29 Jun 2011

Forget the 4th, Pack Your Picnic for Sunday's Dress Rehearsal for Capitol Concert

photo by Claudia Holwill

Last year we started a new 4th of July tradition by taking our lives in our hands and heading to Lincoln Park for fireworks with a truly local flavor. It was an easy change; we’d been able to squeeze in the fanfare, taps, and b-list performers into the night before, and there’s something so earnest about neighborhood pyrotechnics I was happy to stay away from the Mall madness. You see, while still in my twenties, I became an old ninny when it comes to crowds and excessive public gaiety and sentiment.  That’s why the dress rehearsal on July 3 for the Capitol Fourth Concert has become a family tradition and is one of my favorite recommendations to newcomers to the city.

So on Sunday pack a picnic and settle in from 8 – 9:30 pm for an evening of humor, patriotism and, if the stories of veterans get to you as they do me, a tissue or two for the waterworks. In the past, there has been little security and the laid back vibe of the evening harkens back a bit to pre-9-11 Washington.

It’s always a hodgepodge of performers on stage with the Army and Air Force bands; a promised appearance by Steve Martin seems very out of character for the shows tone, but the wild and crazy guy is truly Mr. Versitle. One might worry that Jimmy Smitts plans to run for office, as at home the frequent host seems on the platform at the basis of the Capitol. He’s back this year, joining musician Josh Groban, Broadway star Kelli O’Hara, Glee’s Matthew Morrison, American Idol winner Jordin Sparks and rock ‘n’ roll legend Little Richard.

Watch for the fireflies as the last performers hit the stage. They’re plenty sparkly for my festivities.


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One response to “Forget the 4th, Pack Your Picnic for Sunday's Dress Rehearsal for Capitol Concert”

  1. 100% agreed! The dress rehearsal + the Barracks row parade on the 4th are my faves!

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