Washington DC is a spectacular place to celebrate July 4th! The National Mall is the center of all of the Independence Day Celebrations in DC. There are events all day, beginning with a parade along Constitution Avenue and ending with a fireworks display over the Washington Monument.
The 4th of July celebrations in Washington, DC are among the most attended events of the year and many people arrive early to stake out a seat on the lawn. There are plenty of activities scheduled throughout the day to keep the whole family busy.
Washington, DC’s Independence Day Parade
Parade Start Time: 11:45 a.m.
Parade Route: Constitution Avenue and 7th to 17th Sts.
See a map of the parade route
Washington, DC’s 4th of July Parade features marching bands, military and specialty units, floats, and VIP’s. The parade draws a large crowd, so plan to arrive early to stake out a good viewing spot. Read more about the National Independence Day Parade
A Capitol Fourth Concert
Time: 8 – 9:30 p.m. (Admittance begins at 3 p.m.)
Location: West Lawn of the U. S. Capitol
A 4th of July tradition in the nation’s capital 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 and show is followed by a spectacular display of fireworks over the Washington Monument. The concert is free and open to the public. No tickets are necessary. The annual event will be broadcast live on WETA TV 26 with a repeat airing at 10:00 p.m. See photos of the performers for A Capitol Fourth 2015.
4th of July Fireworks on the National Mall
Fireworks Time: At dark, usually around 9:15 p.m. Rain Date: July 5th
Launch Location: The fireworks are launched from the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool and light up the sky over the Washington Monument. See Photos of the Fireworks
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)
Spectacular 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. You may park at the Gravelly Point parking lot, which is about a quarter mile from the 14th Street Bridge. Another great place to watch the fireworks is from the Air Force Memorial on Columbia Pike. An all day festival will be held at Long Bridge Park in Arlington providing a prime location to view the National Mall fireworks.
Getting to the National Mall
The best way to get to the National Mall is to take the Metro. Stations nearby include Smithsonian, Metro Center, Gallery Place-Chinatown, Judiciary Square, Federal Triangle and L’Enfant Plaza.The Smithsonian Metro station will be open all day! It typically takes 1 ½ to 2 hours to clear the Mall after the fireworks.
Public access to the National Mall begins at 10:00 a.m., with all visitors required to enter via a security checkpoint. Read more about getting to the National Mall, public transportation, parking, security and road closures.
Information above is from About.com. Visit their website HERE for much more information about the DC July 4th celebrations, including the best places to view the fireworks.
If you’d prefer to avoid the crowds of the city, there are plenty of alternative places to watch fireworks. For Fireworks in Virginia click here
Photos: Capitol Concerts and Miller Taylor