Colorful sights, sounds, and tastes — textiles of handwoven fabric donned by cultural dancers, translators relaying the Basque speech of artists explaining their process of carving vibrant wooden creatures, sizzling hot Txangurro burgers to frozen artisanal gelato — invite passersby to explore rich Basque culture, diverse Californian sounds, and share their own migration or immigration stories. This annual celebration, known as the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, takes place from June 29 to July 4 and July 7-10 on the National Mall.
“Basque: Innovation by Culture” and “Sounds of California” are this year’s two main themes. The well-preserved crafts, dance, music, and food of the Basque people, in addition to their industrial success, are highlighted throughout the booths. Also featured is the idea of “social power” being derived from the varying musical expressions of California.