Mt. Vernon won’t wait for dark for Fourth fireworks

WASHINGTON – Fireworks on the Fourth – that’s pretty patriotic. But how about catching early fireworks at the home of one of the Founding Fathers?

George Washington knows how to throw a party on the Fourth. The daytime fireworks at his Mount Vernon home are unique, says Melissa Wood, director of media relations for Mount Vernon. The fancy fireworks in patriotic colors start at 1 p.m. and Wood says it is probably the biggest hit of the day at the historic home.

She says visitors will gather on the east lawn overlooking the Potomac River. The military re-enactors of the First Virginia Regiment will assemble and fire off a cannon to signal the start of the fireworks.

“Streams of colored smoke will shoot up over the horizon on the Potomac River with music playing in the background,” she says. “It’s really unlike anything that you’ve seen before.”

Wood says there is also a wreath-laying ceremony at 10 a.m., honoring America’s first president at his tomb.

“This is always a very special ceremony,” she says. “Having it on Independence Day is even more moving.”

Following the wreath-laying, there will be a naturalization ceremony on the lawn in front of Washington’s home. More than 100 people will become new U.S. citizens.

The festivities will also include free birthday cake and a visit from actors portraying the first couple, Washington and his wife. George’s latest batch of whiskey will be up for sale.

“George Washington was actually one of our largest distillers in the United States during the 18th century,” Wood says.

Wood says this is a good event for families with young kids who don’t want to head to the National Mall, but still want a fireworks fix.

“This is the perfect event for the early birds who maybe want to call it an early night,” says Wood.

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