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Fourth of July attracts crowds to National Mall

JULIET LINDERMAN
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Thousands of revelers are celebrating the Fourth of July in the nation’s capital under clear skies, despite initial fears that Hurricane Arthur could rain on their parade.

Visitors to the National Mall gazed at the White House and the Washington Monument and strolled through the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, which featured food, music and cultural demonstrations from China and Kenya.

Revelers spread out on the lawn with picnics and cold drinks on Friday afternoon to await the fireworks display, scheduled to begin around 9:15 p.m. Before that, a concert was planned with performances by Patti LaBelle, Jordin Sparks and John Williams, who will play a new arrangement of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Hurricane Arthur spared the mid-Atlantic region as it veered out to sea, bringing rainy weather to New York and Boston.

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