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Friday, June 28, 2013

Lots of options for fireworks and fun on the Fourth of July

The Black Cat fireworks stand in the Kmart parking lot on Little River Turnpike.
There aren’t any major public Fourth of July fireworks celebrations scheduled in Annandale or the Mason District but there are plenty of things going on a bit farther away.

The City of Falls Church is sponsoring a July 4 celebration at George Mason High School (7124 Leesburg Pike) with a free concert beginning at 7 p.m. featuring the Beatles tribute band Apple Core and fireworks starting at 9:20 p.m.
Rules: No alcohol, personal fireworks, or smoking permitted on school grounds.
Rain date: July 5.

The City of Fairfax is having a full day of celebration on July 4, including a parade in the morning, an old-fashioned Fireman‘s Day in the afternoon, and in the evening, a concert and fireworks.

The City of Fairfax Independence Day Parade runs along Main Street in downtown Fairfax, 10 a.m.-noon (rain or shine). Nine high school marching bands are participating, including the Fairfax High School Marching Rebels and bands from as far away as Nebraska and Minnesota.

The City of Fairfax Old-Fashioned Fireman’s Day starts at 12:30 p.m. at 4081 University Drive, Fairfax. There will be a firefighter competition, games, and food. Free admission.

The evening show and fireworks is at Fairfax High School, 3501 Rebel Run, Fairfax; 7-10:30 p.m. The concert begins at 7 p.m. with the City of Fairfax Band and Grooveline. Fireworks start at 9:20 p.m.
Rules: Lawn chairs, smoking, alcohol, items that could puncture the synthetic turf, and animals are not permitted on the football field. The only exception is service animals.
Rain date: July 5 (fireworks only).

The Town of Vienna is having a free 4th of July celebration at the Vienna Community Center, 120 Cherry St., S.E., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Activities include live music (the Vienna Community Band, 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m., and oldies by Ron Moody and the Centaurs, 12:15-4 p.m.), arts and crafts for kids, a chili cook-off, an American Legion beer tent, an antique and classic car show, and inflatables. A new feature this year is a parade of pets dressed in July 4 costumes, at 12 p.m.

The band Fat Chance will perform at 7 p.m. at Yeonas Park in Vienna, and fireworks begin at 9:15 p.m. at Southside Park. The Little League concession will be open.
Rain date: July 5, fireworks only.

Lake Fairfax (1400 Lake Fairfax Drive, Reston) is having a fireworks show July 4, at approximately 9:15 p.m. The U.S. Army Concert Band and Chorus will perform patriotic songs throughout the day, and there will be puppet shows at 6 and 8 p.m. near the carousel. The Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole will be open 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon, (3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway) is having an American Celebration, July 4, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., featuring made-for-daytime fireworks with smoke in patriotic colors fired over the Potomac River.

The Independence Day event also includes an inspirational naturalization ceremony for 100 new citizens, military re-enactments, a special wreath-laying ceremony, a visit from the “General and Mrs. Washington,” and a demonstration of Washington’s innovate wheat treading process with horses led by costumed staff. Admission to this event is included in the regular admission price to Mount Vernon: $17 for adults and $8 for children ages 6-11. Children 5 and under are free.

The Sully Historic Site (3650 Historic Sully Way, Chantilly) is having a July 4 event titled, “Oh Say Can You See: Fun Facts, Games, and Trivia,” with an Independence Day theme, 1-3 p.m. The cost is $7 for adults, $6 for students, and $5 for children and seniors, which includes a guided tour.

The biggest fireworks show around, of course, is on the National Mall. It’s best to take Metro, but the closest station, Smithsonian, is expected to be overcrowded, so visitors are encouraged to walk from other stations, such as Federal Triangle or L’Enfant Plaza. You can avoid the crowds downtown by finding a viewing spot in Virginia, such as the Air Force Memorial on Columbia Pike near the Pentagon, the Iwo Jima Memorial in Rosslyn, or Long Bridge Park in Crystal City.

The fireworks start at 9:10 p.m. but there is more going on earlier in the day, including a parade on Constitution Avenue, 11:45 a.m.-2 p.m., and the Capitol Fourth Concert on the West Lawn of the Capitol, 8-9:30 p.m.

Several events extend the Independence Day celebration beyond the Fourth.

On July 6, there will be a free patriotic fireworks show, 9 p.m., at the Workhouse Arts Center, 9601 Ox Road, Lorton. Come early for a Mount Vernon Nights concert, 7 p.m., featuring bluegrass by Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen.

Then, there’s the annual USA/Alexandria Birthday Celebration, sponsored by the City of Alexandria, on July 13. This free event, at Oronoco Bay Park, 100 Madison St., Alexandria, 7-10 p.m., includes musical entertainment, food and beverage sales, and fireworks.

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