DC Day on the National Mall

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival turns 50,
and it’s the Year of American Circus!

I know you’re excited. We’re excited too. There’s even an entire day dedicated to YOU.

icon DC Day

Because we love you, we love circus, and we love the Smithsonian, we’ve got all the info you need to celebrate DC Day right. Check it out:



Insider’s Tip: There are more activities not even listed on the official schedule below! Lucky you, knowing where to get all the secrets….

  • 11 a.m.-1 p.m.: D.C. Circus Showcase (Ralph Rinzler Stage) featuring artists from TSNY-DC, SAX Lounge, Gymkana, Street Light Circus, Happenstance Theater and much more.
  • 2:45 p.m.: Finding Hope and Trust in Circus, featuring Circus District co-founder and Circus Harmony general manager, Charlotte Byram (Circus Stories Tent). Moderated by TSNY-DC manager and flying trapeze instructor Mandy Keithan
  • 3 p.m.: Contemporary Ground Arts Show (Arts and Industries Building’s West Hall) featuring Clowns Without Borders, Happenstance Theater, Street Light Circus, foot juggler Anne Weshinskey and partner acrobatics from TSNY-DC.
  • 4 p.m.: D.C. Circus Forum (Circus Stories Tent) featuring Circus District co-founder Christian Kloc, moderated by Shay Stevens of Washington Performing Arts. The forum will be a true convergence of the DC circus minds to discuss how to connect local circus to the wider circus world.
  • 6:30 p.m.: D.C. Circus Preshow (Big Top)
  • 7 p.m.: Stars of the Circus (Big Top) Note: this is not a ‘local’ circus show, but you should see it anyway!
  • Get your juggle on at the Circus District Juggle Jam: Folklife Edition Note: This event is NOT on July 1st. It will be held Monday, July 3rd from 6-7:30 p.m. on the National Mall.


DC Day Schedule 6.17



June 29 – July 9

You can find more circus happenings, from performances to workshops to guest speakers, on the Smithsonian Folklife Festival Website.





The Smithsonian Folklife Festival, established in 1967, honors contemporary living cultural traditions and celebrates those who practice and sustain them. Produced annually by the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, the Festival has featured participants from all 50 states and more than 100 countries.

The free Festival takes place for two weeks every summer, overlapping the Fourth of July holiday. It is an educational, research-based presentation that features master artisans and other tradition bearers. They invite visitors to sing and dance along, try craft and game workshops, learn traditional recipes, ask questions, and take part in this unique cultural exchange.

Learn more at http://www.festival.si.edu/