‘A Capitol Fourth’ performances to be pretaped again with live fireworks

FILE - In this Saturday, July 4, 2020, file photo, Fourth of July fireworks explode over the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol along the National Mall in Washington. President Joe Biden wants to imbue Independence Day with new meaning in 2021 by encouraging nationwide celebrations to mark the country’s effective return to normalcy after 16 months of pandemic disruption. The White House says the National Mall in Washington will host the traditional fireworks ceremony and it's encouraging other communities hold festivities as well. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)(AP/Cliff Owen)

“A Capitol Fourth” will return for its 41st annual celebration July 4, but the concerts will be pretaped again this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, like last year, the fireworks will be broadcast live, and this year crowds will return to the National Mall for fireworks to celebrate the nation’s 245th birthday.

Multiplatinum recording artist, Vanessa Williams, a television, film and Broadway star, will host and perform during the show from D.C.

“I first performed on this national July 4 TV tradition in 2005, and it has always held a special place in my heart,” Williams said.

The concert will also include musical performances from Jimmy Buffett, Cynthia Erivo, Gladys Knight, Jennifer Nettles, Alan Jackson, Pentatonix, Mickey Guyton, Ali Stroker, Jimmie Allen, Train, Laura Osnes and Auli’i Cravalho.

“As families and friends reunite and the country begins to open up this Fourth of July, we plan to bring you an exciting program with the greatest fireworks display in the nation, performances by the biggest stars and patriotic favorites,” said executive producer Michael Colbert.

“Make ‘A Capitol Fourth’ your Independence Day celebration. We have something for everyone’s party.”

The National Symphony Orchestra will perform John Williams’ “Olympic Fanfare” in tribute to Team USA, honoring the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams as they prepare for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The concert will honor members of the military and their families for their contributions to the nation and their dedication to service during the show.

PBS will air the show Sunday, July 4, from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The program can also be heard on NPR member stations nationwide and will be streaming on Facebook, YouTube and on PBS’ website.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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