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26.6.04

Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Ah, summertime in Washington - heat, humidity and then more heat and humidity. Given the recent break from our normal oppressive weather, I encourage readers to consider a trip down to the national mall to see the Smithsonian's Folklife Festival. This year the festival is dedicated to Haiti, Water Ways, and Nuestra Musica and will be running until July 4th. Smithsonian Folklife Festival

For those of you who have never been to the Folklife Festival, it is a truly unique experience - an outdoor museum of sorts. Focusing on three geographic regions or cultures, the festival brings together artisans, musicians and performers from around the world to Washington to broaden our cultural outlook and help us get to know our neighbors a bit better. What is particularly fun about the festival is that it ranges from regional cooking demonstrations to musical concerts. All this, of course, free of charge thanks to the Smithsonian Institution.

Hatian Dancers This year, you can experience Voodoo drumming, Delaware Bay Cooking and Salsa dance lessons all on the same day. Not to be missed are the elaborate sets and structures that are constructed to inhabit the festival. This year features a Chesapeake Bay Skipjack brought in especially for the event. Last year, I was able to putt the reconstructed 18th green of St. Andrew's and learn how to make wild strawberry jam - skills that are otherwise difficult to acquire here in Washington. One thing is for sure, the Folklife Festival promises to be one of the "hottest" events of the summer.

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