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The 4th of July celebrations in DC are among the most attended events of the year and many people arrive early to stake out a seat on the lawn.

VIA ABOUT.COM: There are plenty of activities scheduled throughout the day to keep the whole family busy.

Getting to the National Mall

The best way to get to the National Mall is to take the Metro. Stations nearby include Metro Center, Gallery Place-Chinatown, Judiciary Square, Federal Triangle and L’Enfant Plaza.The Smithsonian Metro station will be closed on the Fourth. 

Public access to the National Mall begins at 10:00 a.m., with all visitors required to enter via a security checkpoint. Read more about getting to the National Mall, public transportation, parking, security and road closures.

Washington, DC’s Independence Day Parade

Parade Start Time: 11:45 a.m.

Parade Route: Constitution Avenue and 7th to 17th Sts.

See a map of the parade route 

Washington, DC’s 4th of July Parade features marching bands, military and specialty units, floats, and VIP’s. The parade draws a large crowd, so plan to arrive early to stake out a good viewing spot. Read more about the National Independence Day Parade 

Smithsonian Folklife Festival 

The annual event includes daily and evening music and dance performances, crafts and cooking demonstrations, storytelling and discussions of cultural issues. The themes of the 2009 program will be: Giving Voice: The Power of Words (African American Culture), The Americas and Wales. The hours on the 4th of July are 11 a.m to 5 p.m. Read more about the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. 

4th of July at the National Archives

The National Archives celebrates the 4th of July with special family programming celebrating the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Visit the National Archives Building for this special birthday party from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. See the schedule of events. 

White House Visitor Center Family Events

Between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., stop at the White House Visitor Center and enjoy games, crafts and other activities celebrating America’s Birthday. National Park Service rangers and volunteers will give you the opportunity to sample the sights, sounds, activities and personages that helped finalize the Declaration of Independence and create the United States of America on July 4, 1776. 

Concert on the Washington Monument Grounds

Beginning at 6:00 p.m. the United States Air Force Band plays on the Southwest corner of the grounds of the Washington Monument

A Capitol Fourth Concert

Time: 8 – 9:30 p.m. (Admittance begins at 3 p.m.)

Location: West Lawn of the U. S. Capitol

A 4th of July tradition in the nation’s capital includes a live concert by the National Symphony Orchestra and several pop artists performing patriotic music on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building. The concert and show is followed by a spectacular display of fireworks over the Washington Monument. The concert is free and open to the public. No tickets are necessary. The annual event is broadcast live on PBS with a repeat airing at 9:30-11:00 p.m. The concert will also be broadcast over National Public Radio on WAMU – 88.5 FM.See photos of A Capitol Fourth and performers for the 2009 concert. 

4th of July Fireworks on the National Mall

Fireworks Time: At dark, usually around 9:15 p.m. Rain Date: July 5th

Launch Location: The fireworks are launched from the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool and light up the sky over the Washington Monument. See Photos of the Fireworks 

Visit for a full list of the best places to view national mall fireworks.

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