President Donald Trump has officially turned this year’s July 4 celebration into a personal pulpit that threatens to take the air out of the annual “A Capitol Fourth” concert and fireworks District residents and visitors have grown accustomed to for nearly four decades.
Trump’s “Salute to America,” promises to involve an hourlong, self-aggrandizing takeover of the holiday that includes a speech by the president at the Lincoln Memorial.
The event will also include a large gathering of veterans, music and military demonstrations and flyovers.
The “Capitol Fourth,” which for 39 years has been broadcast on PBS, is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. with what organizers said is “an all-star salute to the best in American entertainment.”
John Stamos is scheduled to host performances on the West Lawn of the Capitol building that will include “Sesame Street” characters, Vanessa Williams, Lindsey Stirling and Carole King.
A fireworks display will follow.
Reportedly, the celebrations start 11:45 a.m. with a parade.
Bands, military units, fife and drum corps and more groups will march down the familiar parade route on Constitution Avenue between 7th-17th Streets NW.
For Trump’s event, planners said the gates will open at 3:30 p.m.
Mayor Muriel Bowser said she’s concerned about the amount of security and law enforcement needed for both events, particularly the president’s program.
“If we have to put more police to cover his movements, more police for the fireworks and an additional location for police where the fireworks are going to get set off, that puts a strain on us,” Bowser said in a recent interview. “We won’t allow it to impact neighborhood safety. So, the chief will have to think about if he needs additional resources.”
Destination DC, which serves as the lead organization to manage and market the nation’s capital with an emphasis on the arts, cultural and historical communities, has again published a list of various locations to take in Independence Day celebrations.
Among the locations recommended are across the Potomac River.
“Check out the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial, also known as the Iwo Jima Memorial, and the nearby Netherlands Carillon in Virginia,” Destination DC officials said.
They noted that “with the mesmerizing Marine Corps War Memorial statue as the backdrop, the fireworks take on even greater meaning.”
There are also lots of options for family-friendly fireworks cruises on one of the sightseeing boats that voyage along the Potomac River including the Potomac Riverboat Company, Entertainment Cruises, Embark, and several other waterfront tour operators to find.
Destination DC compiled a list of prime rooftop locations to watch the fireworks, including POV Rooftop Lounge and Terrace at the W Hotel and the Sky Bar at the Beacon Hotel. (Make sure to check with the restaurants for details and ticket information.)
D.C. restaurants that have spectacular views of the fireworks from the ground level include Sequoia, Nick’s Riverside Grill and Tony & Joe’s Seafood Place on the Georgetown waterfront or Café du Parc in downtown.
“Rent some wheels from Bike and Roll, Capital Bikeshare or at the Columbia Island Marina on the Virginia side of the Potomac River, near the Pentagon and then ride up the Mount Vernon Trail to find a spot to stop and enjoy the fireworks show. Yes, this amazing view is from the trail,” Destination DC officials wrote.
Those not able to travel into the District can view fireworks in Maryland.
The city of Bowie will host an early Independence Day celebration Tuesday, July 2 at Prince George’s Stadium. A free concert featuring the Fabulous Hubcaps begins at 7:30 p.m. with a fireworks display at 9:15 p.m. The parking lot will open at 5 p.m. and stadium doors an hour later at 6 p.m.
Bowie will be home to more fireworks on the Fourth at Baysox Stadium where the Bowie Baysox will face the Harrisburg Senators in minor league baseball. The game starts at 6:35 p.m. with fireworks immediately afterward.
The city of Laurel will host its 41st annual Independence Day celebration on July 6. The all-day event at Granville Gude Park begins at 11 a.m. features a parade, car show and, of course, fireworks at 9:15 p.m.