Fun on the Fourth

There are lots of ways to celebrate Independence Day in Washington. Here are plenty of events—from fireworks and parades to a dinner cruise on the Potomac—to keep you busy on July 4.

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Celebrate the Fourth with Entourage actor Adrian Grenier (swoon!) and his New York-based new-wave-folk band, the Honey Brothers. The band performs with DJ Sky Nellor on the W Hotel’s rooftop starting at 6. There’ll be a premium open bar until 9 with food from Culinary Concepts by Jean-Georges. To get a ticket—$200 a person—call 202-661-2400.

DC’s Southwest Waterfront is getting in the Fourth of July spirit with five bands, six DJs, four party areas, and more than 20 bars. The Uncle Sam Jam features live performances by Grammy Award-winning alt-rockers Soul Asylum along with local favorites Virginia Coalition and Back to Zero. Tickets start at $10; 3 to 10. Details are here.

Gather at the steps of the National Archives Building for the annual reading of the Declaration of Independence. WJLA anchor Maureen Bunyan will be mistress of ceremonies, and the Continental Color Guard will perform the presentation of colors with a performance by the Fife and Drum Corps. For more information, including details about events happening throughout the day at the National Archives, go here.

The National Independence Day Parade begins at 11:45 AM. Get a spot on the curb along Constitution Avenue between Seventh and 17th streets, Northwest, to see bands, floats, military units, and more.

Take time to appreciate the life of our first President with a trip to his Mount Vernon Estate. The annual Independence Day event includes a military reenactment, special wreathlaying ceremony, appearances by George and Martha, and more. Free birthday cake will be provided along with a fireworks show. Admission is $15 for adults and $7 for children ages 6 to 11; under 5 is free. For details, go here.

Enjoy the fireworks from the Potomac with a Spirit of Washington dinner cruise. The evening includes an open bar, buffet dinner, and music. 8 to 11; $149.90 a person. All passengers must be 21 or older. More information is here.

Younger guests can get in on the fun, too, with a lunchtime cruise from 11:30 to 1:30. Tickets are $39.90 for adults and $19.95 for kids ages 3 to 12; children under 3 are free.

Did you know that Fairfax’s Fourth of July parade is the largest in Northern Virginia? With more than 200 participants including state bands, floats, and musical entertainment, the morning parade last two hours as it travels through historic Fairfax. Keep the party going with an evening show at 7 at Fairfax High School with free children’s activities along with entertainment and a fireworks display. The parade starts at 10 at Old Town Hall.

Buy a package for an overnight celebration at Gaylord National Resort. The one-night Fireworks & Fun package ($199) includes admission for four to the Fireworks & Fun July 4th Celebration from 5 to 9:30. There’ll be live music including a tribute to the Beach Boys and the Eagles, a kids’ zone, adults-only wine-and-cigar garden, and a grand finale fireworks show with music. For more information, go here.

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