Rain postpones some D.C.-area fireworks shows

WASHINGTON  — The rain took its toll on Fourth of July fireworks plans around the nation’s capital, and while the National Mall fireworks show went on as scheduled, other events were postponed or canceled.

WTOP’s Michelle Basch was at the fireworks show on the National Mall and reported that earlier rainfall and clouds made for poor visibility for viewers.

Some fireworks shows and events have been rescheduled because of inclement weather:

  • College Park, Maryland, has postponed its annual fireworks celebration. The weather threat led the city to move its fireworks to Tuesday, July 5 at Lot 1 of the University of Maryland, said College Park Mayor Patrick Wojahn in a tweet. Read more here.
  • Gaithersburg, Maryland, rescheduled its fireworks show to Friday, July 8. The city is still holding an indoor festival on the Fourth of July from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the Activity Center at Bohrer Park. Read more here.
  • Greenbelt, Maryland, rescheduled its Buddy Attick Park fireworks show for Tuesday, July 5.
  • The White House has also canceled its barbecue on the South Lawn with military heroes.
  • Frederick, Maryland, rescheduled its fireworks show for Sunday, July 24. Its Independence Day Celebration closes at 6:30 p.m. Read more here.
  • Poolesville, Maryland, has canceled its fireworks show. No make-up date has been set. Read more here.
  • In Annapolis, Maryland, the parade has been canceled, but the fireworks still went on as scheduled. Read more here.
  • In Vienna, Virginia, the fireworks have been postponed until Tuesday at 9:30 p.m.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said that crowds were a little bit lighter than normal Monday morning because of the projection for rain, making it easier to find good spots along the parade route.

But the biggest challenge, she said, will be crowd management, particularly during the last-minute rush in the evening to get into D.C. for the fireworks.

“Typically we see a last-minute rush and it will be probably more than normal this time,” with people waiting to see what will happen with the weather, Lanier said.

“Trying to get everybody in the venue, making sure they’re safe, keep those crowds moving, that’s the biggest challenge.”

Lanier also spoke about safety, given recent events, and said that there is no reason to be leery of coming down for Fourth of July celebrations.

“We have a very strong team here … good partnership with law enforcement agencies. D.C. is a very safe place to come for the Fourth of July,” she said.

Here are a few resources to help you plan your July 4 festivities:


Fireworks, events and safety:



Fun facts:

Colleen Kelleher

Colleen Kelleher is an award-winning journalist who has been with WTOP since 1996. Kelleher joined WTOP as the afternoon radio writer and night and weekend editor and made the move to WTOP.com in 2001. Now she works early mornings as the site's Senior Digital Editor.

Sarah Beth Hensley

Sarah Beth Hensley is the Digital News Director at WTOP. She has worked several different roles since she began with WTOP in 2013 and has contributed to award-winning stories and coverage on the website.

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