The battle of the booms is on again this year, as tons of spots in and around the District celebrate Independence Day with parades, fireworks and family activities. No matter where you are in the DMV, there's bound to be a close-to-home option for your Fourth of July festivities.
All events are happening July 4 unless otherwise noted.
IN THE DISTRICT:
Head to the National Mall to celebrate independence surrounded by memorials to the founding fathers. While you're at the mall, you can catch an Independence Day Parade from 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. This year's Capitol Fourth Concert from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on the U.S. Capitol's West Lawn (East Capitol Street NE and First Street SE) will feature performances by the National Symphony Orchestra, Smokey Robinson, Kenny Loggins and others. Gates for the concert open at 3 p.m. The National Park Service puts on the firework show over the National Mall at 9:09 p.m.
Fireworks by Boat
If you're looking to skip the crowds at the National Mall, watch the fireworks by boat on the Potomac River. A number of ferry companies are offering special cruises, including Odyssey and D.C. Harbor Cruises, so you can spend the evening eating dinner on the river and watching the firework show.
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Check out the Palisades' 50th annual parade and picnic. Lineup for the 11 a.m. parade begins at Whitehaven Parkway (enter through Foxhall Road) at 10 a.m., and you are welcome to participate. The parade ends at the Palisades Recreation Center (5200 Sherier Place NW), where you can also enjoy hot dogs, watermelon, live music and moon bounces at a free picnic.
Remember the reason we're celebrating with the National Archives' Declaration of Independence Reading Ceremony from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. After that, you can catch a live musical performance and take a peek as the Independence Day Parade winds past the building (700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW). If you get there between 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m., you can also sign a replica of the Declaration.
Spend the evening at the Annapolis City Dock (160 Duke of Gloucester St., Annapolis) for all the Fourth of July fun you could desire -- a parade at 6:30 p.m., music from the U.S. Naval Academy Band at 8 and fireworks at 9:15 p.m.
The U.S. Navy band Cruisers will serenade guests with a contemporary performance before fireworks choreographed to music light up the sky at the Inner Harbor. The concert will start at 7 p.m. at the Inner Harbor Amphitheatre (201 E. Pratt St., Baltimore) and the fireworks will begin at 9:30 p.m.
This year's Germantown Glory July Fourth celebration will kick off with a concert by Tina Turner Revue featuring Suzette Dorsey in the Maryland SoccerPlex at South Germantown Recreational Park (18031 Central Park Circle, Boyds). Fireworks will begin at 9:15 p.m.
Bring a blanket or lawn chair to relax in the grass under the fireworks celebration at the University of Maryland College Park (7965 Baltimore Ave., College Park). The event will also include hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream and more classic summertime eats. Fireworks will begin around 9 p.m.
Chesapeake Bay (July 1)
Start your celebration early! Watch fireworks over the water in the town of Chesapeake Beach, Maryland, on Friday, July 1. The exciting show will begin at dusk.
Enjoy a fireworks display with an unparalleled scenic view of Marsh Mountain and Deep Creek Lake at the area's annual Fire on the Mountain Fireworks Display. Be sure to check out Deep Creek Lake's website for a full list of ideal viewing spots. Fireworks will begin at 9:30 p.m.
A drum circle, picnic areas and a walking trail are all available for visitors to enjoy at Buddy Attick Lake Park (555 Crescent Road, Greenbelt). The drum circle will begin at 5:30 p.m., with music from the Greenbelt Concert Band at 7:30 and fireworks at 9 p.m.
Laurel (July 2)
The city's 38th annual Fourth of July celebration is an all-day event July 2 that will include a parade, a car show, a hot dog eating contest and, of course, fireworks over the lake. The parade begins at 11 a.m. and fireworks will begin at 9:15 p.m., with tons of fun activities in between.
The Reagan Years will perform a free concert on the beach (N. Division St., Ocean City) starting at 8 p.m. Fireworks will follow at 9:30 p.m.
Prince George's County (July 2-4)
Head to Six Flags America (13710 Central Ave., Upper Marlboro) on July 2, 3 or 4 for an evening of live music followed by fireworks at 9:30 p.m. The park's July Fourth Fest also includes special offers for pass holders.
Rockville's Independence Day festivities will kick off with a peace gathering at Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park (1800 Pickard Drive, Rockville), followed by three live music performances. Fireworks over the football field will begin at 9:15 p.m.
Spend the holiday near the water, starting with a boat parade around Solomons Island at noon. Fireworks will begin between 9:15 and 9:30 p.m.
Takoma Park will celebrate its 127th July Fourth events with a parade and fireworks at Takoma Park Middle School (7611 Piney Branch Road, Silver Spring). The parade will begin at 10 a.m., and evening events -- including a performance by the Takoma Park Community Band and the Polyphony Marimba Ensemble -- will start at 7 p.m. Fireworks will begin at 9:30 p.m.
Alexandria (July 9)
Celebrate Alexandria's birthday July 9 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The celebration offers food, entertainment, a concert by the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, fireworks and plenty of birthday cake. The event will take place at Oronoco Bay Park (100 Madison St., Alexandria).
Arlington (no fireworks)
Arlington promises food trucks, kickball, face painting, moon bounces and more at their Independence Day celebration at Long Bridge Park (475 Long Bridge Drive, Arlington). There is no on-site parking, but you can catch free shuttles from the Pentagon City and Crystal City Metro stations. Along with live performances, the event, which runs from 5 to 10 p.m., offers a view of the D.C. fireworks.
Catch some food, entertainment and fireworks at Colonial Williamsburg 4 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. at Williamsburg Lodge (310 S England St., Williamsburg). Tickets are $89.95 for adults and $50.95 for children ages 3 to 10.
The City of Fairfax marks its 50th Independence Day Celebration with a parade from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Following the parade, there will be a Superhero Fest, where you can meet your favorite heroes, including Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Captain America and others from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. The evening show at Fairfax High School (3501 Rebel Run, Fairfax) will start at 6 p.m., featuring performances by local bands, capped off with fireworks at 9:30.
Falls Church will celebrate Independence Day at George Mason High School (7124 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church) with live music starting at 7 p.m. and fireworks at 9:20 p.m.
Take a walk or jog early at an 8 a.m. 5K in Great Falls Freedom Memorial. Then you can catch a 9 a.m. Little Patriot Parade for toddlers and a main parade at 10 a.m. at the Great Falls Village Centre (776 Walker Road, Great Falls), followed by music, food and games. An evening of live music, games and food trucks at Turner Farm Park (925 Springvale Road, Great Falls) begins at 6 p.m. and ends with an evening firework show.
Head to Bready Park at the Herndon Community Center (814 Ferndale Ave., Herndon) to make arts and crafts, play games and buy food starting at 6:30 p.m. You can listen to live music starting at 7:15 p.m. and catch fireworks at 9:30.
Leesburg kicks off the day at 10 a.m. with an Independence Day Parade that winds through the historic downtown area starting at Ida Lee Park (60 Ida Lee Drive NW, Leesburg). You can taste a variety of food and listen to live music starting at 6:30 p.m., and fireworks are at 9:30 p.m. at the park. You can park in interior lots off Ida Lee drive or at field parking off King Street.
Spend the day in the historic downtown of Manassas and enjoy rides, food and vendors. You can also compete in bike decorating, watermelon eating and apple pie contests. The event lasts from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. and the fireworks start at 9:15 p.m. on the Manassas Museum lawn (9101 Prince William St.).
Catch some DJ music and snack vendors before a firework show at Churchill Road Elementary School (7100 Churchill Road, McLean). The fun starts at 6:30 p.m. If the parking lot fills up, you can catch free shuttle buses from the McLean Community Center or St. John's Episcopal Church.
Spend your Independence Day at George Washington's historic estate (3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon). Mount Vernon celebrates with a naturalization ceremony for 100 new citizens, military reenactments, live music and daytime fireworks at 1 p.m. The day goes from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $9 to $19, but kids age five and younger get in free.
As the Potomac Nationals take on the Wilmington Blue Rocks at 6:35 p.m. at Pfitzner Stadium (7 County Complex Court, Woodbridge), you can celebrate the day with an all-you-can-eat pre-game picnic 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and postgame fireworks. Tickets are available online.
Take a spin on a carousel or a ride on a boat from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Starting at 4 p.m., you can enjoy live music at Lake Fairfax Park (1400 Lake Fairfax Drive, Reston) followed by 9:15 p.m. fireworks. Call 703-471-5415 to make a reservation to stay at the park's campgrounds overnight.
Check out a chili dog eating contest and shows by the Old Bay Circus Company at Vienna's Fourth of July Celebration at Yeonas Park (1319 Ross Drive SW, Vienna). You can catch the circus shows at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m., and live music starts at 7 p.m. The day culminates with fireworks at 9:30 p.m.