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Smithsonian Folklife Festival Opening Ceremony to be Held Thursday


News Advisory:

WHAT: Opening ceremony, Smithsonian Folklife Festival

WHEN: Thursday, June 23, 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Music begins at 10:30 a.m.; remarks at 11 a.m.)

WHERE: Forest Service, Culture and Community Stage On the National Mall, near Smithsonian Metro stop, Washington, D.C.


Speakers to include:

-- Lawrence Small, secretary, Smithsonian Institution

-- Sharifa Bint Khalfan Al Yahyai, minister of social development, Sultanate of Oman

-- Mike Johanns, U.S. secretary of agriculture

-- Dale Bosworth, chief, USDA Forest Service

-- Alice Waters, chef, founder of the Edible Schoolyard

-- Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), Smithsonian regent

-- Fran Maniella, director, National Park Service

-- Diana Parker, director, Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Music performances by Smithsonian Folklife Festival participants

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival, held outdoors on the National Mall June 23 to 27 and June 30 to July 4, will feature four programs: “Oman: Desert, Oasis and Sea,” “Food Culture USA,” “Forest Service, Culture and Community” and “Nuestra Música.”

The Festival opens to the public at noon on June 23 (following the opening ceremony). Members of the media are welcome to accompany speakers as they tour the Festival programs.

After the opening ceremony, Anthony Seeger, director emeritus of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, will launch Smithsonian Global Sound, a virtual encyclopedia of the world’s music traditions ( ). Demonstrations will take place in the Smithsonian Global Sound tent, adjacent to the Sounds of the Forest stage.

Festival hours are from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with special celebrations, performances and concerts continuing after 5:30 p.m. on many evenings. Admission is free.

(Reporters: Please check in at the Festival press tent, located near the Smithsonian Metro station.)


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