12 Ways to Celebrate July 4th in the DC Area


Many of our area’s annual fireworks displays and other public gatherings are back after a couple of years of COVID-related cancellations. Here are twelve ways you can celebrate our nation’s 246th birthday in the DC area. Whatever you do, we hope you have fun with your family while staying safe and healthy.

July 4th fireworks

1. Washington Nationals vs. Miami Marlins

July 1st at 6:05pm
July 4th at 11:05am
Take the family out to the ball game! Cheer on your Washington Nationals as they take on the Miami Marlins in the “Patriotic Series.” The game on July 1st will include “Freedom Fireworks.” The game on July 4th begins at 11:05am, leaving plenty of time for late afternoon and evening festivities.

2. McLean 4th of July Fireworks

July 2nd from 6:30pm – 10:30pm
Kickstart your weekend with a 4th of July celebration at Langley High School. This free, family-friendly event will include music and family fun. Food trucks will be on site. Shuttle service will be provided from a number of locations in McLean.

3. Fairfax City 56th Annual Independence Day Celebration

July 4th at 10am
July 5th at 6:30pm
Kick off Independence Day weekend at this 56th annual parade on July 4th. There will be marching bands, parade balloons, floats, and clowns. See the website for information regarding the parade route. Continue the celebration on July 5th with music and dancing. A fireworks display will begin when it gets dark.

4. July 4th with the National Archives

July 4th from 9am – 4pm
What better place to celebrate our Declaration of Independence than at the National Archives? This celebratory event will begin with live music, followed by a live reading of the Declaration of Independence. Attendees will also enjoy the fife and drum corps and family-friendly activities such as a scavenger hunt. This event is free and open to the public. Seating on the Archives’ steps for the reading of the Declaration of Independence is first-come first-served.

5. “An American Celebration” at Mount Vernon

July 4th from 9am – 5pm
Celebrate America’s independence at Mount Vernon. There will be several activities to enjoy such as meeting George Washington, daytime fireworks, a musical performance by the National Concert Band, and observing a naturalization ceremony. Purchase tickets in advance and check out the schedule of events online.

6. Barracks Row Parade

July 4th from 10am – 11am
This annual Hill tradition expects nearly 5,000 people to attend this year’s event. Families will once again celebrate Independence Day as a community, watching floats, marching groups, and more as they parade down 8th Street, SE.

7. College Park Fourth of July Parade

July 4th at 11am
College Park’s annual fireworks show has been cancelled, but the Fourth of July parade is still on! The city is currently looking for marching bands, local organizations, military units, and more to participate in the parade that will march along Rhode Island Ave. Check back with the website closer to the 4th for more details.

8. Palisades 4th of July Parade and Picnic

July 4th at 11am
The 56th Annual Parade and Picnic are on this year. Neighbors are invited to participate in the parade by walking in it or creating a float. After the parade, attendees are invited to celebrate America’s birthday at a free picnic at the Rec Center that will include hot dogs, drinks, music, and moon bounces.

9.  What to the Slave is the 4th of July?

July 4
Anacostia Park
Washington, DC
Actor Nathan Richardson will re-enact Frederick Douglass’ famous 4th of July speech at Anacostia Park (near the skating pavilion) at 11am. This free event will include other family-friendly events such as hands-on activities and taking a walk with Frederick Douglass.

10. National Independence Day Parade

July 4th from 11am – 2pm
This annual celebration is back! Your family can once again celebrate our nation’s birthday at this parade that will go along Constitution Ave NW from 7th to 17th St NW. Cheer along marching bands, floats, balloons, and more with the monuments and stately buildings of DC as the backdrop. Attendees can set up their viewing spot anywhere along the route. There is limited seating on the steps of the National Archives building.

11. A Capitol Fourth

July 4th from 8pm – 9:30pm
America’s national Independence Day celebration will once again honor July 4th with an all-star salute which will broadcast on PBS. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional live A Capitol Fourth will not be held on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. However, the patriotic evening of pop, country, R&B, classical, and Broadway entertainment, hosted by country music star and four-time Grammy-nominee Mickey Guyton, will be televised. The broadcast will also televise the annual fireworks show at the National Mall. If you choose to celebrate the 4th at home, check out the show’s website which includes patriotic recipes, decoration ideas, games, and playlists that will help you host a super fun at-home event.

12. July 4th Fireworks on the National Mall

July 4th at 9:09pm
Celebrate the nation’s 246th birthday by viewing this annual fireworks display that will launch from both sides of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. Please refer to the NPS website for more information about road closures, prohibited items, directions, etc. If you don’t want to head to the Mall, there are other areas of town where you can find good views of the fireworks. Additional spots to enjoy the fireworks are: the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial; Columbia Island/Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove; and Gravelly Point (north of Reagan National Airport).

Previous articleToddler-Friendly Summer Scavenger Hunt!
Next article4 Best Lavender Fields in the DMV
Julie is a proud born and bred Texan, but has called DC home since 2001. She studied at the University of Texas and then moved to DC to get her MPA at the George Washington University. Julie worked for ten years for a Member of Congress, where she loved working to impact public policy. In 2013, her world turned inside out when she gave birth to twins and decided to become a stay-at-home mom. Currently Julie lives in the H Street Corridor with her husband, two kids, and their increasingly grouchy senior dog, Presley. Yes, please: movie dates with her husband, trying new restaurants, exploring DC with her kids, last minute road trips, being outdoors, festivals (of any kind), girls’ night out, and a rainy day with “Pride and Prejudice.” No, thank you: hot and humid summers, mistreating animals, Legos (ouch!), public speaking, laundry, raw fish