03 Jul 2014

Celebrating 4th of July on Capitol Hill

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Photo by Claudia Holwill

This is one of my very favorite holidays to spend in the neighborhood. Not only are we walking distance to the biggest fireworks show in town, there are tons of ways to celebrate right in the neighborhood.

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Photo by Claudia Holwill

My favorite way to kick off the holiday takes place today. I like to sit on the Capitol Lawn for the rehearsal of the 4th of July Concert. You get to enjoy all the music, but with a fraction of the crowds. Pack a picnic, find a patch of grass, and admire the beautiful view.

Start the 4th off on Barracks Row for the annual 4th of July Parade! It kicks off at 10 a.m. on the south end of 8th Street and includes fire trucks, vintage cars, local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, school groups, local politicians, and even marching bands.

After the parade, stop by the food and beverage stands in the park around the Metro Plaza to mingle with neighbors. All proceeds will benefit the Uniform Drive for Homeless Capitol Hill Students.

It’s going to be a hot day so you’ll want to spend your afternoon in a pool or somewhere cool. The splash fountain at Yards Park is up and running again, which is a perfect for kids. Our many neighborhood parks provide plenty of space for lounging in the sun or shade, and our countless restaurants are eager to keep you full and happy all day. And don’t forget about the BBQs and picnics! Why not make a patriotic cake for one?

The evening is, of course, when we will all watch the fireworks. Okay, maybe not all of us, but many of us. If you have a friend who works in one of the House office buildings, you can get some amazing roof-top views. There are also a lot of great rooftops on the apartment buildings popping up around the neighborhood. If you’re not lucky enough to have a friend with a roof, and you don’t want to camp out on the Mall all day in the heat, you still have plenty of options.

The steps of the Supreme Court are a pretty decent view and not too crowded at all. I’m like walking down to 3rd and Independence about 15 minutes before the show is about to start; since they keep the street clear you can easily find last minute spots along the curb. Then you’re a short and easy walk home! It’s actually a great way to experience the show on the Mall without the hassle of the crowds all day long.

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