Although there are no fireworks blasting off from Arlington, there are many great spots where you can view the National Mall fireworks.

Air Force Memorial is located on Columbia Pike by the Navy Annex.  There is a free Air Force Band concert beginning at 8pm.  The closest metro stations are Pentagon and Pentagon City.  It’s not too bad of a walk.  You can also park at Navy Annex parking lots or park at Pentagon Mall and walk over.

Gateway Park is a 3-acre park in Rosslyn just across the Key Bridge from Georgetown.  Bonus of restrooms at the park!

Gravelly Point is a great spot because it is directly across the river from the National Mall show, and reflection of the fireworks in the Potomac is amazing.  It is a fairly spacious grassy area along the Mount Vernon Trail.  No glass bottles or alcohol are allowed anywhere along the Parkway.  If you decide to drive, reaching the parking lot can be difficult. Head south on GW Parkway until you reach Reagan National Airport.  At the airport, circle back to head north onto the Parkway towards the 14th Street Bridge.  About a quarter of mile before the bridge, turn right into the parking area.  Parking in the lot is difficult as there are minimal spots, and bicycling and metro are great alternative options.  Crystal City metro is around a 20 minute walk along the Mt. Vernon Trail.  You can also take the Reagan National airport metro station, but you do have to walk through the airport and parking lots.

The Iwo Jima Memorial is also near the Rosslyn Metro station.  Iwo Jima is only around 5 blocks from the station.  As with all of these spots, you have to get there early to get a good spot!   Some people get there as early as 4pm.  Bring a blanket and picnic to pass the time.

Key BridgeAlthough there is no seating on the bridge, you can stand on the sidewalks.  There are pedestrian walkways on either side of the bridge to watch the show.

Lady Bird Johnson Park is a little tougher to get to than some of the other spots, but it is less crowded and has really great views.   Take the Arlington Cemetery metro station, and walk the bike path down toward the Columbia Island Marina.  Restrooms are open.  If you want to drive, head south on GW Parkway and turn right into Marina after signs for Lyndon B. Johnson Memorial Grove and Columbia Island Marina (before the Humpback Bridge).

Mount Vernon Trail  Yes, Gravely Point is a great spot, but there are many other places along the Mount Vernon Trail to watch the fireworks.  Simply walk along the trail and stake out a spot free of trees.

Another option is the Falls Church fireworks!  The show is at George Mason High School, with live music starting at 7pm, and fireworks will follow at 9:20pm.

Parades

Arlington

Many neighborhoods in Arlington hold community parades on Independence Day.

  • Albemarle Street @ 9am- starts at 32nd and Albemarle Streets.
  • Barcroft Neighborhood @ 10am- starts at the Barcroft Community Center at 8th Street S. and S. Buchanan Street.
  • Bellevue Forest @ 9am- starts at Roberts Lane and Oxford Street.
  • Douglas Park @ 10:30am- starts at S. Monroe Street and 14th Street S.
  • Dover Crystal and Riverwood @ 10am- starts at 25th and Pollard Streets.
  • Fairlington Village @ 10am- S. 31st Street and S. Abingdon Streets.
  • Lyon Village @ 11am- starts at Key Boulevard and Highland Street.

The National Independence Day Parade in DC starts at 11:45 and runs down Constitution Avenue from 7th Street to 17th Street.  The Parade consists of bands, fife and drum corps, floats, military and specialty units, giant balloons, equestrian & drill teams, VIP’s, national dignitaries, and celebrity participants. During the afternoon, live entertainment will be on the Mall, and at the

The Capitol Hill Parade will begin at 8th and I streets S.E.  There will be classic cars, Boy & Girl Scouts, marching bands, the Fairy Princess Patrol, and dancers! Following the parade is a community fair at Eastern Market Metro Plaza with food, entertainment, and kid’s games.  The route: 8th and I SE north to D St SE, left on D, right on 7th St SE, the Metro plaza is on the right.  Parade starts at 10am and lasts for about an hour, ending at the Eastern Market Metro Plaza.

Other 4th of July Activities

National Archives Building annual reading of the Declaration of Independence at 10am.  On the Constitution Avenue steps, between 7th and 9th Streets, veteran news broadcaster John Palmer will be emcee, with a keynote address by the Honorable Royce C. Lamberth, Chief Judge, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.  The main attraction is the annual dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence.  From 11am – 2pm there will be family activities inside the National Archives Building.  You can also meet historical figures in the rotunda, such as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Abigail Adams, and members of the American Historical Theatre.  You can also sign a full-size facsimile of the Declaration of Independence, and listen to stories of our patriotic past in the Boeing Learning Center at 11:30am, 12:30pm, and 1:30pm.

White House Visitor Center– from 10am to 3pm you will have the chance to be a “Signer of the Declaration of Independence for a Day,” with the help of NPS rangers and volunteers from President’s Park.  The day’s events include games, crafts, and other activities designed for both children and adults.  White House Visitor Center is located on Pennsylvania Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets, N.W., on the north side of the Commerce Department Building.


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