Each year, on the 4th of July, Washington, D.C., sizzles with excitement and expectation, as fireworks celebrations abound in practically every neighborhood and community in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Of course, Washington, D.C., leads the charge with fireworks on the National Mall that can be viewed from a number of prime locations, including along the Potomac River on the Virginia side.
Check out these favorite fireworks displays for an evening of fun, family time on the 4th of July.
Some of these events are all-day celebrations. Many have food and beverages available. Some of these venues, like the Polo Grounds, may charge for parking. Most have music and other entertainment leading up to fireworks at dusk, dark or after 9 p.m. Remember to check the web for details, fireworks times, and directions. Better yet: call a friend, grab the picnic basket and blanket, and off you go!
National Mall. Fireworks at dark. Rain date: July 5th. No parking available. Best to take Metro Rail. The very best viewing areas: U. S. Capitol; Lincoln Memorial; Jefferson Memorial; East Potomac Park; National Mall; Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima Monument) in Arlington, Virginia; Virginia side of the Potomac River, along the George Washington Memorial Parkway; or, from the river itself (private boat/cruise ships.) These fireworks are always worth the trouble. And, the music and crowds are just splendid!
George Mason High School, Falls Church. Music/entertainment at 7 p.m. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m. One of my personal favorites!
Fairfax High School, Fairfax. Music/entertainment at 7 p.m. Fireworks at dark. Fantastic crowd!
Langley High School, McLean. Fireworks at dark. A real McLean tradition!
Community Center, Herndon. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Great, community gathering.
Lake Fairfax Park, Reston. Fireworks at 9:15 p.m. Exceptional crowd, music and entertainment, and a lovely setting.
Ida Lee Park, Leesburg. Opens at 6 p.m. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m. A great, old fashioned 4th of July!
Oronoco Bay Park,Alexandria. Special event on July 11, 2009, beginning at 4 p.m. Alexandria Symphony Orchestra concert at 9 p.m. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m. A lovely setting. One of my personal favorites!
Montgomery County Fairgrounds, Gaithersburg. (301) 258-6350. Gates open at 5 p.m. Music/entertainment at 7 p.m. Fireworks at dusk. Some gates closed for event. Join Marylanders for great fun and hot fireworks!
Montgomery College, Rockville. Entertainment at 7 p.m. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Parking at Rockville Town Center. A little crowded, but a real crowd pleaser.
Soccerplex, Boyds/Gathersburg. Music at 7 p.m. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Great, new venue.
Polo Grounds, Poolesville. Music at 6 p.m. Fireworks at 9 p.m. $5.00 parking fee.
Albert Einstein High School, Kensington. Music at 7:30 p.m. Fireworks at 9:15 p.m. Lots of room to spread out your blanket and take in the sights.
Takoma Park Middle School, Takoma Park. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m.
University of Maryland, College Park. Music/food/entertainment at 7 p.m. Fireworks around 9 p.m. Good, clean, college fun!
Six Flags America, Mitchellville. 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular. Open all day from 10:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Fireworks to follow. All the bells and whistles!
Buddy Attick Lake Park,Greenbelt. Music/entertainment at 4 p.m. Fireworks at dusk/dark. Lovely setting.
Baker Park,Frederick. Music/entertainment on four stages, fireworks follow in Carillon area at dusk. Exceptional setting. Check it out this year!
National Harbor, Gaylord National Resort. Fireworks/festival on July 3, 2009. Music/entertainment at 4:30 p.m. Fireworks at sundown. Check out one of Washington, D.C.’s latest attractions!
Annapolis City Dock, Annapolis. Parade at 6 p.m. Navy Band Concert prior to Fireworks at 9:15 p.m. You won’t believe the views!
Lake Kittamaquandi,Towne Center, Columbia. Music/entertainment at 5 p.m. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Where everyone goes, check it out!
Washington, D.C. Official Tourism Guide
Washington Post — DC Events
Fourth of July Celebrations Database
NOVA Online – Fireworks
The Science behind the Spectacle
National Council-Firework Safety