Tag Archives: National Independence Day Parade

2014 Independence Day Celebrations

july4

Our lovely city is one of the most exciting places to be this time of year, as people from all over the world to celebrate America’s birthday. And 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, they (and you!) won’t be let down. Here are details on the many ways to celebrate July 4th in DC. 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, concerts, picnics, and more. And the grand finale of it all: At 9:10pm, the sky above will explode with color when the amazing iconic fireworks display.

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. Patti LaBelle is headlining the show, and there will also be appearances and performances by Frankie Valli, Phillip Phillips, Jordin Sparks, The Muppets, 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!)

An American Celebration
Where: Mount Vernon
When: July 4, 8am – 5pm
Admission: $17/adults, $8/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.

America’s Pastime
Where: Nationals Park
When: 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 4 game against the Chicago Cubs, which is part of the 2014 Patriotic Series which honors members of the military.

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 Original Moonlights, with fireworks following at 9:20pm. Blankets and flat-based chairs are allowed for seating on the field. Food and drinks will be sold on site.

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.

Star-Spangled Spectacular
Where: Oregon Ridge State Park
When: July 3 & 4
Admission: $9-18

For something a little different than the usual DC July 4th festivities, head north to Oregon Ridge Park in Cockeysville, Md, on Thrusday or Friday. 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, patriotic music, and family activities from 11am – 4pm. The full schedule of events is available on the National Archives website.

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.


Leave a Comment

Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Festival, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Parade, Seasonal, Summer, Virginia

Come Fourth this Weekend

Owen and friends celebrate July 4th last year

Washington, DC, is one of the most exciting places to be this time of year, as people from all over the world come to our capital city to celebrate America’s birthday.  Whether or not you think that’s a good thing is another story.  Some relish the crowds and the big celebrations, while others prefer to keep the holiday low-key. The great thing about our little section of the Land of the Free is that, no matter what your preference, there are plenty of options for fun and recreation all weekend long.  Here are events happening around town where you can embrace the spirit of the 4th, have a mellow holiday, or fall somewhere in between.  Happy Weekend!  And have a happy and safe Independence Day!

Smithsonian Folklife FestivalThe annual celebration of living cultural heritage and community traditions around the globe will be happening on the Mall through July 4 (then again from July 7-11). This year’s festival spotlights the nature of Colombia, 50 years of the Peace Corps, and Rhythm & Blues music in the United States. Special exhibits and programs will offer guests all kinds of opportunities — workshops, performances, exhibits, demos, and more — to discover and explore all three genres, including plenty of activities especially children.

Tales of the Lincoln – Storyteller Jon Spelman takes to the Ford’s Theatre stage for a reprise of his popular one-man show. Explore the varied legends of Abraham Lincoln the man, parent, and president in a series of anecdotes. Tales of the Lincoln will be performed on Saturday and Sunday at 10:30am and 11:30am, and is recommended for ages 6 and older. The show is being offered as part of the Ford’s Theatre daytime programming schedule, so tickets can be obtained free of charge on the day of performance at the theatre box office. Advance reservations are also available through Ticketmaster, though a small service fee will be applied.

Have a Ball (Game)The Nationals are playing at home all weekend, hosting the Pirates on Friday evening and Saturday and Sunday afternoons. You can also celebrate the 4th at Nationals Park as they begin a four-game series against the Cubs.  Tickets are available for all of the games – purchase in advance online or at the box office.  And you can currently get half-price tickets for Sunday’s game with a special offer from Certifkid.

Fruits of Your LaborPick-your-own on the farm is recommended for yet another week, as many berries and even peaches are ready for harvest. This post lists local farms that offer opportunities to pick ‘em yourself.

Star-Spangled SpectacularIf you want to get out of dodge (ie, take a break from DC) for a bit, head north to Oregon Ridge Park in Cockeysville, MD, on Saturday or Sunday. There, you can spread out a blanket or set up chairs on the sloping green lawn amidst lovely scenery as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performs their Star-Spangled Spectacular, culminating with a magnificent fireworks dispay. The starbursts in the sky as live classical musical plays is truly magical. The park opens at 5pm, and the show begins at 8pm both days.  Tickets are $18/adult, $9/kids 12 and under.

National Independence Day Parade – Every good holiday has 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. The festivities begin at 11:45am, but with the masses coming to watch, it’s best to get there early to get a good view. Free to the public.

Independence Day Celebration on National Mall – After the parade (even earlier for some), the National Mall will begin filling up for a day of July 4th festivities—picnics, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, concerts, and the spectacular fireworks display as the grand finale. The music begins at 6pm when the U.S. Navy band kicks off the concert at the Washington Monument grounds, followed by a performance by special guest artist Jo Dee Messina . Down at the opposite end of the Mall on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, A Capitol Fourth Concert, which airs live on PBS, will feature Josh Groban, Steve Martin, Jordin Sparks, Matthew Morrison, the National Symphony Orchestra, and more exciting performers. Gates open at 3pm for the 8pm show, and the public is invited to enjoy it for free. Finally, the sky over the Washington Monument will explode with color when the amazing fireworks show begins at 9:15pm.

Reading of the Declaration of IndependenceCelebrate July 4th at the National Archives Building with a reading of the Declaration of Independence.  There will also be historical guests and family activities starting at 8:30am. The full schedule of events is available on the National Archive’s website.

An American Celebration at Mount VernonThe home of George Washington salutes the first commander-in-chief  on Monday 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 on the Mount Vernon wesbite.  Admission is $15/adults, $7/ages 6-11, free for ages 5 and under.

Posts to check out any time:

­ Joys of SummerOutdoor concert series, pools and spray grounds, movie under the stars, and more fun happening over the hot months.

The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids  – Need I say more?

Rainy Day Recreation (ie, Indoor Fun) – For when the weather doesn’t cooperate, or you want to get out of the sun.

Family Entertainment – See what’s on stages this season.

Leave a Comment

Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Educational, Farm, Festival, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Monuments & Memorials, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Parade, Park, Seasonal, Sports, Summer, Virginia, Weekend

Get Ready for the 4th

America is about to celebrate its 234th birthday. If you’re still looking for ways to help ring in her big day, you’ve got plenty of options. Go big with a day of music, festivities, and fireworks on the National Mall. Keep it low-key with a neighborhood parade. Pay tribute as you enjoy America’s favorite pastime. For details and more ideas, read on. However you and your family spend the day, have a fun and safe Independence Day!

National Independence Day Parade
Every good holiday has a parade in DC, and July 4th is no exception. Hundreds of thousands of spectators are expected to line the Constitution Avenue sidewalks to watch the procession celebrating Independence Day makes its way from 7th to 17th Streets. Marching bands, floats, giant balloons, equestrian groups, drill teams, military units, will be among the pageantry. The festivities begin at 11:45am, but with the masses coming to watch, it’s best to get there early to get a good view. Free to the public.


Concerts and Fireworks on the National Mall

After the parade (even earlier for some), folks will begin staking out spots on the National Mall for a day of July 4th festivities—picnics, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, concerts, and the granddaddy of grand finales – the spectacular fireworks display. A variety of Festival events will be taking place throughout the day—see the schedule for specifics. The music begins at 6pm when the U.S. Navy band kicks off the concert at the Washington Monument grounds, followed by a National Park Service presentation, then the Navy Band Commodores Jazz ensemble performing with special guest Jane Monheit. Down at the opposite end of the Mall, on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, A Capitol Fourth Concert, which airs live on PBS, will feature Reba McEntire, Gladys Knight, Darius Rucker, David Archuleta, the National Symphony Orchestra, and more exciting performers. The show begins at 8pm, but gates open at 3pm.  Finally, the sky over the Washington Monument will explode with color when the amazing fireworks show begins at 9:15pm.

An American Celebration at Mount Vernon
If you don’t feel like dealing with the crowds on the Mall and want to join a unique celebration, head to Mount Vernon for their American Celebration. From 8am – 5pm, guests can take part in a variety of Independence Day events—wreath laying and naturalization ceremonies, music by the National Concert Band of America and the First Virginia Regimen, a giant birthday cake, and a dazzling smoke fireworks display over the Potomac River. There will also be a chance to meet the first “first couple,” General and Mrs. Washington. Admission to Mt. Vernon $15/adults, $7/kids ages 6-11, and free for kids 5 and under.

National vs. Mets
It’s one of America’s greatest pastimes, so what better way to celebrate the nation’s birthday than with a July 4th baseball game. (It’s also a fantastic excuse to avoid the crowds downtown). The Nats play the Mets on Sunday, part of a four-game series that begins today, July 1. And Sunday is a Family Fun Day, which means special Family Fun Packs are available, guests can arrive early for an autograph session with some of the players, and children can loop the infield during Kids Run the Bases following the game. Visit the Nationals website for more info and to purchase tickets.

8th Annual Capitol Hill Parade
Some of the neighborhoods around town are celebrating on a smaller scale, including Capitol Hill. The community parade will begin being at 10am at 8th & I Streets SE, making its way around the neighborhood and ending at Eastern Market Metro plaza. Hang out in the area after for a Family Festival—Naval Lodge No. 4 is hosting food and fun from 11am – 4pm at 335 Eighth St. SE (where the Eastern Market Flea Market takes place). Admission is free.

Concert in the Park featuring Son of the Beach
The Citizens Association of Georgetown is hosting the last of the series at Volta Park on July 4. Festivities start with a parade around the neighborhood at 4:30pm, followed by music from Son of the Beach and fun and games for the whole family—tug ‘o war, water balloon tossing, pie-eating contests, cookie decorating, and more. Admission is free. The park is located at 34th Street and Volta Place NW.

1 Comment

Filed under All ages, Annual, Festival, Live Entertainment, Music, Outdoor, Seasonal, Sports, Summer, Weekend