Local Activities | June 22, 2015
The Smithsonian Folklife Festival 2015 will make its return to the National Mall in Washington D.C. June 24th -28th and July 1st -5th. The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is an educational cultural heritage showcase produced annually by the Smithsonian Institutes Center for Folk Life and Cultural Heritage. The festival has hosted thousands of international musicians, artists, performers, craftspeople, food preparers and storytellers who demonstrate the traditions, culture and heritage of their home nations. The Smithsonian Folklife Festival 2015 is the largest annual cultural event in Washington D.C. with over a million visitors to the National Mall each day of the event that has been held over the Fourth of July holiday for 48 years. The free festival takes place between Third and Fourth streets, just north of the National Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall.
Every year, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival spotlights traditions and heritage of other nations. This year there is only one focus country: Peru. The program is called Peru: Pachamam. Peru is a unique country with stunning vertical landscapes and diverse ecosystems and cultures and a long history. Peru’s climate varies from rain-forested coasts to mountain ranges. The land and ocean provide abundant resources including fish, copper and asparagus as well as a thriving tourist industry including sites such as Manchu Picchu.
Peru’s heritage is firmly tied to the landscape, rivers, roads and pathways. These connected paths existed long before the Inka Empire in the 15th and 6th centuries and the arrival of the Spanish colonists in the 16th century. The tribes and villages exchanged commodities, customs and celebrations beyond their natural borders. This year’s Smithsonian Folklife program will spotlight Peru’s networks and communities from small villages to larger cities, crops, markets, textile and craft productions, technology and music and dance. There will be cooking and craft demonstrations, music and dance performances, seminars, ritual processions and other interactive activities. The program is co-sponsored by the Republic of Peru Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (MINCETUR) and presented in partnership with the National Park Service.
The Smithsonian Folklife Festival schedule is full of special events and concerts during the two weekends of the festival. There are multiple stages set up for entertainment, seminars and cultural discussions during the festival. The festival performances are part of a great cultural concert series in Washington D.C. that are held throughout the year. The nightly concerts at the Ralph Rinzler Concert Stage will have traditional Peruvian performers as well as the country’s top popular artists.
The Smithsonian Folk Festival has a marketplace where you can find some of the goods and items created by the festival participants from Peru. Some of the crafts are created by the artisans during the actual festival and some have been specially made for the marketplace. The items showcased at the marketplace include: jewelry, textiles, baskets, pottery, clothing, CDs, books, toys, sculpture, and paper artworks. The purchase of these items supports the artisans from around the world and continues with the development of traditional craft-making worldwide.
Peruvian style food will be in abundance during the festival. There will be traditional pork and chicken dishes, vegetables, fruits and sweets at the food booths throughout the festival.
The Smithsonian Folk Festival 2015 is one of Washington D.C. great events. The events blend into the Fourth of July celebrations patriotic concerts that will take place on the West Lawn of the Capital building on the evening of the Fourth of July.
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