The Smithsonian's 11th annual Festival of American Folklife - a six-day celebration of American folklore in music, dance, craft demonstrations, workshops and special exhibits - opens today on the Washington Monument grounds and in three of the Smithsonian's museums.

All of the festival's events are free, including 11:30 a.m. opening ceremonies today with Joan Mondale, Rep. Peter Rodino (D-N.J.) and Smithsonian Secretary S. Dillon Ripley.

Festival events run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (with concerts from 8 to 10 p.m.), and will be held at the Museum of History and Technology (14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW), the Museum of Natural History (10th and Constitution NW), the Renwick Gallery (17th and Pennsylvania NW) or on the Monument grounds.

Today's festival highlights include:

11 a.m.

Sausage-stuffing and salmon roast, "America's Appetite" exhibit, Monument grounds.

Virginia folk music, Monument gounds.

"Folklore in Your Community" workshop with local merchants, cab drivers, bartenders, South Lawn, Museum of History and Technology (MHT).

Noon

Hayrides, start at Monument grounds.

Oral history workshops (experiences at Ellis Island, life in the old country), Nation of Nations, MHT.

Wheat-threshing demonstration, Monument grounds.

1 p.m.

Rev. Dan Smith (gospel singer), African Diaspora, South Lawn, MHT.

School lore with students and teachers, Dunham classroom, Nation of Nations, MHT.

Lecture and demonstration of hammered dulcimers, Hall of Musical Instruments, MHT.

1:30 p.m.

George Washington (spoon player), South Lawn, MHT.

2:30 p.m.

Clambake, "America's Appetite," Monument grounds.

3 p.m.

Sacred Offering (gospel), Virginia Folk Culture, Monument grounds.

Pencil-making demostrations, Nation of Nations, MHT.

4:30 p.m.

Charlie Sayles (harmonica), African Diaspora, South Lawn, MHT.

8 to 10 p.m.

Native American Musical Styles concert, Baird Auditorium, Museum of Natural History (NHT).

Musical traditions of India, Hall of Musical Instruments, MHT.

Hammered dulcimer traditions, Carmichael Auditorium, MHT.

NOTE: Many events and exhibits are repeaated or continuous. For more information: 381-5911.