The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is going on now at the National Mall between Seventh and Twelfth streets in Washington DC. The festival will be going on until July 9th. Festival hours are 11am to 5 pm., with evening dance parties at 5:30 and circus performances most nights at 7pm. This year the focus of the festival is Circus Arts. They have constructed a circus tent on the Mall and numerous performance areas. This is also the 50th anniversary of the festival. On July 8th and 9th will be reunion weekend with stories about earlier festivals with special workshops and performances. Check the schedule to see who is performing and when; they have performances from Universoul Circus, Big Apple Circus, and many more. They will also have Circus Science where you can learn circus lingo, making circus puppets, how to make juggling balls, to name a few. C.A.B. and I went Saturday, July 1st. C.A.B. learned how to balance clowns on the tight wire. They also have hula hooping, making finer puppets, and making gymnastic ribbons all day. We watched acrobatic juggling performances. They have individual rings and seating for the various performances. There are also various vendors selling food and drinks.
C.A.B. and I was lucky enough to see the Universiul Circus for free under the big top. When we first got there the line was so long; I didn’t think we would get in. We got there at 1:35 and the show started at at 2pm, but we got perfect seats in the middle. The big top is huge. The show was great and lasted a little over an hour. C.A.B. loved the show; there was bicyclist from China, a Slapstick comedy, stilt walkers and limboing under fire, clowns interacting with the audience, contortionists bending their bodies in ways one could not even imagine. C.A.B.’s favorite act was the gigantic spinning wheel and they had men flipping inside while the wheel was moving and if that wasn’t enough they came outside where and was jumping rope and doing flips while it was moving. I was in awe. They had all the children to do the ringmaster pledge. C.A.B. and I truly enjoyed it.