The Smithsonian’s Folklife Festival returns for 2022.  Every year, the Smithsonian organizes a festival on The Mall inviting people from around the world to share their cultures at our nation’s Capitol.  This festival is a cornerstone event on The Mall.  It’s recognized as the largest annual cultural event in the US capital and ranks among other top events like the World Expo.  This is one festival you don’t want to miss.  Best of all, it’s FREE.

Each year, the Smithsonian Folklife festival has two themes and several special evening concerts.  This year’s themes are the United Arab Emirates ( and Earth Optimism (  Based on years past, you can expect to witness craftsman, music, dance, story-telling, and other amazing demonstrations that will blow your socks off.  At the time of this writing the festival calendar has not been posted.

The festival runs daily 11am to 6pm from June 22-27 and June 30 until July 4, 2022.

In the past, the Smithsonian’s Arts and Industries Building hosted the marketplace for the festival, however, there is no word that will be happening this year.


  • Tripods on The Mall are allowed, but with the crowd and your own mobility in mind, you probably want to leave the tripod at home.
  • Lenses in the range 24-70 will capture much of the action but don’t forget to bring a longer lens, 70-200, for staged events and presentations.
  • Comfortable walking shoes for walking.
  • Protection from the sun such as sunscreen and a hat.


Saturday, June 25, 2022 from 11 a.m. to 2:00 p. m
Rain date on Sunday, June 26, 2022 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.


We’ll meet outside the Smithsonian Metro Stop on The Mall (not the exit on the corner of 12th St. SW and Independence Ave SW).  This location is also traditionally the location for the festival’s information booth so it may be a little busy.  We’ll try to find a spot within 50 feet that is away from the crowd so we’re easy to spot.

Street parking will be difficult East of the Washington Monument.  Garage parking will probably run you $20-$35.  You’ll find them within one block North of Constitution Ave. and one block South of Independence Ave.  The parking lot run by the National Park Service at the Tidal Basin may offer a few spots, but those spots are time limited (3 hours max).

Metro will be your best bet.  The convenience and accessibility of the metro to this event cannot be overstated.  Bring a mask and some personal sanitizer.  The Smithsonian stop is served by the Blue, Orange, and Silver lines.

COVID precautions:

Although this event is outdoors, you may find yourself among larger crowds.  With variants of the virus on the rise, you may want to carry a face covering just in case.  If you decide to take public transit, you’ll probably want to mask up as well.

We hope you can join us!

Rena Schild and Steven Glintz
Field Trip Coordinators 2021-2022

* Photographs courtesy Steven Glintz taken from 2016-2018  (

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