FAQ: ‘A Capitol Fourth’ returns live to US Capitol

The 42nd annual Fourth of July celebration “A Capitol Fourth” returns in person at 8 p.m., with public access after two years of virtual concerts due to COVID-19.

Here’s what you need to know if you plan on attending the first live Capitol celebration since the pandemic began.

  • Q: Who is performing?
  • A: Mickey Guyton is listed as a performer alongside several big names in Broadway music.

    • Actor and musician Darren Criss
    • Grammy Award-winning gospel artist Yolanda Adams
    • Musician Andy Grammer
    • Tony Award winner and Broadway icon Chita Rivera
    • Grammy Award-winning musician and actor Gloria Gaynor
    • Emmy Award winner, artist and author Rachel Platten
    • Blues musician Keb’ Mo’
    • Grammy Award-winning composer and musician Emily Bear
    • Loren Allred, the singer-songwriter famously behind “Never Enough” from “The Greatest Showman”

    Conductor Jack Everly will also be present alongside the National Symphony Orchestra, Military District of Washington, United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” and the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets.

  • Q: Who will host?
  • A: Country musician and four-time Grammy-nominee Mickey Guyton will host this year.

  • Q: When does the show start?
  • A: Gates open at 3 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m. It will last until 9:30 p.m.

    (If you don’t feel comfortable attending in-person, you can stream it live here.)

  • Q: Will the fireworks show be live this year?
  • A: Absolutely!

    The fireworks are back in person and will be captured live “by more cameras than ever” (a total of 20) positioned around the District’s rooftops.

  • Q: Where do I go to watch the show?
  • Public entrances to the West Front of the U.S. Capitol are as follows:

    • North (Senate) Side of Capitol Square: Third Street, NW, and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
    • South (House) Side of Capitol Square: Third Street, SW, and Maryland Avenue, SW

    All public entrances are wheelchair-accessible. Guests with mobility issues and their parties will be accommodated at any public entrance. Limited parking on a first come, first serve basis will be available to visitors with disabilities and their parties along the south curb of Constitution Avenue between First and Third Streets, NW.

  • Q: What streets will be closed for the concert?
  • A: For now, if you don’t plan on taking the Metro, you should plan for areas of Constitution Avenue NW and Independence Avenue SW to be blocked or slow-moving.

    At 3 p.m. on July 4, Eastbound U.S. Route 50 ramps heading toward George Washington Parkway and streets surrounding the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial will close for the show.

    South and Northbound parkway ramps to the 14th Street Bridge could close, if necessary, from the beginning of the show until 15 minutes after it ends.

    WMATA and the National Park Service suggest traveling by Metro (the nearest stop is the Smithsonian station) to avoid a long walk.

    Nearby parking will be limited to mobility-impaired guests and their guests at the south curb of Constitution Avenue, between First and Third streets Northwest.

    Temporary street closures and parking restrictions will take effect beginning at 12:01 a.m. on July 2 through July 5 at 4 a.m.

    • First Street between Constitution Avenue, NW and Independence Avenue, SW
    • Maryland Avenue, SW, between First Street, SW, and Third Street, SW
    • Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, between First Street, NW, and Third Street, NW
    • The area between Peace Circle and Garfield Circle will remain closed until 4 a.m. on July 5.
  • Q: What should I bring to the concert?
  • A: The National Park Service recommends leaving your pets at home and traveling by Metro with plenty of water when attending events.

    If you decide to bring bags, coolers or packages, they will be subject to inspection. You can find a list of prohibited items here.

  • Q: Will I be able to visit nearby memorials on the Fourth of July?
  • A: Most memorials near the concert will be closed.

    Most closures are caused by firework safety zone cleanup and all should fully reopen by July 5.

    These closures include:

    • Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial
    • World War II Memorial
    • Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

    Tidal Basin paddle boats, Big Bus tours, water taxi services to the National Mall and Circulator routes along the National Mall will not operate for the entirety of the Fourth of July.

  • Q: I hear there's a dress rehearsal for the concert the day before
  • There will also be a full concert dress rehearsal on Sunday, July 3, beginning at 8 p.m. and it’s open to the public.

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Ivy Lyons

Ivy Lyons is a digital journalist for WTOP.com. Since 2018, they have worked on Capitol Hill, at NBC News in Washington, and with WJLA in Washington.

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