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Parade, Fireworks Highlight July 4 Bash

Traditional holiday festival includes Fireman's Competition and Ice Cream Social.

Fairfax City’s Fourth of July parade will begin on Monday, at 10 a.m., in Historic Fairfax, with an evening show at Fairfax High School at 7 p.m.

The parade, which starts at Chain Bridge Road and Sager Avenue, will include seven high school marching bands, eight giant helium balloons, and 10 character costumes. Parade participants include Uncle Sam, present and former Fairfax City mayors, Virginia state politicians, the Washington Redskins Marching Band, the Northern Virginia Corvette Club, and the Cat in the Hat, among many others.

Food vendors selling burgers, hot dogs, kettle corn, buffalo burgers, ice cream, funnel cakes and other foods will be situated throughout the parade area. Parking for the parade will be available at several off-site locations (see sidebar).

After the parade, visitors can meet Civil War generals from 12-6 p.m., in Ratcliffe Park, behind the Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center (Locust Street and Sager Avenue). Historical reenactors, the Fairfax Rifles, will present a living history encampment for the public featuring Gens. Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, George Pickett and James Longstreet.

For more history, visitors can visit the Legato School, a one-room school house built in 1877. The school house, located at 4000 Chain Bridge Road, will be open from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The Ratcliffe-Allison house, at 10386 Main St., will also be open for tours from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Built in 1812, the Ratcliffe-Allison House is the oldest house in the City of Fairfax.

At the Museum and Visitor Center, visitors will have a chance to see new exhibits and celebrate the Museum and Visitor Center’s 13th birthday with cake, lemonade and balloons. The Museum and Visitor Center, at 10209 Main St., will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Old-Fashioned Fireman’s Day will begin at 12:30 p.m. and will include a Fireman’s Competition, food, drinks and games. The Fire Station is located at 4081 University Drive.

At 2 p.m., the Fairfax City Police Department will host the "Cops & Kids on Bikes" ice cream social in Van Dyck Park, next to the John C. Wood Complex at 3730 Old Lee Highway. Police will conduct a safety inspection of children’s bikes and will put on an ice cream social after a short bike ride.

The award-winning City of Fairfax Band will start off the Fourth of July evening show, at 7 p.m. at Fairfax High School, with music from the 1930’s and 1940’s. Mayor Robert Lederer will direct an award presentation, followed by a concert by oldies band The Fabulous Hubcaps. Red Hot & Blue will cater food for sale at the evening show.

The annual fireworks display will begin at 9:20 p.m. This year, the amount of fireworks in the same amount of time has been doubled from previous years, so "it will be like one huge grand finale," said Leslie Herman, special events coordinator for Fairfax City Parks and Recreation. After the fireworks display, the Fabulous Hubcaps will come back to end the celebration.