Come Fourth and Celebrate

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From fireworks on the National Mall and concerts at the Capitol to special events at George Washington’s house and the home of the Declaration of Independence to neighborhood parades and ballpark fun…and even more (whew!), you’ve got your pick of ways to celebrate July 4th in DC. Here are details on all of them. Happy Independence Day!

National Independence Day Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue NW, 7th-17th Streets
When: July 4, 11:45am
Admission: Free

Many national holidays get a parade in DC, and July 4th is no exception. Scores of spectators are expected to line the Constitution Avenue sidewalks to watch the procession celebrating Independence Day make its way from 7th to 17th Streets. Marching bands, floats, giant balloons, equestrian groups, drill teams, and military units will be among the pageantry. Stake out your spot along the route early, as this event attracts hundreds of thousands of viewers every year.

Independence Day Celebration on the Mall
Where: National Mall
When: July 4, all day (and evening)
Admission: Free

After the parade (even earlier for some), the National Mall will begin filling up for a day of July 4th festivities — the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Junior Ranger activities, picnics, and more. Due to construction on the Washington Monument, the annual concert there will not take place this year. But there’s still evening entertainment: At 9:10pm, the sky above will explode with color when the amazing iconic fireworks display is the day’s grand finale.

A Capitol Fourth
Where: West Lawn on the Capitol
When: July 4, 8pm; gates open at 3pm
Admission: Free

Down past the other end of the Mall, A Capitol Fourth, the annual Independence Day concert that airs live on PBS, will feature even more musical pageantry. Barry Manilow is headlining the show, and there will also be appearances and performances by Neil Diamond performing his song again, Darren Criss fro Glee, American Idol winner Candice Glover, the National Symphony Orchestra and many more exciting acts. And Tom Bergeron of “Dancing with the Stars” is hosting once again. (KFDC tip: Enjoy the show with less crowds at the dress rehearsal on July 3 – same time and place!)

America’s Pastime
Where: Nationals Park
When: July 3, 6:05pm & July 4, 11:05am
Admission: Ticket prices vary

A day at the ballpark is about as all-American as it gets when it comes to sports, and you can experience it and celebrate the holiday at Nationals Park. Catch the July 3 game against the Milwaukee Brewers and get treated to a fireworks show after the last out. Or, see the teams match up on the 4th when the Nats don their blue patriotic uniforms as part of the Patriotic Series AND be part of the audience as Neil Diamond debuts his new single that honors Boston Marathon victims. (There are also games against the Brewers on Monday and Tuesday, though there are no holiday-related promos.) Tickets are available for all of the games.

Falls Church 4th of July Celebration
Where: George Mason High School
When: July 4, 7pm
Admission: Free

The City of Falls Church Recreation and Parks Department will present its annual free July 4th Celebration at George Mason High School (7124 Leesburg Pike). Musical entertainment begins at 7pm with a live performance by The Apple Core, co-sponsored by the Village Preservation and Improvement Society as a part of this summer’s Concerts in the Park Series. The Falls Church City Concert Band will perform during the concert’s intermission. Fireworks will follow at 9:20pm.

Neighborhood Parades
Where: Throughout the area
When: Most on July 4, times vary
Admission: Free

Keep it mellow and close to home at a community celebration. You likely are aware of July 4th events taking place in your neighborhood or nearby, but if you’re still looking for a hyperlocal fête, check out this list of parades around town.

An American Celebration
Where: Mount Vernon
When: July 4, 8am – 5pm
Admission: $15/adults, $7/ages 6-11, free for ages 5 and under.

The home of George Washington salutes the first commander-in-chief with a dazzling display of made-for-daytime fireworks during its annual Independence Day event. Visitors will be treated to spectacular smoke fireworks in patriotic colors fired over the Potomac River. The event also includes an inspirational naturalization ceremony for 100 new citizens, military reenactments, a special wreathlaying ceremony, and a visit from the “first” first couple, “General and Mrs. Washington.” See the full schedule of events here.

Star-Spangled Spectacular
Where: Oregon Ridge State Park
When: July 3 & 4
Admission: $20/adult, $10/kids 12 and under

For something a little different than the usual DC July 4th festivities, head north to Oregon Ridge Park in Cockeysville, Md, on Wednesday or Thrusday. There, you can spread out a blanket or set up chairs on the sloping green lawn amidst a gorgeous setting as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performs their Star-Spangled Spectacular, culminating with a magnificent fireworks display. The starbursts in the sky as a live symphony plays is truly magical. The park opens at 5pm, and the show begins at 8pm both days. Be sure to note these parking instructions, as on–site parking is $15, but you can park off site and take a shuttle for free.

Reading of the Declaration of Independence
Where: National Archives
When: July 4, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate July 4th at the National Archives Building with a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence. There will also be historical guests and family activities from 11am – 4pm. The full schedule of events is available on the National Archives website.

Bowie 4th of July Celebration
Where: Prince George’s Stadium
When: July 4, 7pm
Admission: Free

Join Bowie’s new Independence Day tradition and celebrate our nation’s birthday with fireworks and a free concert by the Fabulous Hubcaps. Entertainment begins at 7pm, and fireworks will start at 9:15pm.

Rockville 4th of July Celebration
Where: Montgomery College – Rockville Campus
When: July 4, 7-9:45pm
Admission: Free

Rockville’s Independence Day Celebration is hosted by the Mayor and Council of Rockville at Montgomery College’s Rockville Campus located at 51 Mannakee Street. Join in a night of music, entertainment and fireworks. See the website for the lineup of entertainment and parking information.

University of Maryland July 4th Celebration
Where: Lot 1 at University of Maryland
When: July 4, 5pm
Admission: Free

Join the University of Maryland and the City of College Park for a free concert and fireworks spectacular. Concessions (hamburgers, hot dogs, funnel cakes, ice cream, snow cones, soda and bottled water) open at 5pm, entertainment by The Rock-n-Roll Relics begins at 7pm, and the fireworks show will start at dusk, about 9pm. Grass seating is limited, so bring your lawn chairs and blankets. Personal coolers are also allowed.


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