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Washington, DC - Fourth of July

Old Apr 7th, 2010, 10:46 AM
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Washington, DC - Fourth of July

Despite the brutal weather, we will be going to DC this summer to visit our son. What do you think about the Fourth of July -- great and fun, or too crowded and better to go another time?
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Old Apr 7th, 2010, 10:48 AM
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My best friend's husband and son went over the fourth last year and yes, it was crowded but they really loved being there - had a great energy.
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Old Apr 7th, 2010, 12:26 PM
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I'd say great and fun, but very crowded. I wandered up to the Mall last year for the Fireworks and it was a really great (it was a beautiful night). I definitely wouldn't spend all day at the Mall if they want to see the Fireworks.

If you get out of tourist DC and into the neighborhoods, things are less crazy.
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Old Apr 7th, 2010, 12:38 PM
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Thanks. I've been to DC many times, so almost all the tourist sites, and neighborhoods, have been "covered" - but some bear repeating, of course. I just wondered if it's better to stay away during that period -- the way some people recommend NOT coming for the Cherry Blossom Festival.
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Old Apr 7th, 2010, 02:12 PM
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I am someone who recomends not to come to DC during the Cherry Blosson festival. 4th of July is nothing like the Cherry Blossom Festival which is hyper crowded and goes on for 2 weeks. The mall does get crowded, but I've never thought it unbearable. The 4th in DC is good fun--best fireworks ever and u can go hear the National Symphony for free on the West lawn of the Capitol, or go to the Folklife Festival. This year the themes are México Profundo: A Deeper Mexico, Asian Pacific American Connections and Smithsonian Inside Out.
Weatherwise - who knows? hot and muggy, just hot, rainy or deligthful...its never the same.
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Old Apr 7th, 2010, 03:53 PM
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Great - thanks for the advice!
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Old Apr 7th, 2010, 04:10 PM
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I don't generally go into town for the 4th and the fireworks now that I'm older, but it is definitely worth doing. There is something about being on the Mall in DC for the 4th....
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Old Apr 8th, 2010, 04:33 AM
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We made this trip about 3 years ago and we were tossing the fireworks as well. We do not normally attend at home becuase of the crowds, but how many people see them while they are in our nations capital. So we decieded to do it.....with the knowledge that the metro would be packed. Here is how we handled it and it worked wonderfully! We took the metro to the stop for Iwojima memorial, we watched from a grassy hill between that memorial and Arlington National Cemetary and had a awesome view of the fireworks. And a lot of people brought radios so we were able to hear the music that was being broadcast. There were a lot of people, but not so many that we felt crammed in or anything. After it was over we took out time back to the metro, and had little to no wait for our train.

Somethings we were glad we learned ahead of time, that might help: Metro scheudles change for this event, they post it on the trains, but make sure you look before you go to the fireworks. Also we did not do any meuseum's or anything that day to avoid the crowds and tried to do some shopping and exploring in VA (downtown area I can't remember the name of), but a lot of things were closed for the holidays. Also our hotel ran a shuttle to the metro, but only until 9, so we had to take a cab that night.
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Old Apr 21st, 2010, 10:03 AM
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4th of July at the Washington Monument is definitely something to be experienced. There is a great energy from the crowd. The fireworks are amazing and just extraordinary to see from the perspective of looking straight up. Interestingly, the cornerstone of the Washington Monument was laid on the 4th of July in 1848.

A few recommendations that might be worth considering:

1. Get there early, like an hour before sundown to stake your piece of grass, even though the fireworks don't begin until like 9:15 pm.
2. Sit to the West of the monument, that is toward the Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool if possible (the fireworks are actually launched from the reflecting pool), so that the Washington Monument itself does not obstruct your view of the fireworks.
3. Bring plenty of liquids, since it will probably be hot and muggy. (Although, officially, alcoholic beverages are not allowed. And there are no glass containers allowed.)
4. Bring a lawn blanket and/or foldable chairs. And don't forget umbrellas just in case there are a few drops.
5. Wear excellent walking shoes in case you need to walk out of the Mall area. You'd think it would be easy to take the Metro out, but the stations are clogged following the fireworks event. And I found it easier to walk to my car a mile away rather than take the Metro.
6. Be aware that the rain date for the fireworks is July 5th.

Sources and References:

http://www.wmata.com/
http://www.washingtondc-go.com/attra...ent-facts.html
http://www.dcpages.com/Tourism/Fourth_of_July/
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Old Apr 21st, 2010, 10:11 AM
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Where are you staying sf?
We love the Willard and if you stay elsewhere, they have one of the best French bistro, next door, Cafe du Parc is one of our favorites.
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Old Apr 21st, 2010, 10:23 AM
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Not sure where we're staying yet -- so thanks for the rec. (We've previously stayed all over the place, the ANA near Foggy Bottom, the Embassy Suites near Foggy Bottom, the Marriott Wardman Park, the Hay-Adams, the JW Marriott....and I'm sure others I'm not remembering right now!)
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