Perhaps the grandest Fourth of July celebration in the National Park System will be held in Washington, D.C., on the National Mall, where you can watch a parade, enjoy the Folklife Festival, listen to the U.S. Navy Band, and, of course, marvel at one of the largest fireworks displays in the country.
'The National Park Service has been planning since the last Fourth of July to ensure that our visitors have a fun-filled and safe holiday,' said Bob Vogel, superintendent of National Mall and Memorial Parks.
In preparation for Independence Day, NPS maintenance employees will oversee the installation of 18,000 linear feet of chain link fencing and 14,000 feet of bike rack. Almost 350 portable toilets are placed throughout the Mall. U.S. Park Police has been working in conjunction with multiple agencies to ensure the safety of visitors. About 150 National Park Service employees and more than 100 volunteers will work on the holiday itself. A multi-agency team will be manning a total of six medical aid stations, five on the National Mall and one at Arlington Memorial Circle. Cleanup crews begin their work at 10 p.m. on the Fourth and work into the next day. George Washington Memorial Parkway will be staffed by another 50 people.
As always, safety is the top priority for the Park Service. The U.S. Park Police will again be using a text notification service to quickly deliver important and emergency information to visitors. Cellphone users can receive emergency notifications via text message by texting JULY4DC to 888777. This year, the U.S. Park Police will also be using GPS technology to aid in family reunification.
'We are utilizing the latest technology to keep the public safe and informed," said Rob MacLean, acting chief of the U.S. Park Police.
NPS contractor, Garden State Fireworks, will fire more than 6,000 shells between 9:10 p.m. and 9:27 p.m. for one of the best displays in the country.
The National Mall is a prime spot for viewing the fireworks, but not the only place. In Washington D.C., Meridian Hill Park and Lincoln Park, both administered by the Park Service, provide a good vantage point. In Virginia, the fireworks can be seen from Gravelly Point, the Mount Vernon Trail, the United States Marine Corps War Memorial and Arlington Ridge.
Parking is very limited on both sides of the Potomac, and public transportation is strongly encouraged. Parking in Virginia is limited to Gravelly Point and the north Pentagon parking lot. Parking will not be allowed on grassy areas at Gravelly Point.
The fireworks will only be postponed in case of heavy rain, thunderstorms or high winds. The rain date for the fireworks is July 5.
Highlights of the day include:
- Ranger Talks ' Korean War Memorial, Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King Memorial and World War II Memorial
Talks are every hour on the hour 11 a.m. ' 8 p.m. The last talk at the World War II Memo is at 3 p.m.
- Fourth of July Parade ' Constitution Ave., N.W. from 7th to 17th St.
11:45 a.m. - 2 p.m.
- Smithsonian Folklife Festival ' National Mall, between 7th and 14th Streets
11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The 2014 annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival, co-sponsored by the NPS, will be open on the National Mall from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. between 9th and 14th streets. For more information, please visit:www.folklife.si.edu or call 202-633-1000.
- Concert ' Sylvan Theater on the Washington Monument Grounds
6 p.m. ' 9:10 p.m.
Featuring the U.S. Navy Band
- A Capitol Fourth Concert ' West Lawn the U.S. Capitol
8 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
The concert will be hosted by television personality Tom Bergeron. Gates open at 3 p.m.
- Fireworks Display
9:10 p.m. - 9:27 p.m.
Complete information on all events can be found at www.nps.gov/foju.
WHAT VISITORS NEED TO KNOW
National Mall ' (See attached map) Public access to the National Mall begins at 10 a.m. There will be nine entrances to the Mall. Entrances close at 9 p.m.
- South side of Memorial Bridge
- Constitution Avenue between 23rd Street and Henry Bacon Dr., N.W.
- Constitution Avenue and 17th Street, N.W.
- Constitution Avenue and 15th Street, N.W.
- West side of 14th Street at Madison Drive
- West side of 14th Street at Jefferson Drive
- Maine Avenue and Raoul Wallenberg Place, (also known as 15th Street)
- East Basin Drive just south of the Jefferson Memorial (visitors will not be able to access the National Mall from here)
- East Basin Drive at Inlet Bridge, S.W.
The U.S. Capitol grounds ' Public access begins at 3 p.m. for visitors wanting to view A Capitol Fourth, with a security check required of all visitors. Seating on the lawn is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Entrances will be at:
- 3rd and Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
- 3rd and Maryland Ave. S.W.
George Washington Memorial Parkway ' Fireworks can be viewed from two locations along the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Access to those areas begins at 12 noon. There is no access to the National Mall from these locations:
- U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial and Netherlands Carillon
- Columbia Island/Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove. ( Access to the Potomac Riverfront is now possible via the new bike/pedestrian tunnel that runs underneath the Boundary Channel Bridge, (a.k.a. the 'Humpback Bridge')
- Gravelly Point, north of National Airport
- Washington Sailing Marina at Daingerfield Island
PROHIBITED ITEMS AND ACTIVITIES
Visitors will be screened at all entrance points. All coolers, backpacks, packages, and persons will be subject to inspection.
- No grills, alcohol, glass bottles, or personal fireworks are permitted on NPS property
- On the National Mall and along the GWMP, personal tents that block other visitors' views and tents that require stakes are prohibited.
- Due to limited space on the Washington Monument grounds, visitors are asked to refrain from recreational activities (i.e. volleyball, badminton, etc.).
- The NPS and United States Park Police (USPP) strongly recommend visitors leave their pets at home. NPS policy requires that pets be physically restrained at all times and that leashes may be no more than six feet long. Pet owners are required to dispose of pet waste in a plastic bag and deposit it into a trash receptacle.
- Possession of firearms in national parks is governed by Federal law as well as local law, which may vary depending on the jurisdiction in which the national park is located. All visitors should be aware of and follow applicable firearms laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the District of Columbia.
Visitors are strongly advised to use public transportation. Metro stations near the National Mall and Memorial Parks, U.S. Capitol, and President's Park that will remain open throughout the day include: Smithsonian, Federal Triangle, Foggy Bottom, Metro Center, Gallery Place-Chinatown, Farragut North, Farragut West, Capitol South, L'Enfant Plaza, Union Station, Federal Center S.W., and Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter, Arlington National Cemetery, Rosslyn and the Pentagon. Up-to-date information can be found at www.wmata.com
- Food, water, and refreshments will be available for purchase at concession stands and facilities on the National Mall and Columbia Island.
- The NPS will provide a free bike "self-parking' area at 14th and 15th Street on Independence Avenue, S.W. Locks will not be provided.
- Portable restrooms, including ADA accessible restrooms, will be available throughout the National Mall and at locations on the GWMP side of the Potomac.
- ANC Tours by Martz, which operates the Arlington House shuttle and tour within Arlington National Cemetery, will operate during normal hours on July 4.
- The NPS, with the assistance of numerous volunteers, will monitor the grounds around the Washington Monument to collect recyclables, including aluminum cans and plastic bottles.
VISITOR SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS
NPS recommends that visitors:
- Take photos of children before leaving home and keep photos on your cellular phone in case of separation
- Have children carry a contact phone number
- Prepare for heat and sun
- Bring enough food and water for the entire day (water-bottle filling stations will be available)
- Drink plenty of water
- Use sunscreen.
- Eat throughout the day
- Take frequent shade breaks and periodically get out of the heat and into air conditioning, especially between 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
- Reduce exertion during the hottest hours
- Bring extra medication
MEDICAL AID STATIONS
National Mall and Memorial Parks
- Lincoln Memorial Circle, on the west side of Daniel French across from the Korean War Veterans Memorial
- Washington Monument grounds, along 17th Street, east of WWII Memorial
- Washington Monument grounds, at Survey Lodge Ranger Station
- Washington Monument grounds, along 15th Street, near Madison Drive
- Near the Smithsonian Metro Station, Mall Entrance -
George Washington Memorial Parkway
- U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial (commonly known as the Iwo Jima Memorial) and Netherlands Carillon
- South of Arlington Memorial Bridge Circle -
The USPP family reunification trailer is located near Independence Avenue between 15th and 17th Streets. Visitors should report to any uniformed USPP officer or NPS ranger if a member of their group is missing. When lost persons are located, they will be taken to the family reunification trailer.
LOST AND FOUND
Visitors can call the USPP at 202-426-6849 to check for lost items beginning July 5.
- Washington Monument is closed all day.
- World War II Memorial will close at 4:00 p.m. as part of the fireworks safety zone. Cleanup of the World War II Memorial will begin immediately following the fireworks show and the site will open as soon as the cleanup is complete.
- Access to Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial will be limited after 8:00 p.m. The Memorial will remain open, but the public will not be able to access the Memorial from Independence Ave. after 8 p.m. Access will be available from West Basin and Ohio Drives.
- Paddle boats at the Tidal Basin will not operate.
- Big Bus Tours and Martz will not operate on the Mall on July 4.
- East Potomac Golf Course will close at 3:30 p.m.
- East Potomac Tennis Center will close at 3:00 p.m.
ROAD CLOSURES (6 a.m. TO APPROXIMATELY 10 p.m.)
'¢ Arlington Memorial Bridge and Arlington Memorial Circle on the Virginia end to and including Lincoln Memorial Circle in the District;
'¢ Rock Creek Parkway south of Virginia Avenue, NW to Lincoln Memorial Circle, including all approaches and ramps;
'¢ Parkway Drive from Rock Creek Parkway to Lincoln Memorial Circle;
'¢ Lincoln Memorial Circle and all approaches and ramps into and out of Lincoln Memorial Circle, including Henry Bacon Drive, NW and Daniel Chester French Drive, SW;
'¢ Ramp from Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Bridge to Constitution Avenue, NW and Independence Avenue, SW and Ohio Drive, SW; Inbound traffic on I-66 will be directed to the 'E' Street Expressway;
'¢ Constitution Avenue, NW from 23rd Street, NW to 14th Street, NW;
'¢ 19th, 20th, 21st and 22nd Streets, NW between Constitution Avenue, NW and C Street, NW;
'¢ 18th Street, NW between Constitution Avenue, NW and Virginia Avenue, NW;
'¢ Virginia Avenue, NW between Constitution Avenue, NW and 18th Street, NW;
'¢ 17th Street, NW from E Street, NW south to Independence Avenue, SW;
'¢ C and D Streets, NW from 17th to 18th Streets, NW;
'¢ 15th Street, NW from E Street, NW south to Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW;
'¢ Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW to Maine Avenue, SW;
'¢ Independence Avenue, SW west of 14th Street, SW to 23rd Street, SW, including merge with Rock Creek Parkway;
'¢ Madison Drive, NW from 15th Street, NW to 3rd Street. NW;
'¢ Jefferson Drive, SW from 15th Street, SW to 3rd Street, SW;
'¢ 7th Street, NW between Constitution Avenue, NW and Independence Avenue, SW;
'¢ 4th Street, NW between Constitution Avenue, NW and Independence Avenue, SW;
'¢ Ohio Drive, SW from the Inlet Bridge to Independence Avenue, SW;
'¢ West Basin Drive, SW from Ohio Drive, SW to Independence Avenue, SW;
'¢ East Basin Drive, SW, east of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial to Ohio Drive, SW.
Parade Closures from 11 a.m. to approximately 10 p.m.
'¢ 3rd Street, between Pennsylvania Avenue, NW and Maryland Avenue, SW;
'¢ Constitution Avenue, NW from Pennsylvania Avenue, NW to 14th Street, NW, starting at 11 a.m.;
'¢ 14th Street, NW between Pennsylvania Avenue, NW and Independence Avenue,
Virginia Closures from 6 a.m. to approximately 10 p.m.
'¢ Ramp from southbound and northbound George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP) to Memorial Avenue /Circle;
'¢ Ramp from northbound Route 110 to Memorial Circle;
'¢ Ramp from VA Rte-27 to Memorial Avenue/Circle.
Note: The right lane of northbound George Washington Memorial Parkway from the 14th St. Bridge to Theodore Roosevelt Island will close at 6 a.m.
Virginia Closures from 3 p.m. to midnight
'¢ Eastbound U.S. Route 50 ramps to the George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP) and roads in the immediate area of U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial;
'¢ Southbound GWMP ramp to 14th Street Bridge; (9 p.m. - 9:45 p.m. as necessary)
'¢ Northbound GWMP ramp to 14th Street Bridge. (9 p.m. - 9:45 p.m. as necessary)
If weather conditions require cancellation, fireworks display will be held on July 5