From watching the fireworks on the National Mall to backyard barbecues with your closest family and friends, the Fourth of July is always a time to celebrate in the Washington, DC region. Independence Day brings people together to kick back, relax and escape from their daily routines. Let’s focus on a few of the many activities to take advantage of in the national capital region.
To begin the day, catch the hometown Washington Nationals play the Milwaukee Brewers in the national pastime, with the first pitch at 11:05 AM. Another notable daytime activity is the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, which features performances, art exhibits, food and activities from around the world. This year pays tribute to the history and heritage of feature country Hungary.
The Independence Day Parade kicks off at 11:45 AM and runs along Constitution Avenue, from 7th to 17th Streets. Another Fourth of July tradition in DC includes a live concert by the National Symphony Orchestra and several pop artists performing patriotic music on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building. The concert is free and open to the public. No tickets are necessary but make sure to get there early, as there will be large crowds.
Once the concert is over, turn your attention to the always-impressive National Mall Fireworks display, with the iconic backdrop of the Washington Monument as its canvas. The fireworks usually begin by 9:15 PM.
Best Places to View the National Mall Fireworks
- U.S. Capitol
- Lincoln Memorial
- Jefferson Memorial
- FDR Memorial
- East Potomac Park
- Rooftop Bars in Washington DC
- Rooftop of the W Hotel (tickets required)
- Anywhere along the National Mall between 14th Street and the Capitol
- Aboard a cruise along the Potomac River (tickets required)
- The hilltops in neighborhoods –
Other prime views of the fireworks can also be seen from the Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima)in Arlington, Virginia near the Rosslyn Metro station and areas along the Virginia side of the Potomac River that can be reached from George Washington Memorial Parkway. The Gravelly Point parking lot near Regan National Airport and the 14th Street Bridge is a popular spot. Another great place to watch the fireworks is from the Air Force Memorial on Columbia Pike.
Be sure to check out the National Park Services guide to dig deeper for information or any updates related to the festivities. For a more robust guide of activities throughout the week, look no further than the Washington Post.