Washington, D.C.’s fireworks display may not have been enough to get the city ranked higher than No. 5 on a national list of Fourth of July destinations, but it is the cornerstone of an annual sequence of patriotic events that make the District unlike any other place in the U.S. for Independence Day.
Maryland and Virginia have their own fireworks displays as well, though, and depending on where you live and what you have seen before, you may want see what else is out there. Here’s a rundown of shows and schedules for the D.C. area:
1. D.C.’s National Mall Show
The most iconic fireworks show in the United States can be seen from around the District. Beginning as soon as the sky goes dark, which will likely occur at about 9:15 p.m. on Friday, multicolored fireworks will light up the area around the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool as soon as the fuses are lit. Seats in front of the Lincoln Memorial can be a hot commodity, so arrive early if that’s where you want watch. Rooftop bars and parks can also be great places to stake out space. Just be sure to plan ahead. You don’t want to get caught searching for a place to sit or stand after the show has already begun.
2. Fairfax, Va.
Fairfax has its own fireworks show scheduled to begin at dark as well, with a daylong celebration including a 10 a.m. parade and 7 p.m. musical event at Fairfax High School rounding out the holiday.
3. Vienna, Va.
Vienna has a show planned, too. All the action during the day will take place at the Vienna Community Center. Food, music and entertainment will be on the schedule during daylight hours, with fireworks kicking off at approximately 9:15 p.m.
4. Reston, Va.
Reston’s Lake Fairfax Park will open up at 7 a.m. on July 4, and carousel and boat rides will be offered throughout the day before fireworks begin at 9:15 p.m. Hit this one up and you’ll be treated to a performance by the U.S. Army Field Band. There are campgrounds available nearby, too, if you feel like making an overnight trip out of the event.
5. Leesburg, Va.
Down in Leesburg, the festivities at the Ida Lee Park and Recreation Center will feature an ’80s cover band that goes by the name The Breakfast Club, as well as a 10 a.m. parade and plenty of food before the 9:30 p.m. fireworks show.
6. Manassas, Va.
Manassas will be rocking out to the tunes of a band called the Nitehawks and hosting an apple pie contest ahead of its July 4 fireworks show. All of that is part of one long mega-event from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m.
7. College Park, Md.
Fireworks are slated to begin around 9 p.m. at the University of Maryland’s Lot 1. The display will follow a live concert by The Nightlife Band at 7 p.m. Concessions will be open there starting at 5 p.m.
8. Takoma Park, Md.
Takoma Park is taking the Fourth of July seriously this year, since it’s the city’s 125th Independence Day celebration. The local parade begins at 10 a.m., and evening events kick off at 7 p.m. with a marimba band, raffle and 9:30 p.m. fireworks show scheduled as highlights.
9. Falls Church, Va.
Music by the Original Moonlighters Band starts at 7 p.m., and fireworks start at 9:20 p.m. at George Mason High School in Falls Church. If you want to watch the show, look for a seat at the Jack Gambill Athletic Fields or the Northern Virginia Graduate Center Parking Lot.
10. McLean, Va.
The Langley High School ground at 6520 Georgetown Pike will be the place to go for Independence Day in McLean. The school will open at 8 p.m., and fireworks should start going off around 9:15 p.m.