|Folklife Festival on the mall|
Tightening of National Park Service restrictions on the use of the Mall for festivals and other activities potentially threatens the annual summer Smithsonian Folklife Festival, according to Smithsonian officials.
Though the festival will still be held on the Mall this year, in a letter this month to the National Park Service obtained by The Washington Post, Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough recounted years-long Smithsonian efforts to minimize the festival’s impact on the Mall, but raised concerns about its viability there in the future.
“We recognize that the National Mall is not only a national landscape, but also widely regarded as a gathering place for free expression. The challenge for the future is to balance the use of the Mall for democratic expression while maintaining its appearance,” the Feb. 6 letter reads.
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