Enjoy classic patriotism, music and history on full display leading up to the Fourth of July this weekend in perfect fashion at the nation’s capital.
Catch fireworks displays at the Washington Nationals game Friday, see a military band performance at National Harbor Saturday and learn some of D.C.’s hidden history on a walking tour Sunday. When the big day arrives, watch fireworks light the sky on the National Mall at the Capitol Fourth concert.
Freedom Fireworks at Nationals Park
If you’re looking to catch some early fireworks before the Fourth and avoid the frantic search for a spot to see them, don’t miss the show after the Nationals take on the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park. After nine innings of America’s favorite pastime and the classic President’s race – an all-out sprint between George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt in mascot form – Budweiser will present a Freedom Fireworks display to celebrate the fourth of July with a range of colorful fireworks. The first pitch is at 6:05 p.m., but consider cooling off by the Capitol Riverfront beforehand. Alternatively, on the way to the park, stop by one of Navy Yard’s new restaurants, like Basebowl or Rasa.
Nationals Park, 1500 S Capitol St SE. Starts at 6:05 p.m. Tickets start at $16. Find more information here.
Salute the Sunset Concert at National Harbor
Celebrate your patriotic side and see the Air Force Airmen of Note perform in a concert at the National Harbor in Maryland. The hour-long jam is part of a series of free outdoor shows featuring military bands at the scenic harbor. Bring a blanket or camping chair to secure your spot before the band begins at 7 p.m. The evening will begin with a Drill at Dusk ceremony by the Air Force Honor Guard as part of a traditional ceremony performed on holidays and special occasions. The Airmen of Note are one of six groups that make up the U.S. Air Force Band, specializing in jazz tunes. Grab a bite from one of the many restaurants along the harbor, like Bond 45 or Succotash, take in the waterfront views and enjoy the patriotic sounds. The series lasts all summer long on Wednesday and Saturday nights.
National Harbor, 150 National Harbor Plaza, Maryland. 7 to 8 p.m. Free. Find more information here.
Secrets and Scandals of D.C. Guided Walking Tour
Add some history to your July 4 celebrations with this walking tour of D.C., which provides not only basic history but deeper information about the city. Get an inside look at some of its lesser-known spots, like secret tunnels beneath the White House, as you weave through the hidden gems of the National Mall. For D.C. locals looking to up their factoid game, this tour provides the perfect blend of history and scandal, marked by several stops connected to American spies and their rendezvous points. Learn about secret political meeting places and century-old redwood trees to point out to relatives the next time they visit. The tour begins at the Independence Avenue exit of the Smithsonian Metro stop and lasts about two hours.
Smithsonian Station, Independence Ave, 1200 Independence Ave. SW. Noon to 2 p.m. $20. Find more information here.
Capitol Fourth Concert
The staple concert, broadcast live by PBS, will kick off at 8 p.m. directly in front of the U.S. Capitol building. The concert has been televised annually for more than 40 years, historically featuring performers like Frankie Valli, John Williams and Stevie Wonder. After two years of virtual concerts, the U.S. Capitol’s West Lawn is finally open again for members of the public to set down a blanket and enjoy the performance live. This year’s concert features artists like Gloria Gaynor, Cynthia Erivo and Hamilton’s Christopher Jackson. The event is likely to get packed, so head to the Mall early. Gates open to the public at 3 p.m., and the show runs for approximately two and a half hours. Stick around to see the annual fireworks display from both ends of the reflecting pool.
U.S. Capitol, First Street SE, 8:00 p.m. Free. Find more information here.