Smithsonian Folklife Festival prepares for 45th year

Tents are being erected for the 45th annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival. (WTOP Photo/Adam Tuss)

Adam Tuss,

WASHINGTON – George Clinton and a full day of music dedicated to D.C.’s “Godfather of Go-Go” Chuck Brown are just some of the highlights planned for the upcoming Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall.

Despite nearby construction, events will go on as planned.

Clinton will help kick-off the festivities June 27 with a program called “Bring Back the Funk.” That takes place from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

“It’s going to be a big, great funk concert,” says Steve Kidd, director of the festival. “And there will be a lot of great music.”

July 7 there will be a full day of go-go music dedicated to Brown, who died last month.

“One of the messages (of the festival) is that you should look around yourself and your own community for tradition and creativity, because all of us are surrounded by it,” Kidd says. “New traditions are coming along every day.”

While in previous years the festival focused on cultures outside of the U.S., this year is dedicated to a domestic agenda.

The festival runs from June 27 to July 1, takes a short break, and then picks back up from July 4 to 8. Crowds are expected to be large this year. Organizers expect more than 1 million people throughout the course of the festival.

And as if the music wasn’t enough to get you to go, the weather is expected to cooperate.

“I know it is very hot today, but the forecast for next Wednesday is 79 degrees with zero chance of rain.” says Kidd.

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