Bring the whole family–and don’t forget the uncles and ants

Smithsonian staff, fellows, interns and volunteers are all invited to the 16th annual Staff Picnic on the Mall, hosted by the Smithsonian Community Committee.



Monday, July 10, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.


Smithsonian Folklife Festival grounds, located on the National Mall between 7th and 12th streets.

What’s to eat?

Delicious food will be available from four vendors:

  • Anita’s New Mexico Style: featuring Southwest-inspired enchiladas, burritos, rice, stewed beef/pork, and flan
  • Buddy’s BBQ: offer down-home classics such including; ribs, ½ chicken, pulled pork, potato salad, baked beans, and peach cobbler
  • Ming’s Vietnamese: This Vietnamese/East Asian fusion stand will tempt you with ginger beef, chicken salad, pork buns, veggies/vermicelli, black sticky rice, and Vietnamese iced coffee
  • Fly Bar: Enjoy fish and chips, mini meat pies, Irish spring rolls, chicken tenders and French Fries

Check out the full menu on the Community Committee’s website.

Complete menus will be posted on the Smithsonian Community Committee’s Picnic website prior to the event. Meal tickets will be required and must be reserved in advance.

  • Reserve your free meal tickets by notifying your unit’s designated contact person by Wednesday, May 17.
  • These tickets will be valid for use at Folklife Festival food tents on the day of the Picnic only.
  • Only one set of tickets will be given per staff, fellow, intern or volunteer.
  • Volunteers should make their ticket reservations through the Picnic contact in their unit. Volunteers who are floaters or are assigned to the Castle should reserve via the Office of Visitor Services Picnic contact person.
  • Staff and others without tickets are welcome to make a cash purchase of food from the vendors or bring a picnic lunch from home.
  • Tickets must be reserved in advance; they will NOT be distributed on the day of the Picnic.

Your unit’s director will let you know who your meal ticket contact person is via email or other unit-specific methods of communication. Other meal ticket-related questions should be directed to Laichelle Torney-Reid at (202) 633-5175.

Entertainment and activities

  • Circus surprises from this year’s Folklife Festival (stay tuned for more details.)
  • Enjoy musical performances from colleagues and others with Smithsonian roots. Calls for musical entertainment will be coming soon.
  • Sit in on all the collegial conversation while enjoying your lunch at the Smithsonian Stories narrative tent.
  • Hear about the latest research projects, presented by the members of the Smithsonian Congress of Scholars.
  • Reconnect with retired colleagues and get information at the Smithsonian Alumni Program station.
  • Visit a selection of your favorite Smithsonian Affinity groups.
  • There will be a cooking competition and other surprises.


The Folklife Festival Marketplace (located inside the Arts and Industries Building) will be open to staff during the Picnic, so bring your staff ID and beat the customary Festival crowds. Stay tuned to hear more on staff discounts. Proceeds from Marketplace purchases support the musicians and artisans at this year’s Festival.


The Picnic can’t happen without staff volunteers! Join your colleagues in helping to set up and take down Picnic equipment, to serve as talent wranglers, and to help with Festival site Green Team recycling and clean-up activities. If you want to join the Picnic Team as a volunteer, please email your name and phone number to

Additional information

Picnic details will be added to the Smithsonian Community Committee’s website as they become available. All other Picnic questions can be directed to Charlie Weber, Picnic Chair at (202) 633-6441 or via email at

See you on the Mall! Stay tuned for further announcements on Programming and schedules.

Posted: 11 May 2017
About the Author:

The Torch relies on contributions from the entire Smithsonian community.