More than a week until Independence Day: Time to start planning

WASHINGTON — Independence Day is more than a week away, but for those heading to the National Mall to watch the fireworks, it’s not too early to plan.

Virginia Railway Express has scheduled two Firecracker special trains, one each on the Fredericksburg and Manassas lines. The price is $10 for a round-trip ticket. Both trains will drop off passengers at Union Station.

The Fredericksburg train begins its run at Leeland Road at 3:45 p.m.; the Manassas train starts at Manassas Park at 4:45 p.m. Tickets are only sold on the VRE website.

Besides marking America’s independence, this year’s fireworks on the Mall will also celebrate the 200th anniversary of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Planning is an important part of visiting the Mall on the Fourth of July. Officials recommend people arrive early and bring plenty of water to guard against heat-related illnesses. Do not bring alcohol, grills, weapons or fireworks.

Fireworks aren’t the only Independence Day event in D.C. There’s a parade down Constitution Avenue, stepping off at 11:45 a.m.; a U.S. Navy band concert on the Washington Monument grounds beginning at 5 p.m.; and the Capitol Fourth Concert at 8 p.m. on the West Front of the Capitol.

The fireworks are scheduled to go off at 9:10 p.m.

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