Celebrate the Red, White and Blue
It’s Independence Day and the U.S. of A. is 238 years old. Of course, living in the national’s capital, that means fireworks on the National Mall. But many of the suburbs have their own celebrations and fireworks displays without the tourists or the crowds. There’s also other Fourth of July events going on in the area if you’re in town or it isn’t too hot outside to wander out of the air conditioning or swimming pool.
On July 4, Metrorail is open from 7 a.m.-3 a.m. Trains will run on a Saturday schedule until about 2 p.m., and then gradually ramp up to near rush-hour service levels before and after the fireworks. Parking will be free at all Metro-operated facilities. Rush+ will not be in effect. Due to large crowds, bicycles and large coolers are not permitted. Riders are encouraged to use stations other than Smithsonian or Federal Triangle, which see the heaviest ridership for events n the National Mall events. Smithsonian Station will be open throughout the day, but the Mall entrance will become “entry-only” at the concluIsion of the fireworks display. Metrobusses will run on a Saturday schedule, but there will be detours around the National Mall.
The rest of the weekend, Orange, Blue, Green and Yellow line trains will operate at regular weekend intervals. Yellow Line trains will only operate from Huntington to Fort Toten. Red Line trains will operate every 15 minutes between Shady Grove and Glenmont and every 10 minutes from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. between Grosvenor an/d Silver Spring.
July 4th at the National Archives: The highlight of this annual event is the 10 a.m. reading of the Declaration of Independence by actors portraying Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Ned Hector. Family activities, including crafts and storytelling, and opportunities to view the Charters of Freedom follow from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Constitution Avenue and Seventh Street NW.
Independence Day Parade: This two-hour parade steps off at 11:45 a.m. and brings together floats, marching bands from across the country, members of the military and dignitaries for a procession along Constitution Avenue NW from Seventh to 17th streets.
U.S. Air Force Band’s Max Impact: The Air and Space Museum at Independence Avenue and Sixth Street NW hosts the U.S. Air Force Band’s six-piece rock band as it performs patriotic favorites as well as rock and country staples in mini-concerts on the hour between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Capitol Grounds open: Folks heading to the West Lawn for the evening’s “A Capitol Fourth” concert can begin entering through security checkpoints at Third Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW or Third Street and Maryland Avenue SW.
A Capitol Fourth: Tom Bergeron hosts this celebrity-studded concert by the National Symphony Orchestra. Former American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, Michael McDonald, Patti LaBelle and Four Seasons star Frankie Valli are joined by Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy and plenty of others for this year’s live taping from the Capitol’s West Lawn.
National Mall: Stake a claim on a patch of grass near the Washington Monument or on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial for the fireworks display. Don’t forget to bring a blanket to sit on. Public access to the Mall begins at 10 a.m. and requires a security screening. Be aware that the fireworks are launched near the Lincoln Memorial, so that will be the loudest spot. All events are free.
Boom in the Burbs
Bowie: In 2013, Bowie moved its annual Fourth of July celebration to Prince George’s Stadium, 4101 Crain Hwy., home of the Bowie Baysox. The festivities return to the 10,000-seat stadium at 9:15 p.m. The Fabulous Hubcaps perform oldies before and after the main event. Gates open at 6 p.m. and the band plays at 7:30.
Fairfax: A parade featuring high school marching bands balloons and horses will loop around downtown Fairfax along Chain Bridge Road, Main Street, University Drive and Armstrong St. beginning at 10 a.m. Staring at 7 p.m. at Fairfax High School, 3501 Rbebe Run, dance to the rock ‘n roll music of Leggz. The City of Fairfax Band will perform the 1812 Ovature to kick of a fireworks display and Leggz will follow with a finale. FREE.
Falls Church: A concert by Motown band the Original Moonlighters at 7 p.m. followed by fireworks at 9:20 p.m. Bring blankets for seating at George Mason High School, 7124 Leesburg Pike. Free.
Gaithersburg: Head to Lakeforest Mall, where you can park and hop on a shuttle to the free Fourth of July celebration at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds, 16 Chestnut St., where a grand fireworks display draws families from across the region. Gates open at 5 p.m., so catch music from the Lloyd Dobler Effect, plus Elizabeth, Phil & Chris and other entertainers until dark, when the sky comes to life.
Kennsington: Music by the Fabulous Bel Airs at the Albert Einstein High School, Maryland Soccer Plex, 1134 Newport Mill Road, is followed by fireworks at 9:15 p.m. Free shuttle buses start at 6:15 p.m. from the Westfield Wheaton Metro parking garage adjacent to J.C. Penney. Rain date for fireworks is Saturday.
Leesburg: A parade steps off at 10 a.m. and travels down King Street to Fairfax Street. The evening’s events at Ida Lee Park, 60 Ida Lee Dr. NW, are decidedly less traditional, kicking off at 6:30 p.m. with a performance of ’80s rock by the Breakfast Club. Fireworks start at 9:30. Gates open at 6 p.m.
Manassas: Live music, an apple-pie-baking contest, a watermelon-eating contest, a children’s bike rodeo, and food vendors starting at 4 p.m. Bring a lawn chair or blanket to watch fireworks from the lawn of the Manassas Museum, Center Street.
Reston: The Lake Fairfax Park grounds, 1400 Lake Fairfax Drive, open at 7 a.m. with the Water Mine open 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and the carousel and marina open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. A puppet show will be from 4-6 p.m. Fireworks begin at 9:5 p.m. FREE.
Rockville: Music sets by the Fugitive Brass Band, Get off My Lawn and the Rockville Concert Band beginning at 7 p.m. at Montgomery College, 51 Mannakee St. precede a fireworks display at 9:15 p.m.
Takoma Park: A parade starts at 10 a.m. at Carroll and Ethan Allen Avenues, turns south on Carroll Avenue to Maple Avenue, then right on Maple Avenue to Ritchie Avenue. An evening program, featuring the Polphony Marimba Band, the Washington Adventist University gymnastics team and the Takoma Park Community Concert Band begins at 7 p.m. at Takoma Park Middle School, 7611 Pney Branch Road, with fireworks at approximately 9:30 p.m. Admission is FREE.
Vienna: The festivities in Vienna get started long before the free 9:15 p.m. display of colorful pyrotechnics at Southside Park, 1315 Ross Dr. SW. At 11 a.m., the Vienna Community Center, 20 Cherry St. SE, hosts a free chili cookoff, an antique car show, a parade of dogs decked out in their red-white-and-blue best and, for those looking for a respite from the heat, indoor arts-and-crafts.
Smithsonian Folklife Festival
A million people are expected on the National Mall during the http://www.festival.si.edu/ Smithsonian Folklife Festival, which kicked off last week and concludes on Sunday. There are 60 to 80 events each day, plus all-day craft and cooking demos and food sales. This year’s festival features China and Kenya. There are two concerts Saturday night from 6-8 p.m. Wu Man and Friends will perform in the Moonrise Pavilion. For the last three decades, performer and composer Wu Man has been a leading ambassador for Chinese music, blending traditional and contemporary elements through the pipa, a four-stringed plucked lute. She will be joined by Haruka Fujii on percussion and Yi Yang on the zheng zither. Benga Night will perform on the Ngoma Stage. Benga music is a distinctly Kenyan sound developed in the 1960s that bridges traditional Luo folk instruments like the nyatiti lute and Western rock guitars. Featuring artists Bosco Mulwa, Winyo, and Kenge Kenge, Benga Night explores the many ways that this style—characterized by its fast-paced rhythms and finger-picking guitar technique—incorporates both African roots and contemporary dance beats.
Through July 6 from 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on the National Mall between Seventh and 14th streets NW. There are concerts each evening from 6-8 p.m. Admission is FREE!
D.C. Meet Market
Logan Circle’s monthly community marketplace, www.dcmeetmarket.com D.C. Meet Markt, returns for a summer cookout spectacular. This time around, Kingston Seoul is set to cook up Korean barbecue, Dolcezza is planning to scoop gelato and Lady Hatchet will play reggae music as at 151 peruse a variety of locally made wares and art.
July 5 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at 1514 15th St. NW. Admission is FREE.