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 Céspedes (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

Music Park: The Concert for Valor takes over the National Mall — 11/11/14

141111-D-DB155-027Bruce Springsteen and Dave Grohl

Hundreds of thousands of people came out to the National Mall on Veteran’s Day to experience The Concert for Valor.

From my vantage point (next to the Hirshhorn Museum), far fewer people than expected braved the perfect weather to witness some of the biggest artists and celebrities honor our veterans.

My guess is the pre-concert buzz of hordes of 800,000 to a million concert goers crashing the Mall scared off most people. The reality was…still a lot of people, but the whole affair turned out orderly, civilized and the city of DC proved to be well prepared. My favorite feature was the ‘family reunification’ station.

The Concert kicked off with Jennifer Hudson singing the National Anthem. Underwhelming start, but a number of performances stand out.

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