The Fourth of July in Northern Virginia 2011 – Where to Go and What to Do

With the Fourth of July rapidly approaching it’s time to start making plans for the weekend, especially if out-of-town guests are on hand.

Of course the concert and fireworks on the Mall is the big attraction but if you are looking for other venues in Northern Virginia, here is a check list of where to go and what to do:

Culpeper – A 5K race; historical reenactments; a battle of the bands; a parade and fireworks start at 9:15pm. (FREE)

McLean Langley High School is the site for food, field games and blues/roots band “Last Train Home”. Fireworks at 9:15pm. (FREE)

Mount Vernon – Revolutionary War reenactments, a reading of the Declaration of Independence and daytime fireworks (12:45pm).  Events run from 8am – 5pm.  Admission $13, $6 for ages 6-11, free for ages 5 and under.

And now for the big one – the Fourth of July on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Start your day with the Independence Day Parade at 11:45am, then take in the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival, and special Fourth of July activities at the National Archives and the White House Visitors Center.  Public access to the Mall begins at 10:00am with all visitors required to enter via a security checkpoint.

Choose one of two locations for your evening concert –

The U.S. Navy Band performs on the grounds of the Washington Monument starting at 6pm.  The concert will feature the U.S. Navy Concert Band, the Sea Chanters chorus, and the Cruisers, a rock and top-40 ensemble.  The Navy Band Commodores Jazz Ensemble takes the stage at 8pm and concludes at 9:10pm for the fireworks display.

The National Symphony Orchestra and several pop artists will perform patriotic music on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building starting at 8:00pm, (Admittance begins at 3:00pm)

Fireworks at approximately 9:15pm.  Not sure you want to travel into the District for the fireworks?

Check out these local spots for viewing from the Virginia side:

  • Roaches Run Waterfowl Sanctuary
  • Gravelly Point Park
  • the Air Force Memorial
  • Columbia Island Marina
  • Lady Bird Johnson Park
  • the Monroe Street Bridge.

So there you have it, The Fourth of July in Northern Virginia 2011 – Where to Go and What to Do.

Michael