Happy Birthday, America! July 4th Events, Places to View Fireworks
2014 Independence Day Events
National Archives: Reading of the Declaration of Independence
For the 238th anniversary of the signing of the the Declaration of Independence, sign a facsimile of the Declaration of Independence on the steps of the National Archives at 7th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, between 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Then, with color guards and music, the Declaration of Independence Reading Ceremony runs 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., along with emcee Steve Scully of C-Span and Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero -- and a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence by historical re-enactors, who will portray Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Ned Hector and others. There will activities at the Archives until 4 p.m. -- 202-357-5000; Archives.gov.
National Independence Day Parade
If you are at the Archives, why not stay for the parade, too? The National Independence Day Parade will begin 11:45 a.m. and will run along Constitution Avenue from Seventh to 17th Street, NW. For details, visit July4thParade.com.
The 48th Annual Palisades Parade and Picnic
As Georgetowners know, it is the best small-town parade in D.C. and will begin at 11 a.m. and will run up MacArthur Boulevard from Whitehaven Parkway to Edmunds and Sherier Place. The picnic will be at Palisades Recreation Center. All are welcome. If you wish to participate in the parade, show up before 11 a.m. If you have further questions or would like to volunteer, call Anne Ourand at 202- 363-7441 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Capitol Hill Parade
The parade will 10 a.m. begin at 8th and I Streets, SE, and wind up near Eastern Market. It will be led by the Marine Corps Commandant's Drum and Bugle Corps.
'A Capitol Fourth': A Star-Spangled Birthday
This July Fourth, America’s national Independence Day celebration on the West Lawn of the Capitol at 8 p.m. will salute our country’s 239th birthday with an all-star salute led by two-time Emmy Award-winning television personality Tom Bergeron, along with a cast of legendary performers. John Williams will introduce a new arrangement of "The Star-Spangled Banner" in honor of its 200th birthday and author Francis Scott Key. Expect a security check and access at 3 p.m.; 100 Constitution Ave., NE -- 202-226-8000.
Spots to See the Fireworks --
Georgetowners have a wide choice of viewing spots, as the neighborhood is close to the fireworks display. From Key Bridge to Washington Harbour and Georgetown Waterfront Park, there are open areas to view the pyrotechnics. Of course, many people go to their roofs briefly during their backyard parties to see the fireworks. The Capella and the Graham hotels have rooftops for viewing -- whether as a guest or a ticket-holder (at the Graham).
The National Mall
The best spot -- whatever your opinion of crowds , heat and humidity -- remains the National Mall, especially from the Lincoln Memorial looking eastward at the Washington Monument. There are restrictions and special entry points. Lots of details to consider here, visit www.nps.gov/foju. Remember: there is East Potomac Park nearby with good views and lots of space.
Other spots include:
= The White House lawn, if you were invited.
= The Kennedy Center roof terrance, if you have tickets -- but you are free to go to the plazas around the building to see the fireworks.
= The roof balcony of the Embassy of Canada, if you are on the list.
= The top of the National Museum of American History -- again, if you have a ticket.
= The Marine Corps Memorial -- you can walk over Key Bridge to Arlington to this spot at North Meade Street. (There's also the Air Force Memorial near the Pentagon on Columbia Pike.)