For many folks the 4th of July (Independence Day) means hot dogs, fireworks, and lemonade (or beer) with family and friends. For Capitol Hill residents it also means the annual tradition of perhaps the shortest parade (in distance) anywhere on the East Coast; but don’t let the distance fool you. The annual Capitol Hill 4th of July Parade is filled with energy, fun, and neighborhood charm, and it’s one hometown event this author will never miss.
The parade kicks off at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 4th at the intersection of 8th and I Streets SE. Led by the Marine Corps Drum & Bugle Corps, the procession marches up 8th Street and comes to a halt at the Eastern Market Metro Plaza (approximately 4 blocks). Expect lots of neighborhood flair, with scout troops, a princess patrol, patriotic pooches, and city council members.
The Capitol Hill 4th of July Parade is one cavalcade where participation is encouraged and can literally be decided upon that morning. Feel like marching with Tommy Wells? Grab a light blue shirt and head to the staging area at 9:30 and – just like that – you’re a star in the show. Many Hill elementary schools will also have groups marching, including School Within School (Logan Annex), and the Hill Princess Patrol will take little princesses up until 10:00 a.m. Check with your local school, scout troop, or church association if there is a group gathering at 8th and I Streets SE at 9:30 a.m.
The 4th of July Parade is just as much fun to watch as it is to participate in, with neighbors lining 8th Street and children anxiously awaiting the candies and little toys many paraders toss to the sidelines. Many eateries will be open for breakfast and coffee, and some businesses will even set up sidewalk stands.
Enjoy a little neighborhood Americana before your barbecue this Independence Day.