Where to Watch Fireworks This July Fourth

Plus, celebrate the holiday weekend with parades, pig roasts, block parties, free outdoor concerts and family fun.
Timothy Wolff Yueliyxdpzw Unsplash

July 4th fireworks in the nation’s capital (Photo by Timothy Wolff on Unsplash)

Ready to celebrate America’s birthday? You’ll find plenty of ways to get in the patriotic spirit this Independence Day weekend, whether it’s family fun with the kids or rooftop cocktails with fireworks as a backdrop. Here are some festive holiday happenings around Northern Virginia:

July 1

Kick off the long weekend by heading over to Lubber Run Amphitheater  in Arlington for a live performance by singer-songwriter Lauren Calve, who releases her first full-length album, Shift, this year. Known for her riveting emotional ballads, Calve will play at 8 p.m. under the stars as part of the Lubber Run Summer Concert Series.

For an early holiday salute with all the pomp and circumstance, swing by the Community Independence Day Fireworks Celebration at Langley High School in McLean from 6:30-10:30 p.m. for food trucks, a live DJ spinning tunes and free giveaways. A 22-minute fireworks show will light up the sky around 9:15 p.m.

boy wearing American flag print eyeglasses sticking his mouth open

(Photo by Frank McKenna on Unsplash)

July 2

The Lubber Run Summer Concert Series continues with an 11 a.m. performance by Munit and Z Lovebugs, a family band born out of the time spent together during the pandemic, with Munit (Mama Lovebug) on voice and drums, son Gabriel on bass, daughter Meezan on ukulele and vocals, and youngest daughter Ayana also on vocals. Their songs of love, positivity, joy and peace—sung in English, Amharic and Spanish—are intended for listeners age 3 to 103 .

For family fun and fireworks on a smaller scale, Meridian High School in Falls Church City will be staging an Independence Day Celebration in The Little City on Sunday evening. Bring a picnic (gates open at 6 p.m.), enjoy live music from ’80s and ’90s cover band Uncle Jesse starting at 7 p.m., and stick around for the fireworks display at 9:20 p.m.  See the city website for details on parking and restrictions.

Stephanie Mccabe Ajm Ewec24 Unsplash

(Photo by Stephanie McCabe on Unsplash)

July 4

Love a parade? Multiple Arlington neighborhoods will be taking over the streets on Independence Day with stars and stripes regalia. The Bellevue Forest Citizens’ Association 4th of July Parade, a procession of bikes, trikes, wagons, strollers and four-legged friends, begins at 9:15 a.m. with prizes and refreshments at the end of the parade route. Douglas Park’s Holiday Parade and Potluck starts at 10 a.m. with bicycle decorating for kids, floats, classic cars, a bounce house and a water slide, culminating in a reading of the Declaration of Independence.  In Fairlington, join or watch a 10 a.m. parade led by the Arlington County Police and Fire Departments, then purchase bake sale treats in support of the No Kid Hungry initiative.  Waycroft-Woodlawn neighbors will gather at 10 a.m. in Woodlawn Park for a parade, potluck, grilling and crafts. The Bluemont neighborhood will celebrate by ringing the bell  in Constitution Gardens (at the corner of N. George Mason Drive and Wilson Blvd.) at noon.

Those who like to celebrate by pigging out can fill up on holiday grub from 2-5 p.m. at the VFW 3150 July 4th Celebration, an Arlington feast centering on pulled pork BBQ with all the fixings. More info and tickets here.

Shipgarden in Tysons will be hosting an all-day party (11 a.m. to 2 a.m.), with live music, outdoor games, moon bounces, red-white-and-blue shooters, beer and cider samples, live character performances for kids, a water balloon toss and face-painting, plus fireworks at 2 p.m. Dogs welcome.

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A view of the D.C. fireworks from the U.S. Marine Corps (Iwo Jima) Memorial in Arlington. (USDA photo by Lance Cheung on Wikimedia Commons)

Of course, no Independence Day celebration is complete without a pyrotechnic spectacle. If you love watching the fireworks above our nation’s capital, but would rather avoid the National Mall, the Virginia side of the Potomac has several prime viewing locations. Pack your chairs and blankets and stake out a spot at Long Bridge Park, Gravelly Point or the Marine Corps (Iwo Jima) War Memorial and Netherlands Carillon.  D.C.’s dazzling fireworks display will begin at 9:09 p.m. Note: The Air Force Memorial will be closed to the public this year. 

Alternately, why not watch the D.C. fireworks from the comfort of a rooftop lounge with a full bar?  At Buena Vida Gastrolounge in Clarendon, DJ Marcos 3000 will be spinning tunes from 5-10 p.m., with panoramic views of the D.C. fireworks as a backdrop. Enjoy signature margaritas for $6, or Corona and Pacifico for $5.  The newly reopened Skydome restaurant in National Landing will also be hosting a Fireworks Watch Party from 7-10 p.m. with an American buffet, adult beverages and 15th-floor views of the D.C. skyline.  See website for ticket prices and reservations.

For an all-out July 4th extravaganza, treat yourself to an evening at the Military Women’s Memorial in Arlington. The memorial will be hosting a grand Independence Day Celebration with live entertainment, a catered buffet, open bars, kids’ activities, movies, popcorn, a photo booth and glow sticks, plus a front-row seat to D.C.’s fireworks. A VIP package includes champagne, swag bags and access to a VIP lounge with top-shelf booze, beer and wine. See website for tickets and details.



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