The Smithsonian Folklife festival

The international exhibition of living heritage held annually in the capital of the world's first power.

Festival origin and concept

First held in 1967, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival spans two long weeks each year a few days after the national holiday.  Organized by the institution, this festival is free to all visitors in order to facilitate cultural exchange. It is usually divided by region, state or theme. Mainly consisting of music, singing, dancing, handicrafts, cooking demonstration and reading, it encourages visitors to interact with the exhibitors.

The festival brings together more than 90 nations, every region of the United States, dozens of ethnic communities, more than 100 Native American groups, and some 70 different crafts1. With more than one million visitors annually, the festival is the largest annual cultural event in the U.S. capital. An opportunity to strengthen interstate ties, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival brings together more than 90 nations, all of America's religions and dozens of ethnic communities.

The impact of coronavirus on the festival's hosting

Unfortunately, the 2021 edition of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival may not be held due to health complications from the coronavirus disease. Indeed, most artistic events or other types of events attracting mass crowds have been suspended since the beginning of the year. The famous festival should not be an exception to the rule. The 2021 edition of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival has been postponed sine die.

Originally planned to take place in the capital, the festival's primary characteristic is to attract a huge crowd. Thus, in order to protect the participants and to contain the pandemic that is currently affecting the whole world, the organizers of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival have in the general interest postponed this cultural exchange.

Despite the many disappointments of the festival's audience, the organizers remain adamant and do not bend.


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