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In recent years, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival hasn’t had the money to bring in the number of musicians, craftspeople, and cooks it once did, but thanks to some programming ingenuity and support from other countries, this annual tourist trap once again has a stacked calendar. This year offers three themes—“Asian Pacific Americans: Local Lives, Global Ties,” “Mexico,” and “Smithsonian Inside Out,” as well as some special concerts unrelated to those groupings. The Mexico portion looks especially promising: It will include a performer “flying” from a pole in honor of Dhipaak, the lord of corn; the chanted vocals and noisy guitar of Seri rock band Hamaac Cazíim; a demonstration of mescal production; a history of tequila; and Grupo de Fandango de Artesa Los Quilamos, which melds African and Spanish sounds and dances. Bonus: The June 26 Haiti tribute will offer the impressive carnival percussion and Hendrix-style guitar of that island nation’s Boukman Eksperyanz.
THE FESTIVAL TAKES PLACES 11 A.M. TO 5:30 P.M. (SPECIAL CONCERTS IN EVENINGS) JUNE 24 TO JUNE 28 AND JULY 1 TO JULY 5 ON THE NATIONAL MALL. FREE. (202) 633-6440.