July 4, 2013
Cities big and small offer 4th of July celebrations on the favorite summer holiday of Independence Day. While many places plan excellent events full of fireworks and parades, there really is one place to be for this patriotic holiday: Washington DC - Our nation's capital is arguably the best place to be for celebrating America's birthday. If you're thinking of planning a Washington DC 4th of July this year, keep reading for everything you need to know on the event, from the official parade to the fireworks spectacular to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival .
Each year the Washington DC 4th of July takes place on the actual holiday , regardless of the day of the week. While some cities choose to celebrate 4th of July on the weekend closest to the holiday, Washington DC celebrates on the actual day. The festivities kick off with the Independence Day Parade that begins at 11:45 a.m. Following a route along Constitution Avenue in the Capitol Hill area, this parade includes everything from marching bands to floats to military units. Arrive early to secure a good viewing point for the parade.
After a day of festivities, the cherry on top to the Washington DC 4th of July is the fireworks on the National Mall . What could be a better backdrop for patriotic fireworks than the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and the National Mall? This scenery sets the scene for a memorable 4th of July celebration. The fireworks get started at dark, around 9:15 p.m. Fireworks are launched from the reflecting pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial and light up the sky above the Washington Monument .
Beyond the parade, there are many more daytime activities that make up a Washington DC 4th of July. While some cities only offer a fireworks show, this city offers scheduled festivities all day long. The Smithsonian Folklife Festival takes place on the National Mall from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and features music, dance, cooking demonstrations, and crafts. The National Archives building puts on a special program about the signing of the Declaration of Independence (open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.). The White House visitor center also offers entertainment from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. including games and crafts.
4th of July Music
The 4th of July is a festive occasion, and in Washington DC, the celebrations include music. Starting at 6 p.m., there is a concert on the Washington Monument grounds featuring U.S. Navy Band . Located on the southwest corner of the monument, this concert goes on until 9 p.m. Another separate concert is the "A Capitol Fourth Concert" held on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol building. This free concert is open to the public and gets started at 8 p.m. Live music is performed by the National Symphony Orchestra as well as several pop artists singing patriotic music. The grounds open at 3 p.m. for people that want to snag a seat early. After the concert is finished, the annual fireworks spectacular kicks off.
The 4th of July is one of the most popular times of year to visit Washington DC. This means that cramped hotels will be even more crowded during this holiday. Skip the crowds in favor of a sleek city condo and set the stage for a relaxing, enjoyable vacation. Families, couples, and groups of friends will enjoy all the extra space that a Capitol Hill vacation rental provides. If you're traveling on a budget, utilizing the kitchen can help keep costs down. Washington DC can be very hot and humid during the month of July and having some private space to retreat to will be essential.