound

and one I’m curious about: Urban Poutine.

Fairgrounds (M St and Half St SE) near the Nationals Park
Friday, October 9
Free Admission (pay for food and beverages)
All ages