Thursday, June 25, 2015

Celebrating July 4 in Washington D.C. with a parade and fireworks

June is already coming to a close and before we know it, the 4th of July will be upon us! As summertime kicks into full swing, what better place to celebrate America's day of Independence than in the U.S. Capital? Every year the large parade takes place along Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th Street. 

The parade features invited bands, fife and drum corps, military units, colonial re-enactors, giant floats and balloons, equestrian, drill teams, VIPs, national dignitaries and celebrities. This event is amazing and a grand event to celebrate America's birthday.

The parade takes place on (what else!) July 4th and, as customary, the parade begins at 11:45 a.m. I'd recommend you get there early because parking is bound to be a nightmare and the Metro will be jam-packed. You also want to ensure you get a good viewing of the parade so as not to miss a thing. It’s been a few years since I’ve attended, but we got there early and, despite a bit of a wait, had a great time. 

In addition to the parade, there are still a number of other activities going on throughout the day down on the National Mall, such as at the National Archives (this takes place at 10 a.m. before the parade). Also, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival typically coincides with America's birthday.

The National Mall area opens at 10 a.m. for public access and, keep in mind, you do need to go through security checkpoints to enter the area. Watch for signs, or if there is any construction going on, that can switch things up in any given year.

The spectacular and famous fireworks begin at dark, which typically falls around 9:15 p.m. (If you can't stay for the fireworks, these are also televised, it's probably not the same – just a guess on my part since we usually head out back to Virginia long before the fireworks – but my family thinks it’s still a great event to see on TV!)

Have a happy and safe July 4th!

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