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Fourth of July Events in Northern Virginia

With picnics, parades and historical remembrances—plus one regional fireworks spectacle that boasts shells bigger than those used for the National Mall—Northern Virginia knows how to celebrate Independence Day with a bang.

By Jamel Daugherty, Caty Gordon, Caroline Hailey and Kaitlyn Jenkins

 

ARLINGTON COUNTY

Organ Fireworks Concert
July 4 from 11:30 am-12:30 pm. The fourth annual July Fourth Pipe Organ “Fireworks” Concert will feature Sousa marches with plenty of sing-a-longs for the audience. Douglas A. Beck, music director at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, will lead the concert. / St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 228 S. Pitt St., Alexandria; 703-549-3312; www.stpaulsalexandria.com; free.

Arlington is a great place to see the D.C. fireworks without having to venture into the district. Try one of these secret spots:

The Marine Corps Memorial (Iwo Jima) near the Rosslyn Metro station offers great views of the downtown fireworks display.

Gravelly Point has become one of the best destinations in Arlington from which to watch the fireworks. National Airport (Blue/Yellow Lines) is the closest stop. When you exit, make your way to the bike path and head north. If you drive, the main parking lot is only accessible if you are heading north on George Washington Parkway. Be mindful that there is limited parking in the lot across the Parkway if you are heading southbound, toward Alexandria.

Lady Bird Johnson Park is right across the river from the Washington Monument, allowing for great views of the night sky. The closest Metro stop is Arlington Cemetery on the Blue Line, but the George Washington Memorial Parkway provides direct access to the LBJ Grove parking areas.


CULPEPER COUNTY
Culpeper’s 4th of July
July 3 from 8 am-9:15 pm, July 4 from 10 am-5 pm. Listen to a reading of the Declaration of Independence, cheer on the town’s Independence Day parade, peruse the work of craft vendors, and catch a battle of the bands. Fireworks will be set off July 3 at 9:15 pm, while the afternoon of July 4 is devoted to a recreation of 1776 Culpeper. / Locations vary, downtown Culpeper; www.culpeper4thofjuly.com; 540-829-8278; free.

Culpeper Downtown Independence Day Car & Bike Show
July 4 from 10 am-3 pm. The annual Independence Day July Car & Bike Show is back for its 11th year. Sponsored by Culpeper Renaissance, Inc., and as part of Culpeper’s 4th of July, the show begins at 10 am and includes customs, classics, hotrods, cars and trucks, as well as antiques and motorcycles. Listen to a live DJ, take your chances at winning prizes, and mingle with community members. Judging will begin promptly at 10 am, and the awards presentations will start at 2:30 pm. / Davis Street and The Depot, Culpeper; 540-825-4416; www.culpeperdowntown.com; free for spectators.


FAIRFAX COUNTY

Fairfax Salutes America
July 3 from 10 am-10:30 pm. A packed day of events will take you around Fairfax, starting with a parade through the Downtown Fairfax Historic District at 10 am. At 12:30 pm, head to the Fairfax City Fire Department for a firefighter competition, food, beverages and games. The day wraps up at Fairfax High School at 7 pm for live music and fireworks. / Locations vary, downtown Fairfax; 703-385-7949; www.fairfaxva.gov; free.

Old Town Fairfax 4th of July Independence Day Parade
July 3 from 10 am-noon. This colorful and traditional parade features bands, the famous Macy’s balloons, historic vehicles, floats and characters in costumes. Feel free to bring a chair or a blanket. / Old Town Historic District, 10455 Armstrong St., Fairfax; 703-385-7858; www.fairfaxva.gov, free.

Patriotic Picnic
July 3 from 11 am-9 pm. Grab the blankets and lawn chairs for a patriotic picnic with artist demonstrations, evening concerts and a special crafts area for kids. Pack your own picnic, or purchase one for a nominal fee. Beverages and snacks also available for sale. / Workhouse Arts Center, 9601 Ox Road, Lorton; 703-584-2900; www.workhousearts.org; $5 suggested donation.

An American Celebration at Mount Vernon
July 4 from 8 am-5 pm. Historic Mount Vernon puts the history back into the Fourth of July. The day’s activities include a naturalization ceremony for 100 new citizens; military reenactments; a wreath-laying ceremony; a red, white and blue smoke firework display; free birthday cake and a visit from Gen. and Mrs. Washington. / 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon; 703-780-2000; www.visitalexandria.com; $15, $7 for kids ages 6-11, free for kids under 6.

Lake Fairfax Fireworks Spectacular
July 4 from 8 am-10 pm. Bring a picnic to Lake Fairfax Park, or enjoy the Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole located onsite with slides, flumes, sprays, showers, floatables and interactive play features, circled by a lazy river. Fireworks will begin at 9:15 pm; rain date July 5. / Lake Fairfax Park, 1400 Lake Fairfax Drive, Reston; 703-471-5414; www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/lakefairfax; park admission free, regular admission fees for Water Mine water park.

Independence Day Celebration at Herndon Community Center
July 4 from 6:30-10 pm. The Herndon Community Center will be hosting a family fun-filled evening beginning at 6:30 pm. Come out for a community kickball game, arts and crafts, sack races, bingo and other kid-friendly activities. Live musicians will take the stage at 7:30 pm; clowns and jugglers will perform, as well. Hot dogs, hamburgers, funnel cakes and cotton candy will be available for purchase. The fireworks show, choreographed to music, begins at 9:30 pm. / Herndon Community Center, 814 Ferndale Ave., Herndon; 703-787-7300; www.herndon-va.gov; free.

Town of Vienna 4th of July Celebration
July 4 from 11 am-9:30 pm. The Vienna Community Center on Cherry Street will be hosting magicians, antique car shows, music, food and rides. Community organizations will have booths set up, and the Vienna Police Honor Guard will present the colors at noon. Fireworks will be set off at Southside Park on Ross Drive promptly at 9:15 pm; spectator seating areas will open at 5 pm. See www.viennava.gov for a map of available seating areas. / Vienna Community Center, 120 Cherry St. S.E. and 1315 Ross Drive S.W., Vienna; 703-255-7840; www.viennava.gov; free.


FAUQUIER COUNTY

Annual Children and Pets Parade
July 4 @ 10 am. Decorate the kids, bikes, wagons, pets and yourself in red, white and blue for a march down Main Street. Uncle Sam will welcome participants while a community band performs at the Old Courthouse. Let the kids climb aboard fire engines and enjoy ice cream. Treats for pets will also be served. / Main Street, Warrenton; 540-349-8606; www.partnershipforwarrenton.org/events; free.

Independence Day Airshow
July 4 @ 11 am; show starts @ 2:30 pm. Watch expert pilots perform stunts in vintage biplanes. A parachute jumper opens the show, while a wingwalker hangs upside down from the biplane’s wing. Biplane and hot-air balloon rides are usually available. Bring the family and a picnic for an alternative Independence Day. / The Flying Circus Airshow Grounds, 5114 Ritchie Road, Bealeton; 540-439-8661; www.flyingcircusairshow.com; $10, $3 for children 3-12; children under 3 years free.

Fourth of July Celebration at Great Meadow
July 4 from 4-11 pm. Enjoy a fireworks show that puts the National Mall’s production to shame with shells 20 percent larger than those used in D.C. The day includes fun for the family with pony rides, aerial displays, rock walls, petting farms, rural living demonstrations and food and beverage vendors. Picnic baskets and alcohol are allowed, but no glass. / Great Meadow, 5089 Old Tavern Road, The Plains; 540-253-5001; www.greatmeadow.org; vehicle passes are $20 in advance (available at local Giant stores), $40 at the gate.


LOUDOUN COUNTY

Lovettsville Independence Day Celebration
July 3 from 5:30-10 pm. This hometown celebration offers a kick-off parade, pony rides, face painting, music, concessions and fireworks. / Lovettsville Community Center, 57 E. Broad Way, Lovettsville; 540-882-5284; www.lovettsvilleva.gov; free.

Leesburg’s Independence Day Celebration
July 4 from 10 am-10 pm. There’s a full day of festivities for the family in downtown Leesburg. The parade begins at Ida Lee Park, goes down King Street, and ends at Catoctin Circle. Afterwards, celebrate with a live band, food and fireworks. / Ida Lee Park, 60 Ida Lee Drive N.W., Leesburg; 703-777-1368; www.idalee.org; free.

Ol’ Time 4th of July Celebration
July 4 from 10:30 am- 3 pm. Visit Claude Moore Park’s historic area for pony and wagon rides, a pie-eating contest, crafts, a reptile show, nature exhibits, live music and food vendors. You can also tour the historic Lanesville Ordinary and see displays at the Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum. / Claude Moore Park/Lanesville Heritage Area, 21544 Old Vestal’s Gap Road, Sterling; 571-258-3700; www.loudoun.gov/claudemoorepark; $5, free for children under the age of 3.

Middleburg’s Independence Day Celebration
July 4 from 11 am-9 pm. Enjoy music, games, food and fireworks at dusk after cooling off by dipping in the community center pool from 11 am-6 pm. / Middleburg Community Center, 300 W. Washington St., Middleburg; 540-687-6375; www.loudoun.gov; free.

Town of Purcellville’s 4th of July Parade
July 4 from 1:30-2:30 pm. This family-friendly parade is sponsored by the Purcellville Volunteer Fire Department and the town of Purcellville. / Starting at Emerick Elementary School, 440 S. Nursery Ave., Purcellville; 703-727-7191; www.purcellvilleva.gov; free.

Purcellville Independence Day Celebration
July 4 from 6-10 pm. Featuring fireworks, food, music and entertainment. / Franklin Park, 17501 Franklin Park Drive, Purcellville; 540-338-7603; www.loudoun.gov; $5.


MANASSAS AND PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY

Dale City Democratic Committee 4th of July Parade
July 3 from 10:10 am-1 pm. Rep. Gerry Connolly and the Prince William County Democratic Committee lead an Independence Day Parade, starting at the intersection of Kirkdale Road and Dale Boulevard and ending at the intersection of Dale Road and Glendale Road. Parade participants will hand out Connelly balloons and stickers while interacting with the community. / Starting at the intersection of Kirkdale Road and Dale Boulevard, Dale City; 703-730-1409; www.pwcdems.com; free.

Celebrate America in Manassas
July 3 from 4-10 pm. Old Town Manassas is hosting an all-American party, complete with live country music, food concessions and rides for the kids, including a red, white and blue hayride. The party starts at 4 pm in the streets around the Old Town train depot, the Harris Pavilion and the Manassas Museum. Jay Henley and the Stone Broke Band will play from 4:30 to 9 pm, and the fireworks kick off at 9:15 pm. / Visitor’s Center, 9431 West St., Manassas; 703-361-6599; www.visitmanassas.org; free.

4th of July Party at Waters Edge on the Occoquan
July 4 from 11 am-11 pm. Waters Edge’s all-day party features a live band, pig roast, crab feast and the event’s first hotdog-eating contest. First-prize winner takes home $250. / 13188 Marina Way, Woodbridge; 703-494-5000; www.watersedgeoccoquan.com; free.


RAPPAHANNOCK COUNTY

Rappahannock County July 4th Celebration
July 4 from 11 am-11 pm. Watch fireworks, enjoy local food vendors and live music, peruse antique tractor and car displays, and let the kids participate in patriotic fun and games at this annual celebration and community picnic. / 4137 Sperryville Road, Sperryville; 540-675-5330; www.sperryvillefire.com; free.


STAFFORD COUNTY

“The History of America (Abridged)”
July 2-3 @ 8 pm, July 4 @ 3 pm. View a special patriotic showing of “The History of America (Abridged),” described as a “hilarious 100-minute thrill ride through 500 years of American history!” These special performances include dinner. / Riverside Center Theater, 95 Riverside Parkway, Fredericksburg; 540-370-4300, www.rsdinnertheater.com; $42 (includes dinner and show).

Fabulous Fourth at Ferry Farm
July 3 from 10 am-5 pm. Come to Washington’s childhood home and celebrate with children’s games, reenactments and demonstrations by the general, his regiment, Native Americans and frontiersmen for a better understanding of how our nation was shaped. / George Washington’s Ferry Farm, 268 Kings Highway, Fredericksburg; 540-370-0732; www.kenmore.org/events.html; $2, free for children under 3.

Annual July 4th Fireworks in Stafford
July 4 @ 6 pm. Music beginning at 8 pm leads up to fireworks beginning at dusk. Parking is free but limited. / Pratt Park, 120 River Road, Fredericksburg; 540-658-8681; www.tourstaffordva.com; free.


WASHINGTON, D.C.

Annual July 4th Celebration at the National Archives
July 4 from 10 am-9 pm. The National Archives celebrates the Fourth of July with special family programming celebrating the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Visit the National Archives Building for this special birthday party from 10 am to 9 pm. / National Archives Building, Constitution Avenue steps between Seventh and Ninth Streets N.W., Washington, D.C.; 202-357-5000; www.archives.gov; free.

Smithsonian Folklife Festival
July 4 from 11 am-5:30 pm. The annual event includes daily and evening music and dance performances, crafts and cooking demonstrations, storytelling and discussions of cultural issues. The themes of the 2010 program will be: “México Profundo: A Deeper Mexico,” “Asian Pacific American Connections” and “Smithsonian Inside Out.” / National Mall, Washington, D.C.; 202- 633-6440; www.festival.si.edu; free.

National Independence Day Parade
July 4 @ 11:45 am. Washington, D.C.’s Fourth of July Parade features marching bands, military and specialty units, floats and VIPs. The parade draws a large crowd, so plan to arrive early to stake out a good viewing spot. / Constitution Avenue and Seventh to 17th Streets, Washington, D.C.; 800-215-6405; www.july4thparade.com; free.

A Capitol Fourth concert and fireworks
July 4 @ 6 pm. A Fourth of July tradition in the nation’s capital includes a live concert by the National Symphony Orchestra and several pop artists performing patriotic music on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building followed by fireworks over the National Monument. The annual event is broadcast live on PBS with a repeat airing from 9:30-11 pm. The concert will also be broadcast over National Public Radio on WAMU – 88.5 FM. / West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C.; www.pbs.org/capitolfourth; free.


SPECIAL FOOD EVENTS

Tudor Place Ice Cream Social
July 2 from 10 am-3 pm. Tour Tudor Place to show your appreciation of American history. Afterwards show your appreciation of ice cream by building your own sundae in the gardens. / Tudor Place, 1644 31st St. N.W., Washington, D.C.; www.tudorplace.org; $12.

Pearmund Cellars Anniversary Weekend
July 3 and 4 @ 10 am. Enjoy a cookout with all the fixings. / Pearmund Cellars, 6190 Georgetown Road, Broad Run; 540-347-3475; www.pearmundcellars.com; $5, $2 for kids.

Potomac Point Winery
July 3 and 4 @ 11 am. Potomac Point Winery celebrates America’s birthday with wine, food and tours. / Potomac Point Winery, 275 Decatur Road, Stafford; 540-446-2266; www.potomacpointwinery.com; fee for tours.

Reds, Whites & Blues
July 3 from 11:30 am-6 pm. Celebrate our nation’s birthday while sipping a glass of Gadino Cellars medal-winning reds and whites and listening to the blues guitar music of Pops Walker. Play a game of bocce ball by the vineyards, or spread out on the lawn, where picnic tables are available. / Gadino Cellars, 92 School House Road, Washington, Va.; 540-675-5330; www.gadinocellars.com; free.

Annual BackBarn BBQ @ Willowcroft Farm Vineyards
July 3 @ noon. Featuring wine tastings, and barbecue catered by Red Hot & Blue. Reservations are required. / Willowcroft Farm Vineyards, 38906 Mount Gilead Road, Leesburg; 703-777-8161; www.willowcroftwine.com; $12.

Veramar Vineyard: Independence Day the Cajun Way
July 3 from noon-5 pm. Start the weekend’s party early by heading to Berryville for local wine, Cajun dishes and classic Creole music. / Veramar Vineyard, 905 Quarry Road, Berryville; 540-955-5510; www.veramar.com; free.

Yogen Fruz Independence Day Deal
July 4 from 10 am-2 pm. In celebration of the federal holiday, Yogen Fruz is offering a free frozen yogurt with the purchase of a medium/large yogurt at all Virginia locations. Yogen Fruz, multiple NoVA locations; www.yogenfruz.com.

Gone to the Dogs: Fourth of July at Pearmund Cellars
July 4 @ 11 am. At Pearmund Cellars, dogs are invited to bask in the sun, frolic between the vines and chase Frisbees while owners and friends taste wine. However, visiting dogs must be well mannered, play nicely with others and clean up after themselves. / Pearmund Cellars, 6190 Georgetown Road, Broad Run; 540-347-3475; www.pearmundcellars.com; $5.

Fourth of July Celebration at Fox Meadow Winery
July 4 @ 11 am. Celebrate Independence Day with special food pairings themed red, white and blue while being serenaded by classical guitar music from 4-7 pm. / Fox Meadow Winery, 3310 Freezeland Road, Linden; 540-636-6777; www.foxmeadowwinery.com; prices vary.

Independence Day at Indigo Landing
July 4 from 5-10 pm. Food? Check: an all-you-can-eat buffet for the evening featuring chicken wings, King Crab legs, hamburgers and dessert waffle bar. Views? Check: The restaurant overlooks the Potomac with a direct view of the D.C. skyline. Reservations? That part is up to you. / Indigo Landing Restaurant, One Marina Drive, Alexandria; 703-548-0001; www.indigolanding.com; $75, $50 for children under 12.

July 4th Three-Course Dinner
July 4 @ 6 pm. City Square Café of Old Town Manassas invites you to a special three-course dinner featuring barbecue pork ribs, Linguine Bolognese or Atlantic salmon, and a view of Old Town Manassas fireworks. Local entertainer Zac Quintana will play contemporary folk music on the outdoor patio. Call for reservations. / City Square Café, 9428 Battle St., Manassas; 703-369-6022; www.citysquarecafe.com; $45 per person, not including tax and gratuity.

Dandy Dinner Cruise
July 4 from 6:30-11:30 pm. The boat will bring you to the fireworks bursting over the Potomac while you feast on a six-course candlelight dinner featuring Tender Prime Rib, Fillet of Haddock, assorted cheeses and an open bar. / 00 Prince St., Alexandria; 703-683-6076 for reservations; www.dandydinnerboat.com; $185.