The red glare from the National Mall fireworks on July 4 will have special significance as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, honors the lost, and celebrates a vacation that feels much closer to normal .
The National Park Service is gearing up for the country’s big 245th birthday party on Sunday, and A Capitol Fourth will also be returning for a virtual show.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Independence Day festivities on the National Mall in Washington, DC (Plus, check out the DC area parades and all the fireworks from Maryland and Virginia. ).
When are the National Mall fireworks in Washington?
The fireworks will be fired from both sides of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool on Sunday, July 4, 2021.
The July 4th posting is scheduled to start at 9:09 p.m. and last for 17 minutes, The national park service says.
How do I see the 4th of July fireworks display at the National Mall in Washington, DC?
The fireworks are expected to be visible in many areas of Washington, DC and Northern Virginia.
You can watch the fireworks on the National Mall by entering any of these checkpoints between 1 p.m. and 9 p.m. (beware, there will be a security check for prohibited items):
- West side of Arlington Memorial Bridge
- Constitution Avenue NW between 23rd Street NW and Henry Bacon Drive NW
- Constitution Avenue NW and 17th Street NW
- 15th Street NW to Madison Drive NW
- 14th Street SW to Jefferson Drive SW
- Maine Avenue SW and Raoul Wallenberg Place SW (15th Street SW)
The National Park Service recommends these alternative spots for good fireworks away from the crowds at the National Mall:
You don’t need to go downtown to enjoy the display. Some of the neighborhood’s favorite spots include the Lawn of Washington National Cathedral, Cardozo High School, Yards Park, Giesboro Park, and Anacostia Park. NBC Sports Washington has even more choices.
What about A Capitol Fourth?
There will be no show on the grounds of the US Capitol: access remains limited.
How do I get to the National Mall fireworks display?
Due to road closures and limited parking spaces, public transportation is your best option.
On Sunday July 4, the Metrorail service will operate from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. During the day, trains will run on a regular schedule on weekends, every 12 minutes on the Red Line and every 15 minutes on all other lines, until 4 p.m. service will increase to peak-hour service levels or better before and after the fireworks, Metro said.
All stations will be open; however, after 9:00 p.m., the entrance to the National Mall at Smithsonian Station will become “entrance only” to accommodate returning crowds.
The Smithsonian station is the closest, however, this station can get seriously overcrowded before and after the fireworks display.
After the show, you can get on a train faster by using a station a little further away.
Metro suggests using:
- Misty background – Orange line / silver line / blue line (may become “exit only” before the festivities and “entrance only” after)
- Metro Center – Red / Orange / Silver / Blue
- Federal triangle – Orange / Silver / Blue
- Archives – Yellow / Green
- Place Gallery – Red / Yellow / Green
- Judicial Square – Red
- Union Station – Red
- L’Enfant Plaza – Orange / Silver / Blue / Yellow / Green
- Capitol South – Orange / Silver / Blue
- SW Federal Center – Orange / Silver / Blue
- Arlington Cemetery – Blue
What is the forecast for July 4th?
While there are chances of rain during Independence Day weekend and July 4th, Sunday is expected to be the most beautiful day of the weekend and the skies will be clear in time for the fires of artifice.
What safety and security measures are in place?
Authorities will screen people entering the National Mall at security checkpoints. Prohibited items include alcohol, aerosols, balloons, weapons and ammunition, fireworks, glass, pepper spray, structures such as folding tables or tents and coolers over 36 quarts (23 “x 15” x 15 “). Here is a complete list.
DC Police Chief Robert Contee said the department was “prepared” for “a full deployment of officers” to protect the city and respond to any situation.
Contee says there is no credible threat to the events.
Send JULY4DC to 888777 to sign up for US Parks Police Emergency Notification Text Alerts.
Are masks mandatory at the National Mall?
Anyone who is not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 is asked to wear a mask. If you are vaccinated, you can skip a mask.
Everyone should wear a mask on public transportation under Federal and DC regulations.
What roads and monuments will be closed around the National Mall?
the washington monument, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, World War II Memorial will be closed on July 4.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial will close at 4 p.m. as it is near where the fireworks will be set off.
There will be no pedal boats on the Tidal Basin, water taxi service, Circulator service or Big Bus tours to the mall.
The East Potomac Golf Course will close at 3:30 p.m. and the East Potomac Tennis Center will close at 3:00 p.m.
Here is a complete list of road closures.
Since there are fewer events and no parades due to COVID-19, you may notice that the safe zone is smaller than in previous years.
Is Washington DC open on July 4th?
Mayor Muriel Bowser said DC is open and ready for visitors to return. All corporate capacity restrictions have been lifted.