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Summer Fun: Where To Go on July 4th

In Virginia

>* Virginia has a variety of places to see 4th of July fireworks. You can see spectacular views of the fireworks on the National Mall from the Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima) in Arlington, near the Rosslyn Metro station and areas along the Virginia side of the Potomac River that can be reached from George Washington Memorial Parkway. You may park at the Gravely Point parking lot, which is about a quarter mile from the 14th Street Bridge. Another great place to watch the fireworks is from the Air Force Memorial on Columbia Pike.

Here are some other places in Virginia to see 4th of July fireworks.

* Alexandria, Oronoco Bay Park, 100 Madison St., Alexandria. Celebrate Alexandria’s 261st Birthday & the USA’s on Saturday, July 10, 2010, 4-10 p.m. Enjoy a concert by the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra at 9 and fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Visit www.alexandriava.gov/Recreation or call 704-746-5418.

* Falls Church, George Mason High School, 7124 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, Virginia. Live music will start at 7 p.m. followed by fireworks at 9:30 p.m.

* Fairfax, July 3, (rain date - fireworks only July 4) Fairfax City, Independence Day Parade through the downtown area beginning at 10 a.m. Musical entertainment begins at 7 p.m. at Fairfax High School, 3501 Rebel Run, Fairfax, with a spectacular fireworks display at dark. (703) 385-7858.

* McLean, Langley High School, 6520 Georgetown Pike McLean. (703) 790-0123. Music performances, food, games, and activities for kids. Grounds open at 6 p.m. Fireworks at dark.

* Vienna, Vienna Community Center, 120 Cherry Street Southeast, Vienna. Arts and crafts, food, live music, vendors, and games. Celebrations start at 11 a.m. Fireworks at 9:15 p.m. at Southside Park on Ross Dr.

* Herndon, Herndon Community Center, 814 Ferndale Ave. Herndon. (703) 787-7300. Rides open at 5 p.m. Music, crafts, bingo, games at 6:30 p.m. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m.

* Reston, Lake Fairfax Park, 1400 Lake Fairfax Dr., Reston. (703) 471-5415. Fireworks begin around 9:15 p.m.

* Leesburg, Ida Lee Park, Rt. 15 (King Street) and Ida Lee Drive, Leesburg. (703) 777-1368. Parade through downtown Leesburg at 10 a.m. Gates open at 6 p.m. Fireworks around 9:30 p.m.

* Manassas, 9431 West Street, Manassas. (703) 335-8872. Enjoy live music, children’s activities, food and fireworks. Entertainment begins at 4 p.m. Fireworks at 9:15 p.m.

* King's Dominion, 16000 Theme Park Way, Doswell, Virginia. Independence Day celebrations and fireworks.

<sh>In the District

<bt>Following is a guide to all of the 4th of July events on the National Mall.

The 4th of July celebrations in Washington, D.C., are among the most attended events of the year and many people arrive early to stake out a seat on the lawn. There are plenty of activities scheduled throughout the day to keep the whole family busy.

* Getting to the National Mall — The best way to get to the National Mall is to take the Metro. Stations nearby include Metro Center, Gallery Place-Chinatown, Judiciary Square, Federal Triangle and L'Enfant Plaza. The Smithsonian Metro station will be closed on the Fourth.

* Public access to the National Mall begins at 10 a.m., with all visitors required to enter via a security checkpoint.

* Independence Day Parade

Parade Start Time: 11:45 a.m.

Parade Route: Constitution Avenue and 7th to 17th Sts.

Washington, D.C.’s 4th of July Parade features marching bands, military and specialty units, floats, and VIP's. The parade draws a large crowd, so plan to arrive early to stake out a good viewing spot.

* Smithsonian Folklife Festival

The annual event includes daily and evening music and dance performances, crafts and cooking demonstrations, storytelling and discussions of cultural issues. The themes of the 2010 program will be: México Profundo: A Deeper Mexico, Asian Pacific American Connections and Smithsonian Inside Out. The hours on the 4th of July are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

* 4th of July at the National Archives

The National Archives celebrates the 4th of July with special family programming celebrating the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Visit the National Archives Building for this special birthday party from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

* White House Visitor Center Family Events

Between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., stop at the White House Visitor Center and enjoy games, crafts and other activities celebrating America's Birthday. National Park Service rangers and volunteers will give you the opportunity to sample the sights, sounds, activities and personages that helped finalize the Declaration of Independence and create the United States of America on July 4, 1776.

* Concert on the Washington Monument Grounds

Beginning at 6 p.m. the U.S. Navy Band performs on the Southwest corner of the grounds of the Washington Monument. The concert includes the U.S. Navy Concert Band, the Sea Chanters chorus, and the Cruisers, their rock and top-40 ensemble. That portion ends at 7:30 p.m., to be followed by a vignette by the National Park Service. At 8 p.m., the Navy Band Commodores Jazz ensemble will perform with guest Jane Monheit. This portion promptly concludes at 9:10 p.m. for the fireworks display.

* A Capitol Fourth Concert

Time: 8 - 9:30 p.m. (Admittance begins at 3 p.m.)

Location: West Lawn of the U. S. Capitol Building

The 30th anniversary broadcast will be hosted by actor Jimmy Smits, with performances by Reba McEntire, Gladys Knight, Darius Rucker (Hootie & the Blowfish), singer David Archuleta (American Idol), and actor and singer John Schneider, as well as classical pianist Lang Lang with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly and the Choral Arts Society of Washington, under the direction of Norman Scribner.

The July 4th concert finale includes Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" — featuring the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets and complete with live cannon fire provided by the United States Army Presidential Salute Battery. Also featured are the U.S. Army Ceremonial Band, the U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, the Joint Armed Forces Color Guard and the State and Territorial Flags of the Military District of Washington. The annual event will be broadcast live on WETA TV 26 with a repeat airing at 10 p.m.

* Best Places to View the National Mall Fireworks

* U.S. Capitol

* Lincoln Memorial

* Jefferson Memorial

* FDR Memorial

* East Potomac Park

* Southwest Waterfront 4th of July Festival (tickets required)

* Rooftop of the W Hotel (tickets required)

* Anywhere along the National Mall between 14th Street and the Capitol

* Aboard a cruise along the Potomac River (tickets required)

Spectacular views can also be seen from the Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima) in Arlington, near the Rosslyn Metro station and areas along the Virginia side of the Potomac River that can be reached from George Washington Memorial Parkway. You may park at the Gravely Point parking lot, which is about a quarter mile from the 14th Street Bridge. Another great place to watch the fireworks is from the Air Force Memorial on Columbia Pike.

* National Harbor, Gaylord National Resort, National Harbor, Maryland. Fireworks and summer festival, beginning at 5 p.m., tickets are required.