Last-Minute Tips for Your Fourth of July in D.C.

Children ride their bikes to Rose Park Fourth of July picnic, July 4, 2011
Robert Devaney
Children ride their bikes to Rose Park Fourth of July picnic, July 4, 2011

Whether you’re firing up the grill for a good, ol’ fashioned barbeque or filling up the gas tank to head down to the National Mall, there is no excuse not to have plans this Independence Day. But, just in case you’re drawing a blank this year, check out our list of patriotic parties, entertaining events and joyous jubilees around the D.C. area for some ideas.

Fun For the Family:

On Independence Day, there is nothing more American than spending time with loved ones. For a fun-filled, family affair, head down to Constitution Avenue and 7th Street at 11:45 A.M. for the National Independence Day parade. Let your banners wave by cheering on invited bands, celebrities, military and specialty units and more, as they show their American pride. Go to to find out more.

Amidst the melodic melee, grab a blanket and a seat on the National Mall for the can’t-miss centerpiece of D.C.’s Independence Day celebration: the fireworks. At approximately 9:10 P.M., the annual Fourth of July fireworks will be launched from the Reflecting Pool area to light up the night sky. For more information on various viewing areas and tips on preparation plans, visit

Late Night, Date Night:

More excitement is sure to follow at PBS’s A Capitol Fourth concert at the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. From 8 to 9:30 P.M., watch T.V. personality Tom Bergeron host the musical celebration and enjoy tunes from “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips, “The Voice” winner Javier Colon, Tony Award-winning actor Matthew Broderick, R&B legends Kool & The Gang, among others. Check out for more details.

Looking for something more low-key? All aboard the Boomerang Boat! For an enjoyable evening sailing down Potomac River, grab a date and join the crew for a Fourth of July Fireworks cruise. Dance the night away on the main cabin, marvel at the DC panoramic cityscape, or sip on a signature cocktail at the cash bar. Before meeting at the Georgetown Waterfront to set sail, Click here for more information.

Close to Home:

On July 4, the Citizens Association of Georgetown Concert in the Park features the By & By Band and the Fourth of July Parade. Parade begins at 4:30 p.m. at the basketball courts; concerts begin at 5 p.m. Rose Park, 26th and P Streets, NW.

Take part in the Palisades 4th of July Parade, 11 a.m. Don't miss the best, little parade in D.C. or America, for that matter, along MacArthur Boulevard. Anyone can be a spectator or participant. Just show up on time at Whitehaven Parkway near Our Lady of Victory School. Marchers preferred; one vehicle per group. (Horses excluded from the rules.) Parade moves north to a picnic at the recreation center. Visit](

Home for the Holiday:

For the holiday homebody, try this festive recipe to add some pizazz to your Fourth of July celebration. Here’s a sweet treat that is perfect for a quiet evening at home or an afternoon barbeque. Although it may appear to be just another vanilla cake from the outside, cut one slice of the patriotic pastry and you’re sure to see fireworks. Check out for more pictures.

Fourth of July Flag Cake


Vanilla cake mix

Red and blue food coloring

Vanilla frosting


Prepare two Vanilla cake mixes (using any Vanilla cake recipe you love.)

Prepare two 8” cake pans by coating them with a small amount of butter and flour and placing parchment paper in the bottom.

Prepare one batch of batter and color it red.

Divide the batter equally and pour into the two prepared pans.

Bake as instructed by your recipe.

While the red cakes are baking, prepare another batch of batter.

Divide the batter into two bowls and color one of the bowls of batter blue.

Leave the remaining bowl of batter uncolored.

When your red cakes have baked and cooled, remove from pans. Wash and then prepare pans for the white and blue batter.

Bake (You want to end up with one 8” round blue cake, one 8” round white cake, and two 8” round red cakes.)

Slice the two red cakes in half (horizontally), so you’ll have a total of four red layers. Set one aside for one layer, this will not be used for the cake. Cut a 4” circle out of one of the layers. So you want to have two 8” round layers and one 4” round layer.

Cut the white cake in half as well. Then use a 4” cookie cutter to cut a circle out of one of the halves.

Use a 4” cookie cutter again to cut out the center of your blue cake.

You’re ready to assemble your cake when you have: one thick layer of blue with the center cut out, two 8” layers of red, one 4” layer of red, one 8” layer of white, one 4” layer of white.

Assemble cake with a thin layer of frosting between each layer of cake, starting on the bottom with red cake, then white, then red, then blue.

Add some frosting along the inside “ring” of the blue cake to hold in the next two layers which will fit inside the opening.

Fill the hole in the blue cake with a 4” round layer of cake, some frosting, and then the 4” round of red.

Once assembled, frost the cake as desired. Chill the frosted cake in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve it.

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Fri, 23 Jun 2017 07:57:46 -0400

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