Savor summer’s biggest holiday – the Fourth of July – in the nation’s capital with fireworks on the National Mall, free festivities and so much more.


1 Wave the stars and stripes at the National Independence Day Parade

Esther Westerveld

Line up along Constitution Avenue to observe DC’s annual National Independence Day Parade. Expect to see fife and drum corps, military servicemen and women, elaborate floats and VIPs galore. The parade begins at 11:45 a.m. and is held between 7th and 17th streets.


2 Experience a free concert at the U.S. Capitol

A Capitol Fourth

Find a spot on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol for A Capitol Fourth, which begins at 8 p.m. The concert commonly features a star-studded lineup of musicians and a performance of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture by the National Symphony Orchestra. The grand finale features jaw-dropping fireworks over the National Mall.



3 Watch the fireworks against the DC skyline of monuments and memorials


Watching the fireworks is one of the highlights of DC’s Independence Day celebrations, and there are plenty of great spots to view them. You’ll find excellent vantage points from a few rooftop bars, sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, or across the river in Arlington. The fireworks show in the nation’s capital begins right around nightfall, typically just after 9 p.m.


Explore waterfronts in and around the District

The banks of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers are flourishing with some of the DC region’s most exciting destinations for live music, sports, concerts and on-the-water activities. During your Independence Day visit, check out all there is to see and do on the The Wharf, at Georgetown’s waterfront and many more waterfronts in and around the District.


Honor the Founding Fathers (and documents) at the National Archives

National Archives & Records Administration

Original copies of the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights are all on display at the National Archives. After seeing these essential and historic documents, meet the Founding Fathers who helped establish the birth of a nation with programming featuring costumed actors in Revolutionary-era attire.


Watch the fireworks matinee at George Washington’s Mount Vernon


Jon Humiston / George Washington’s Mount Vernon

Get out to George Washington’s Mount Vernon, about 30 minutes outside of the city by car or bus, for an all-day, turn-back-the-clock Fourth of July. Marvel at gorgeous scenes of the Potomac River from the Founding Father’s estate, and listen to Revolutionary War-era music while savoring Colonial-style ice cream. The event also includes a special daytime fireworks display.


Extra  Chill out at the Capitol Riverfront

Capitol Riverfront BID

Set along nearly two miles of the beautiful Anacostia River, the booming Capitol Riverfront neighborhood is the ideal setting to share the outdoors with friends and family while celebrating summer’s biggest holiday. The possibilities are seemingly endless here, so be sure to discover all of the neighborhood’s diningentertainment and exciting waterfront activities.