WASHINGTON – It just wouldn’t be an Independence Day celebration without a fireworks display.
Though fireworks can be fun, they can also be dangerous and illegal in some areas. In 2011, fireworks injured almost 10,000 people and there are more fires caused by fireworks on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Here are the fireworks laws in the D.C. area. Click the links for detailed information:
- Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, Alexandria and Falls Church – all fireworks, including sparklers, are illegal.
- Fairfax and Arlington counties – Cherry bombs, skyrockets and fireworks that spark higher than 12 feet are banned. Sparklers are allowed.
- Washington, D.C., and Loudoun County – Fireworks that explode are not allowed. D.C. also bans sparklers more than 20 inches long and fireworks “intended to move after the piece is placed and fired.” Loudoun says a firework that “moves across the ground” also is illegal.
D.C. has provided a map of fireworks retailers in the District for area residents who live in places where some fireworks are allowed.
Here are fireworks displays and Fourth of July entertainment in Northern Virginia:
- Alexandria – Oronoco Bay Park, 100 Madison St., Alexandria, Virginia. Alexandria celebrates its birthday and has fireworks on Saturday, July 13, 2013. The festivities will be from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Enjoy a concert by the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra and fireworks at 9:30 p.m.
- Culpeper – Culpeper, Va., plans a day of events on July 4, starting with a 5K race at 8 a.m. and a dog walk at 10 a.m. A car and bike show is set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Depot and Davis Street. The Main Street parade starts at 4 p.m. Yowell Meadow Park is where you’ll find the food and entertainment. Fireworks at the park start at about 9:15 p.m.
- City of Fairfax – Independence Day Parade through downtown Fairfax, Va., beginning at 10 a.m. The Old-Fashioned Fireman’s Day at 4081 University Drive starts at 12:30 p.m. Musical entertainment begins at 7 p.m. at Fairfax High School with a fireworks display at dark.
- Falls Church – George Mason High School, 7124 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, V. Live music will start at 7 p.m. followed by fireworks at 9:20 p.m.
- Herndon – Bready Park, 814 Ferndale Ave. Herndon, Va. Games, music, crafts, bingo, games at 6:30 p.m. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m.
- Kings Dominion – 16000 Theme Park Way, Doswell, Va. Independence Day celebrations and fireworks. Free admission for active, inactive and retired members of the military with a valid ID.
- Leesburg – Ida Lee Park, Va. 15 (King Street) and Ida Lee Drive, Leesburg, Va. 703-777-1368. Food and music. Gates open at 6 p.m. Fireworks around 9:30 p.m.
- Manassas – 9431 West St., Manassas, Va. Lots of music, children’s activities, food and fireworks, including Matt Enik and Cirque Italia performances. Entertainment at the Old Town train depot begins with kids’ rides at 3 p.m. and food vendors at 4 p.m. Fireworks at 9:15 p.m.
- McLean – Langley High School, 6520 Georgetown Pike McLean, Va. Grounds open at 8 p.m., fireworks at 9:15 p.m. Free admission and parking. Shuttle buses will be available from St. John’s Lutheran Church (on Douglass St. and Georgetown Pike) and the McLean Community Center.
- Mount Vernon – 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon, Va. – Mount Vernon plans a special July 4 daytime fireworks display over the Potomac River starting at 1 p.m. The first couple, General and Mrs. Washington, will visit. Admission is $17 for adults age 12-61, $16 for seniors age 62 and over, $8 for kids age 6-11, and children age 5 and younger are free.
- Reston – Lake Fairfax Park, 1400 Lake Fairfax Drive, Reston, Va. 703-471-5415. From 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., the Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole will be open. Fireworks begin around 9:15 p.m.
- Vienna – Vienna Community Center, 120 Cherry Street Southeast, Vienna, Virginia. Arts and crafts, food, chili cookoff, antique cars, live music, vendors, and games. Celebrations start at 11 a.m. Fireworks at 9:15 p.m. at Southside Park on Ross Dr.
- Williamsburg – At Colonial Williamsburg, Va., celebrate the holiday with a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence, performances by the Fifes and Drums, an open-air performance by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and fireworks in a patriotic setting. Events begin at 10 a.m. The Declaration of Independence will be read at noon. A Parade of Flag starts at 3:30 p.m. Fireworks at 9:20 p.m. Busch Gardens Williamsburg celebrates with a patriotic tribute on July 4. Park performances begin at 5:30 p.m. and culminate with the Tour de Force: Fireworks Finale at 9:30 p.m.
Here are fireworks displays and Fourth of July entertainment in Maryland:
- Annapolis – Annapolis City Dock, Annapolis, Md. — Parade and fireworks: Parade starts at 6:30 p.m. at Amos Garrett Boulevard to West Street, around Church Circle, down Main Street to the City Dock. Fireworks at 9:15 p.m. Naval Academy’s Concert Band will perform at the end of City Dock just prior to the fireworks.
- Bowie – Prince George’s Stadium, 4101 NE Crain Highway, Bowie, Md. – Gates open at 6 p.m. The Fabulous Hubcaps perform at 7 p.m. Fireworks begin about 9:15 p.m. The event is free.
- Boyds/Germantown – Germantown Soccerplex, 18041 Central Park Circle, Boyds, Maryland. – A concert by Bobby and the Believers at 7 p.m. and fireworks at 9:15 p.m.
- College Park – University of Maryland, College Park, Md. Parking Lot 1, off Campus Drive near the University Boulevard/Adelphi Road entrance. The Rock & Roll Relics play at 7 p.m. Fireworks around 9 p.m.
- Columbia – Lake Kittamaquandi, 10221 Wincopin Circle Columbia, Md. Music, children’s entertainment begins at 5 p.m. Blankets allowed, starting at 8 a.m. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m.
- Fort Meade – Fort Meade Parade Field, Fort Meade, Md. – Live entertainmetnt with Jerrod Niemann, Brett Eldredge and Chelsea Bain starting at 4 p.m. Fireworks around 9:30 p.m.
- Frederick – Baker Park, Second and Bentz Streets, Frederick, Md. – A full day of activities, beginning at noon. Music on four stages, fireworks and much more. Bands include Ambrosia and Lonestar.
- Gaithersburg – Montgomery County Fairgrounds, 16 Chestnut St., Gaithersburg, Md. Gates open at 5 p.m. Walk-in at Chestnut or Dalamar Streets; the Perry Parkway entrance will be closed. Entertainment begins at 5:30 p.m. Fireworks at dusk.
- Greenbelt – Buddy Attick Park, 555 Crescent Rd., Greenbelt, Md. Community Drum Circle plays at 5:45 p.m. and the Greenbelt Concert Band at 7:30 p.m. Fireworks at approximately 9 p.m.
- Indian Head – Village Green Park, Indian Head, Md., offers amusement ride and food from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Fireworks start at 9:10 p.m.
- Kensington/Wheaton – Albert Einstein High School, 11135 Newport Road, Kensington, Md. Entertainment begins at 7:30 p.m. and fireworks show will begin approximately 9:15 p.m. Free shuttle bus service will pick up passengers beginning at 6:15 p.m. at Westfield Wheaton and the Wheaton Metro Station.
- Laurel – July 6, 2013. – Granville Gude Park, Laurel Lake, Laurel, Maryland. (301) 725-5300 ext. 44. Parade at 11 a.m. Fireworks around 9:15 p.m.
- Poolesville – Poolesville Polo Grounds, 14660 Hughes Rd., Poolesville, Md. Live music begins at 6 p.m., Fireworks at 9 p.m. Parking is $5 per vehicle. (301) 972-8888.
- Rockville – Montgomery College, Rockville Campus, 51 Mannakee Street, Rockville, Md. Additional parking will be available at Rockville Town Center. Live entertainment begins at 7 p.m. The Fugitive Brass Quintet, Pinneberg Dancers and Rockville Concert Band will perform. Fireworks at 9:15 p.m.
- Six Flags America – Mitchellville, Md. – Bring a Coke and get in an hour early for exclusive ride time. The amusement park sponsors a spectacular fireworks display on July 4 at 9:30 p.m.
- Solomons – Riverwalk, Solomons, Md. – The waterfront community hosts a boat parade at noon and fireworks. Fireworks begin just after dusk.
- Takoma Park – Takoma Park Middle School, 7611 Piney Branch Rd., Takoma Park, Md. Parade at 10 a.m. at the intersection of Carroll and Ethan Allen Avenues. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m.
- Waldorf – Regency Furniture Stadium, 11765 St. Linus Dr., Waldorf, Md. “Taste of Charles County”, live music, childrens activities and fireworks. Entertainment begins at 4:30 p.m. Fireworks at 9:15 p.m.
Fireworks displays and Fourth of July entertainment in D.C.:
- D.C.’s Independence Day Parade, Constitution Avenue and 7th to 17th streets, 11:45 a.m. – The parade features invited bands, fife and drum corps, floats, military and specialty units, giant balloons, equestrian, drill teams, VIP’s, national dignitaries, and celebrity participants. The parade draws a large crowd, so plan to arrive early.
- Smithsonian Folklife Festival – This year’s event features Hungarian Heritage and endangered languages, as well as African American style.
- Fourth of July at the National Archives – The National Archives celebrates July 4 with family programs, including a reading of the Declaration of Independence at 10 a.m. Meet Revolutionary figures, including Benjamin Franklin and John Hancock between 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Capitol Fourth Concert, West Lawn of the U. S. Capitol, 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (Admittance begins at 3 p.m.). Tom Bergeron hosts. Barry Manilow, Candice Glover, Scotty McCeery are among the preformers. The National Symphony Orchestra performs. John Williams conducts music from the movie, “Lincoln.” The concert is free and open to the public. No tickets are necessary. The annual event will be broadcast live on PBS. The fireworks on the National Mall begin at 9:10 p.m.
- 4th of July Fireworks on the National Mall. – Fireworks begin 9:10 p.m. and will last 17 minutes. The rain date is July 5. The fireworks are launched from the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. The National Park Service says these are the best places to see the fireworks:
- U.S. Capitol;
- Lincoln Memorial;
- National Mall between 14th Street and 3rd Street;
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial;
- Thomas Jefferson Memorial;
- The White House Ellipse;
- West Potomac Park;
- East Potomac Park;
- Anacostia Park;
- U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima);
- George Washington Memorial Parkway across the Potomac River in Virginia.
Here are some other great spots to watch the fireworks.
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