Last Saturday as I walked from the Smithsonian Metro Station to the Washington Monument, I walked past tents and exhibits being prepared for this year’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival. The festival starts tomorrow and runs through Sunday, June 27th and then again next week, Wednesday through Sunday, July 4th through July 8th.

Each year, National Mall between the Capitol and the Washington Monument is transformed into three small villages for the festival.  There is a small cabin with a garden, large tents for concerts, live shows and food. There were large banners that let you know the name of the tent and sometimes what would being offered inside. One of the banners made mention of Azerbaijani food. Now, as far as I know I have never sampled Azerbaijani cuisine, but the more I thought about it the more I knew I had to go back and try it out.

If you are looking for some arts, crafts and cultural entertainment the next two weekends, will be amazing. People from all over the world wearing in their native dress. The will be showing visitors their customs, crafts and playing their music. I’m looking forward to heading to the Mall and taking in all the sights, sounds, smells and tastes that I can because the Folklife Festival is a feast for the mind as well as the senses. Oh yeah, don’t forget to bring your camera, because the world comes to DC for this festival.

A special note about this year’s festival: The full AIDS Quilt will be on display in the Mall. This is the first time in many years that the AIDS quilt has been on display in DC. I saw the quilt many years ago when it was displayed here in Washington DC, and sadly, it has grown since then.

Take some time to visit the festival and don’t forget to bring your camera because the world comes to DC for this festival. For more information visit the Smithsonian Folklife Festival’s website.