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Independence Day Fireworks: Where to Watch in the DC Area Around July 4

Where to find Fourth of July fireworks displays around D.C., Maryland and Virginia

Fireworks displays around the Washington, D.C, Northern Virginia and Maryland region will make an extra bang this year.

Some favorite displays are returning in full after two years of scaled-back celebrations and cancelations because of COVID-19.

Due to labor shortages and supply chain issues, however, many towns have opted to schedule their fireworks on July 2, 3 or 5. Displays that won't be held on July 4 are marked with an asterisk (*).

Here’s a rundown of where to see Independence Day fireworks for Fourth of July weekend.

Washington, D.C., Fireworks Display on the National Mall

The National Park Service will once again host the annual Independence Day fireworks celebration on the National Mall. The display will begin at 9:09 p.m. and will be launched from both sides of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. The fireworks can be enjoyed from many locations throughout the city, including the National Mall or across the Potomac River at the Iwo Jima Memorial and the nearby Netherlands Carillon in Virginia.  

D.C. will also have several other events on July 4 for the public to enjoy. The Smithsonian Folklife Festival will be open on the National Mall from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The National Independence Day Parade will also make its way down Constitution Ave, going from 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. Of course, we can’t forget about “A Capitol Fourth,” the star-studded concert. It’s coming back to the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol this year. Gates will open at 3 p.m.

Fireworks Displays in Maryland

Annapolis: To celebrate the Fourth of July, the City of Annapolis will be hosting events throughout the weekend. The fireworks will take place on July 4 until about 10 p.m. Annapolis says the best viewing locations are northeast of the Severn River, the City Dock, the Naval Academy Bridge or street ends facing Spa Creek. You could also watch from a boat in Annapolis Harbor. Attendees are encouraged to plan ahead due to limited parking spaces. Annapolis has compiled parking options here. Certain streets will be closed for the duration of the fireworks show, including the Spa Creek Bridge, which is set to close at 6 p.m. and not reopen until around 10 p.m. 

*Boonsboro: Get a jumpstart on watching fireworks on July 1. The Town of Boonsboro’s Independence Day Celebration Fireworks are set to begin 9:30 p.m. on Friday in Shafer Park. In addition to the fireworks, there will be music and vendors for spectators. The scheduled rain date is July 2. 

Charles County: Before the “digital pyro-musical display” grand finale, the Charles County Fair will provide family-friendly activities including pony rides, live music and food. Gates open at 3 p.m. Admission is free.

For some fun earlier in the day, the La Plata Town Hall will host a party. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., guests can enjoy water slides, food from local vendors, air brush tattoos and more. Admission to this event is free.

Columbia, Howard County: There will be food trucks, live music and fireworks at this free event on July 4 at Lakefront at Columbia. Residents can stake out a spot with a blanket starting at 3 p.m. Music begins at the Lakefront Stage at 6 p.m. Fireworks are set to start about 9:20 p.m.

Free parking will be available at the Mall in Columbia. It is important for visitors to note that Little Patuxent Parkway will close around 7 p.m.

Frederick: On July 4 from noon to dusk, visitors are welcome to celebrate the holiday with live music, rides, food and fireworks in Baker Park. Suggested locations to view the fireworks include the Fleming Avenue Swimming Pool area, the Frederick High School lawn and the Carillon Area of Baker Park. Organizers suggest you do not watch from Dress Home Bandshell stage seating area and the adjacent playground, nor areas outside of Baker Park due to obstructed to limited views.

*Gaithersburg:  Enjoy SummerFest July 2 at 6 p.m. at Bohrer Park with fireworks beginning at 9:25 p.m. (Here's a map of the best viewing locations). Celebrate with live performances, a water park, miniature golf course, skate park and the SummerGlo After Party. Select activities require an entrance fee. Free parking will be available at these locations.

Germantown: See the fireworks at about 9:15 p.m. from South Germantown Recreational Park. Come at 7 p.m. to catch the cover band Quiet Fire. “Low lawn chairs, blankets and coolers are welcome. There will be food vendors. Alcoholic beverages and pets are not permitted,” Montgomery Parks said.

Hagerstown: Fireworks will take place on July 4 at 9:30 p.m. in Fairgrounds Park. No food and drink vendors will be on site. The scheduled rain date is July 5.

*Laurel: Join Laurel in their 43rd Independence Day Celebration Saturday, July 2, at 9:15 p.m. with fireworks from the lake at Granville Gude Park. The day begins with a parade and antique car show at 2 p.m., followed by music and the National Anthem before fireworks. Note that backpacks, coolers, alcohol, personal fireworks and pets are not allowed.

*Ocean City: Fireworks will take place on July 3 and 5 — the display initially set for July 4 was canceled due to labor shortages, town officials announced.

You’ll still have two chances to celebrate Independence Day with a fireworks show. On Sunday, July 3, there will be a concert at Northside Park at 7 p.m. followed by an “intimate” fireworks show at 9 p.m.

On Tuesday, July 5, a special fireworks show is set for 9:30 p.m. Ocean City officials say this show will be unique and have some surprises. To see the show, head to the beach between the amusement pier and 3rd Street.

Poolesville: Come for live music and food trucks starting at 5 p.m., stay for the fireworks display at the soccer fields at Hughes and Sugarland Road.

Rockville: Celebrate Independence Day at Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park. Fireworks are set to begin at 9:15 p.m. on July 4, come early for live music performances. Bring a beach chair, a blanket and a picnic — or purchase food on site. Free parking will be available, here’s a map.

Six Flags AmericaFireworks displays will be shown at 9:30 p.m. from July 2-4 at Six Flags America. Enjoy a day of amusement park thrills and end it with fireworks with day passes starting at $34.99. Include a VIP Fireworks Package for an additional $34.99 to view the display at the private Oak Grove Pavilions.

Williamsport: 4th in the Park is a free event in Byron Memorial Park. It kicks off at 6 p.m. with The Community Band’s Patriotic Concert and ends with fireworks at dusk. The scheduled rain date is July 5. 

Fireworks Displays in Virginia

*Alexandria: The city of Alexandria will celebrate its 273rd and the USA’s 246th birthday on Saturday, July 9. The free event will be held from 6 to 9:45 p.m. at Oronoco Bay Park (100 Madison St., Alexandria) along the Potomac River. The day will include a live performance by the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, other live music performances, food vendors, cupcakes and a grand finale fireworks display at 9:30 p.m. Good viewing areas include Canal Center Plaza, Jones Point Park, Waterfront Park and the George Washington Masonic Temple. Attendees are asked to leave their pets at home and refrain from smoking at the event.

Culpeper: The town of Culpeper’s Fourth of July celebration is an all-day event featuring the annual Freedom 5k Race, children’s kayaks, the FREEDOM Car & Bike Show, the annual Patriotic Presentation at Yowell Meadow Park, musical performances and, of course, fireworks! The firework show will launch from Rockwater Park at 9:15 p.m. on July 4. The public will not be allowed at Rockwater Park beginning at 5 p.m. The show can’t be seen from Yowell Meadow Park.

*Fairfax: Fireworks will be held Tuesday, July 5, at 9:30 p.m. at Fairfax High School. The evening show begins with live entertainment at 6:30 p.m. There will be no on-site parking available for the public at the event, so attendees are encouraged to use the shuttle buses that will run between Fairfax High School and Woodson High School throughout the evening.

On July 4, there will be a parade and historic tours. Here’s more information.

FredericksburgEnjoy daytime events or arrive at night for fireworks at 9:30 p.m. July 4 from Virginia Credit Union Stadium. During the daytime, partake in a parade and costume contest for prizes, attend the street festival or listen to a public reading of the Declaration of Independence. Bring lawn chairs at night to view fireworks from Pratt Park, Old Mill Park or the Expo Center parking area.

Great Falls: On July 4, Great Falls will hold its 4th of July Hometown Celebration & Fireworks. From 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. guests can enjoy parades, a 5K fun run, a blood drive and more at Village Centre. From 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. festivities move to Turner Farm for the main event. Gates open at 6 p.m. for live music, games and food trucks, and the fireworks show will begin once it’s dark – about 9 p.m. The event is free but attendees can purchase premium seating packages to enjoy even better views of the fireworks.

Herndon: An Independence Day celebration and fireworks display will be held on July 4 in Bready Park. Free activities begin at 6:30 p.m. and will include live music, bingo and family games. Food and refreshments will be available for purchase at the event. The fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m. and will be launched from the Herndon Centennial Golf Course. Parking is available at Herndon Middle School, Herndon Centennial Golf Course and the Station Street Municipal Lot. Alcohol, glass containers, personal fireworks or sparklers and pets are not allowed. In the case of inclement weather, the fireworks might be delayed or postponed until July 5. 

Leesburg: Festivities will begin with the Independence Day Parade in downtown Leesburg, and conclude with a concert and fireworks at Ida Lee Park. The parade begins at 10 a.m. and will feature the 14th annual Patriot’s Cup competition as well as the American Originals Fife and Drum Corps. Gates for the concert and fireworks display open at 6 p.m. Fireworks start at 9:30 p.m., choreographed to patriotic music. A full food court will be available on-site with funnel cakes, ice cream, burgers and more. Attendees can park at the interior lots off Ida Lee Drive and the Festival Field parking off King Street. Pets, alcohol, glass bottles and personal fireworks (including sparklers) are not permitted. In the event of inclement weather, fireworks will be rescheduled for July 5 at 9:30 p.m.

Manassas: The free Celebrate America event will be held on July 4 from 3 to 10 p.m. The celebration surrounds the Historic Downtown train depot, the Harris Pavilion and the Manassas Museum. Fireworks will launch at 9:15 p.m., but attendees are encouraged to come early for the best seats on the Manassas Museum lawn. Rides for kids begin at 3 p.m., with face painters, caricature artists, food concessions and novelty vendors beginning at 4 p.m. Other events include a watermelon eating contest, a bike decorating contest and a pie decorating contest.

*McLean: Join in for an early celebration Saturday, July 2 at 6:30 p.m. at Langley High School. The event will include food trucks and a fireworks display. There will be free shuttles to the event from McLean Community Center, Churchill Elementary School (starting at 6:30 p.m.) and St. Luke Church and School (starting at 7 p.m.). This event is free with no registration required.

Middletown: A fireworks display on July 4 at 9:15 p.m. will cap a day of fun, including a petting zoo, bands, ax throwing, a cornhole tournament and a monarch butterfly display at Middletown Park.

*Reston: Fireworks are scheduled for Saturday, July 2 at 9:15 p.m. Spend the whole day at Lake Fairfax Park for food trucks, the waterpark, live music and a beer garden. Ticketed entry begins at 10 a.m. and tickets start at $10.

*Vienna:  Visit Yeonas Park Friday, July 1 for a 20-minute fireworks show at 9:30 p.m. Visitors can bring blankets or lawn chairs, purchase food at the concession stand or bring their own. Arrive at 7:30 p.m. for live music and games.

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