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Smithsonian’s Folklife Festival Includes Basque Wine

This year, the nation’s massive system of museums known to most as the Smithsonian will be hosting the Annual Folklife Festival. This is an outdoor festival that is held each year that celebrates people around the world. The 2016 festival will focus on Spain’s Basque region and include some Basque wine tastings. Also important to this years festival are the Sounds of California.

The Smithsonian’s website offers a vast amount of information. It’s a good idea to check it out before attending the festival where you will be inundated with lots of great information.

Each year the folklife festival offers visitors a look a the culture of a region. Attendees have the opportunity to learn about the regional foods and discover the music and customs of the inhabitants. The festival includes demonstrations, workshops, narrative sessions and performances. Several Basque wine tastings are planned for the festival. Check the schedule for days and times of the wine tastings.

According to the Smithsonian website: “At the 2016 Folklife Festival, Sounds of California will present a series of evening concerts as well as daytime performances and activities, offering a glimpse into how musical culture mirrors the movements reshaping the state and the nation today. We will feature artists who contribute to the soundscapes of California, who demonstrate the social power of music and cultural heritage.”

The 2016 Folklife Festival covers two long weekends. It begins today, June 29 and continues on until July 4. The festival the picks up again on July 7 and continues on until July 10.

It has been many years since I attended the Folklife Festival but I still remember the bright, beautiful colors, the congeniality of the visitors. It was a fun-filled day.

For anyone who likes to discover a unique keepsake or small gift, consider the marketplace associated with the festival. According to the Smithsonian website, “Since its founding in 1967, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival has supported thousands of traditional artists and musicians from around the world by selling their arts, crafts, and music at the Marketplace. Stop by to pick up something special for a loved one, to watch an artist demonstration, or to discover new music from Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.” The marketplace is scheduled to take place in the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building.

Plan to spend a day exploring Basque culture and enjoying the Sounds of California in our nation’s capitol.


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