Photos and VideosMore Photos and Videos
UPDATE, July 3: Some events have been cancelled due to Friday's powerful storms and outgoing power outages. We've noted which events are on and which are off.
Hot, flat and crowded: A Thomas L. Friedman book, or the District on the Fourth of July? OK, both.
If you're looking to escape the city, try for a bit of small-town fun in a nearby suburb. All events are scheduled for Wednesday, July 4 unless otherwise noted.
Read on for our Top 10 picks:
ALEXANDRIA: (will happen as scheduled)
The nation gets a massive (belated) birthday bash on Saturday, July 7 at Oronoco Bay Park (100 Madison St., Alexandria), with kids' activities, exhibits, food vendors, poetry, musical performances, fireworks and birthday cake. Catch music from the Band of the Nation's Capital, poetry by Amy Young and smooth jazz and the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra before the fireworks. Entertainment begins 4 p.m.; fireworks 9:30 p.m.; free admission. DISTANCE: 7 miles from downtown D.C.
FALLS CHURCH: (will happen as scheduled)
Head out to Falls Church for their annual Independence Day Celebration at George Mason High School (7124 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church). Enjoy live musical entertainment by Judo Chop right before the fireworks light up the sky. Entertainment 7 p.m.; fireworks 9:20 p.m.; free admission. DISTANCE: 12 miles from downtown D.C.
FAIRFAX: (will happen as scheduled)
Show some pride at the City of Fairfax Independence Parade. The parade gets going rain or shine in the Downtown Fairfax Historic District (4100 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax). Entertainment by the City of Fairfax band and other musical acts will perform before dark. Finish off the night with fireworks at Fairfax High School (3501 Rebel Run). Click here for information on shuttle buses. Parade 10 a.m.; entertainment 7 p.m.; fireworks at dark; free admission. DISTANCE: 20 miles from downtown D.C.
HERNDON: (will happen as scheduled)
The family-friendly Independence Day celebration in Bready Park at Herndon Community Center (814 Ferndale Ave. Herndon, Va.) offers music, crafts, bingo, face painting, balloon artists and much more. Fireworks are choreographed to music, and you may just need to grab some funnel cake or cotton candy while you watch. Entertainment begins 6:30 p.m.; fireworks 9:30 p.m.; free admission. DISTANCE: 25 miles from downtown D.C.
LEESBURG: (will happen as scheduled)
Have you been craving live entertainment? Head to Ida Lee Park (60 Ida Lee Drive, Leesburg, Va.) for a rock and country concert. The Rob Dyer Band will get the party started with their country sounds, followed by the rock band Faded Image. Check out the food court with funnel cakes, ice cream, barbecue and more. Gates open 6 p.m.; fireworks 9:30 p.m.; free admission. DISTANCE: 40 miles from downtown D.C.
RESTON: (will happen as scheduled)
With so many 4th of July events going on where you can pull out that dusty lawn chair of yours, Lake Fairfax Park (1400 Lake Fairfax Drive, Reston, Va.) sets itself apart by having a more active celebration. Lake Fairfax Park is known for their Water Mine, and it's open for swimming and paddle-boating. Save some energy for games, moon bounces, pony rides (fee TBD) and a small petting zoo. The fireworks can be seen from almost anywhere in the park because they're shot off over the water. Entertainment begins 10 a.m.; fireworks 9:15 p.m.; free admission. DISTANCE: 20 miles from downtown D.C.
COLLEGE PARK: (will happen as scheduled)
The University of Maryland (1401 Marie Mount Hall College Park, Md.) and the City of College Park are throwing a celebration. You might want to bring your blankets and lawn chairs, or get there early because grass seating is limited. Grab dinner or dessert from concession stands -- think hot dogs, burgers, funnel cakes, ice cream.... You know, health food. Enjoy a free concert featuring the Fabulous Hubcaps right before the fireworks light up the sky for 30-40 minutes. Concessions 5 p.m.; entertainment 7 p.m.; fireworks at dusk; free admission. DISTANCE: 8 miles from downtown D.C.
GAITHERSBURG: (cancelled) Take the family to Montgomery County Fairgrounds (16 Chestnut St., Gaithersburg, Md.) to celebrate with a two-hour concert featuring Back to Zero, a band from Arlington, Va., and, naturally, plenty of fireworks. Gates open 5 p.m.; entertainment 7 p.m.; fireworks at dusk; free admission. DISTANCE: 28 miles from downtown D.C.
ROCKVILLE: (cancelled) Montgomery College, Rockville Campus (51 Mannakee St., Rockville, Md.) is hosting a red, white and blue concert with two stages, featuring Fugitive Brass Quintet, Rockville Concert Band and the Lloyd Dobler Effect. Entertainment 7 p.m.; fireworks 9:15 p.m.; free admission. DISTANCE: 23 miles from downtown D.C.
TAKOMA PARK: (will happen as scheduled)
Come out for the Takoma Park Parade (intersection of Carroll and Ethan Allen avenues towards the intersection of Carroll and Maple avenues, Takoma Park, Md.). The 123rd celebration lasts about two hours. The evening program will be held at Takoma Park Middle School (7611 Piney Branch Road) where you could check out ilyAIMY (funky folk band), Acro-Airs (gymnastics team) and the Takoma Park Community Concert Band. Parade 10 a.m.; entertainment 7 p.m.; fireworks 9:30 p.m.; free admission. DISTANCE: 6 miles from downtown D.C.