Tourists attending the 48th annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival will encounter the vivid cultures of China and Kenya. Additionally, this year’s Festival will feature a special concert to commemorate the legacy of the late Pete Seeger (1919-2014) a popular folk singer, songwriter and anti-war activist.
The annual Folklife Festival, which began in 1967, introduces diverse American cultures across the nation and from our various global neighbors; therefore, every summer for two weeks on the National Mall, rain or shine, more than 1 million visitors attend. The Festival is co-sponsored by the National Park Service
The Festival will be held Wednesday, June 25, through Sunday, June 29, and Wednesday, July 2, through Sunday, July 6, outdoors on the National Mall between Seventh and 14th streets. Admission is free. Festival hours are from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day, special evening events begin at 6 p.m.
Visitors will also see a “flower plaque,” a decorative bamboo structure that celebrates the culture of southern China. At 112 feet wide and 34 feet high, the Festival’s flower plaque is one of the largest structures in Festival history.
Alongside the flower plaque visitors can visit the Moonrise Pavilion and see daily theater, song and dance performances. Nearby, visitors of all ages can fly a kite or visit the Family Style tent where they can try calligraphy, play a game, learn Chinese phrases or dance.
“China: Tradition and the Art of Living” will feature 120 participants from the world’s most populous country. Artists, dancers, craftspeople and cooks will share and celebrate the customs and traditions from every part of this enormous and very diverse land.
The Smithsonian celebrates the traditions of Kenya and its people with the 2014 Folklife Festival program “Kenya: Mambo Poa.” The program will feature more than 80 participants, including athletes, wildlife experts, archaeologists and artists focused on the East African country’s heritage
Visitors of all ages can play a Kenyan game, learn a song or dance and make a beaded bracelet or toy out of recycled materials. In the Flavors of Kenya tent, visitors can watch how cooks from several communities use traditional ingredients to create the dishes eaten in Kenyan homes today. .
A Festival highlight will be a newly commissioned sculpture by internationally renowned artist Elkana Ong’esa that embodies the country’s commitment to animal conservation Visitors will be able to watch participants construct a small free-form modular house made out of recycled materials.
Some of the oldest artifacts from human communities have been discovered in Kenya, making the East African country truly a cradle of humanity dating back to prehistoric times. This year is the fiftieth anniversary of Kenya's independence form the British Empire, and Kenyan's want the world to keep their hands off of their elephants by stopping the poaching.