Dancing, eating and shopping at the Folklife Festival

The 2016 Smithsonian Folklife Festival celebrates its 49th year this week and next and offers concerts, dance performances, shopping and people watching on the National Mall.

Each year, the festival celebrates different cultures, countries or regions. This year’s festival focuses on Sounds of California and the Basque region of Spain and France.

“We are much smaller and the culture’s absolutely different,” said Monica Salinas, 51, born in the Basque region.

The festival brings many families of different cultures together.

At the festival, you can watch concerts, shop and try foods like artisanal gelato. At Wednesday’s opening ceremonies, many people wore t-shirts or bandannas to show support towards Basque and California. Others came in costumes and danced to the music.

“I’m really impressed. I thought the musics [sic] of California was going to be the Beach Boys,” said Ed LeClair, 62.