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Monday, May 2, 2016

Fun things to do in Washington DC on July 4


Summer in Washington is a sizzling time, and not just for the seasonally warm temperatures we typically see. Every year people head to the U.S. Capital to see the sights and experience all there is to offer in this historic city. 

The District offers many things to see and do at any given time of the year, but come Fourth of July, special events are planned throughout the day. There are a number of wonderful celebrations commemorating America's birthday.

 
Float in July 4 parade in Washington DC

 

National Independence Day Parade

 

Every year on July 4, the National Independence Day Parade takes place. All along Constitution Ave., between 7th to 17th Street, thousands of people line up to watch the parade. The parade commences at 11:45 a.m. each year, and spectators watch bands, military units, floats, balloons, VIPs and other celebrity participants, in a wide display of red, white and blue.

National Independence Day Parade


National Independence Day Parade


National Archives ceremony


Every year crowds gather at the National Archives to celebrate the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence's adoption. 2017 marks its 241st year. To commemorate this significant event, on the morning of July 4 there is a reading of the Declaration of Independence by historical reenactors and patriotic music. This event begins at 8 a.m. and runs until 11 a.m. when visitors can then turn their attention to watch the parade.


After the ceremony there are family fun activities planned from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors to the National Archives can also get an opportunity to view the original copy of the historic document. The National Archives building is located on Constitution Ave. NW, between 7th and 9th Streets. Seating for the event is first come, first serve basis.

Baseball Game at Nationals Park


If baseball  is your thing, a day at Nationals' park is another option. Home games are traditionally scheduled during Independence Day. In 2017 the Nationals will play the New York Mets on July 4 with its usual 11:05 a.m. start time.

Nationals Park Stars and Stripes Series


Fireworks/Concerts


After the day events come to a close, the city continues to celebrate with an annual concert and fireworks show. This show is typically a televised broadcast across the nation. The concerts always feature popular celebrities and the fireworks are spectacular. To be honest, I've always left downtown after the day activities as it is crowded and seems to get even more so as the day goes on, but the National Park Service offers some tips for attending.  

Of course, most, if not all, of the year-round and summer attractions are always an option, many of them free of charge. The District has plenty to offer including the monuments, many museums, river cruises, water sports and other events.

It is important to note that due to heightened security, getting into the National Mall for any of the events will require going through a security check. Additionally, July in Washington can be very warm, so dress appropriately, wear comfortable shoes and plan to drink lots of water.

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