11 Ways to Celebrate July 4th in the DC Area


The 4th of July is especially fun in the DC area. Parades, fireworks, baseball games…there is so much to choose from. Here are eleven ways you can celebrate our nation’s 247th birthday this year. Whatever you do, we hope you have tons of fun with your family and friends!

July 4th fireworks

1. McLean 4th of July Fireworks

July 1st from 6:30pm – 10:30pm
Kickstart your 4th of July celebration over the weekend 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.

2. Fairfax City 57th Annual Independence Day Celebration

July 2nd at 6:30pm
July 4th at 10am
Festivities begin at 6:30pm on July 2nd with music by Ocho de Bastos and dancing. A fireworks display will begin when it gets dark. Continue the celebration at the city’s Annual Independence Day parade on July 4th. There will be marching bands, parade balloons, floats, and clowns. See the website for information regarding the parade route.

3. Washington Nationals vs. Cincinnati Reds

July 3rd 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 Cincinnati Reds in the “Patriotic Series.” The game on July 3rd will include “Freedom Fireworks.” The game on July 4th begins at 11:05am, leaving plenty of time for late afternoon and evening festivities.

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 at 10am
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. Takoma Park 4th of July Parade

July 4th at 10am
Takoma Park’s Independence Day Parade will be full of fun for the whole family! Its theme this year is “Celebrating Democracy in Takoma Park.” Check out the website for route details.

8. Palisades 4th of July Parade and Picnic

July 4th at 11am
The 57th Annual Parade will begin at 11am. 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 Palisades Park & Rec Center that will include hot dogs, drinks, music, moon bounce, and dunk tank.

9. National Independence Day Parade

July 4th from 11:45am – 2pm
This annual celebration of our nation’s birthday 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.

10. 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. The patriotic evening of pop, country, R&B, classical, and Broadway entertainment, will be hosted by Alfonso Ribeiro. The public can attend this concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol for FREE. Gates open to the public at 3:30. Check out the event website for all details. And if the 4th of July crowds aren’t appealing, the concert dress rehearsal on July 3rd is also open to the public. You can see performers such as Chicago and Boys II Men with a bit less hassle!

11. July 4th Fireworks on the National Mall

July 4th at 9:09pm
Celebrate the nation’s 247th 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).

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Julie Hart
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