The coronavirus pandemic has led to the cancellation of so many of our daily activities and special occasions. Is the 4th of July even happening? As of May, quite a few Northern Virginia and D.C. Independence Day celebrations were canceled or postponed. Many Arlington-based events have been canceled, but the Federal Government still plans to have fireworks on the 4th that can be viewed in Arlington. The show is supposed to begin shortly after 9pm. If you have ever viewed the National fireworks display from one of the popular Arlington spots – the Air Force Memorial, Gateway Park, Gravelly Point, Key Bridge, Long Bridge Park, or the Marine Corp Memorial, to name a few – you know each one is usually packed. Not much of a chance for social distancing. So, even though the National fireworks are happening, is it even a good idea to go watch in person? And, it is not clear which venues will allow the public to gather as of this writing.
Whether you decide to watch the National fireworks in one of the spots listed above or not, here are some of the few other options that are still happening to help you celebrate Independence Day in Arlington:
The whole family, including the family dog, is invited to Courthouse Plaza to celebrate the first annual Freedom Fest, hosted by Courthaus Social. The local beer garden will be offering corn hole, Jenga, and an assortment of larger than life games, in addition to great food and drink, all on the plaza. And, Courthaus Social has taken very strict precautions to ensure the safety of its patrons. Click here to learn more.
For 50 years, Lyon Village has hosted a parade of antique police and fire vehicles to celebrate the 4th of July Holiday. Traditionally, the neighborhood has had a large picnic as well, but that has been canceled due to the risks associated with COVID-19. The parade starts at 11am at the corner of Key Boulevard and North Jackson Street and concludes at the corner of 17th and North Jackson Streets. Parade spectators are required to practice social distancing.
If you are not quite ready to venture out with the general public, there is an option to enjoy Independence Day from the comfort of your home. It is the 40th year of the Capitol 4th star-studded concert, broadcast on PBS. The live concert, which usually takes place on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol has been canceled. Instead, the annual tradition is going virtual. John Stamos and Vanessa Williams will host the 90-minute event, which will consist largely of pre-taped segments. The live portion will feature a multi-camera display of the National fireworks accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra. Watch the Capitol 4th on PBS or listen to it over your local NPR member station. The show begins at 8pm on the 4th. Check out the line-up of performers here.
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