July Fourth is creeping up on us, and it is time to get your plans together. As the nation’s capital and site of many important historical and government landmarks, Washington DC has many events to celebrate our independence. From parades and live music to educational events and tours, there are plenty of Fourth of July celebrations to keep you busy all weekend long.
Washington, DC For the Fourth of July
Fireworks on the National Mall
Pace yourself through the daytime festivities because one of the biggest and best summer celebrations isn’t until the sun goes down. The National Park Service puts on Fireworks on the National Mall each year for a spectacular display that can be seen for miles around. Bring a picnic blanket or low chairs to scout out your seat early and prepare to be awed by the dazzling lights. Additional viewing areas are available at rooftop bars in the area or aboard cruises on the Potomac.
National Independence Day Parade
The National Independence Day Parade is an annual event at the National Mall, attended by national dignitaries, military units, drill teams and bands. The procession of floats and performers makes its way down Constitution Avenue for the largest celebration of its kind. You can sign up to participate in the march, volunteer to help or just go and observe the festivities, lasting for a couple of hours. Go early to stake out a seat on the steps of the National Archives for the best view.
Washington Nationals Game
Celebrate American independence with America’s national pastime, the sport of baseball. The Washington Nationals are playing against the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park. Whether you go for the cracker jacks and hotdogs or to root for the home team, it is bound to be a fun time. The Nationals currently have the worst record in Major League Baseball, so going to support the underdog team might be the most American thing you can do all day.
July Fourth Musical Celebration
If live music is more your thing, check out the July Fourth Musical Celebration at Washington National Cathedral. The Washington Symphonic Brass band and cathedral organists will be performing a patriotic music program appropriate for the whole family. If you are unable to make it in person, the concert will also be available to stream online.
Smithsonian Folklife Festival
July Fourth is the last day to check out the Smithsonian Folklife Festival for an educational event that celebrates some of our country’s most important qualities. Live music, films, workshops and demonstrations abound on topics including food, dance and culture. Participants can complete art projects, taste regional dishes and learn about our environment from Smithsonian staff and members of the community. The festival is free to attend, and a schedule of events is available online to help with planning.