National Park Service Presents 2015 Independence Day Celebration in the Nation's Capital


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News Release Date: June 22, 2015

Contact: Mike Litterst, National Park Service, 202-245-4676

Contact: Sgt. Lelani Woods, U.S. Park Police, 202-556-9181

Washington –The National Park Service will once again host the annual celebration of Independence Day on the National Mall, the nation's most important civic space and home to more than a dozen memorials that commemorate great Americans and significant events in our nation's history. Events on the National Mall this year include the Smithsonian Folklife Festival;a concert with the United States Air Force Band's Max Impact at the Sylvan Theater on the grounds of the Washington Monument;and one of the largest fireworks displays in the nation. Other events include the National Independence Day Parade, and A Capitol Fourth, the annual star-studded concert on the West Lawn of the Capitol.

"The monuments and memorials of the National Mall commemorate many of the people and events who have both established and helped maintain our independence as a nation," said Karen Cucurullo, acting superintendent of National Mall and Memorial Parks. "There is no better place to Find Your Park and honor America this Fourth of July." 

Complete information and updates on the Independence Day celebration can be found at

Schedule of Events 

Smithsonian Folklife Festival
National Mall, between 3rd Street and 4th Street NW 
11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 
The 2015 annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival, co-sponsored by the National Park Service, highlights the diversity and vitality of Peruvian and Peruvian American communities and will be open on the National Mall from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. between 3rd and 4th Streets. For more information, please visit: or call 202-633-1000. 

Fourth of July Parade 
Constitution Ave. NW from 7th Street to 17th Street NW 
11:45 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Marching bands, fife and drum corps, floats, military units, giant balloons, equestrian, drill teams and more celebrate Independence Day in this patriotic, flag-waving, red, white and blue celebration of America's birthday! 

United States Air Force Band Concert
Sylvan Theater, Washington Monument Grounds 
6 p.m. –9:09 p.m. 
Max Impact, the United States Air Force Band's premiere rock band performs patriotic favorites along with classic and current rock and country hits, as well as original music. 

A Capitol Fourth
West Lawn the U.S. Capitol 
8 p.m. –9:30 p.m. 
Co-sponsored by the National Park Service and the National Symphony Orchestra, this all-star salute to America's national Independence Day celebration honors our country's 239th birthday and its own 35th anniversary. Gates open at 3 p.m.  

Fireworks Display 
9:09 p.m. –9:27 p.m. 
Independence Day culminates with a spectacular fireworks display over the National Mall. The fireworks will be launched from the area of the Reflecting Pool, and will be visible from many locations throughout D.C. and Northern Virginia. The fireworks will only be postponed in case of heavy rain, thunderstorms or high winds;the rain date for the fireworks is July 5. 

Automated Notification System 
The United States Park Police will again be using a text notification service to quickly deliver important and emergency information to visitors. Cell phone users can receive notifications via text message by texting JULY4DC to 888777. 

Public Access 
National Mall - The following public entry points for the National Mall will open at 10 a.m. unless otherwise indicated, and will remain open until 9 p.m. Visitors will be screened at all access points.

  • South side of Memorial Bridge 
  • Constitution Avenue NW between 23rd Street NW and Henry Bacon Drive NW 
  • Constitution Avenue NW and 17th Street NW (opens at 2 p.m.) 
  • Constitution Avenue NW and 15th Street NW 
  • West side of 14th Street NW at Madison Drive NW (opens at 2 p.m.) 
  • West side of 14th Street SW at Jefferson Drive SW 
  • Maine Avenue SW and Raoul Wallenberg Place SW (15th Street SW) 
  • East Basin Drive just south of the Jefferson Memorial (visitors will not be able to access the National Mall from here) 
  • East Basin Drive at Inlet Bridge SW 
U.S. Capitol grounds – Public access begins at 3 p.m. to view A Capitol Fourth, with a security check required of all visitors. Seating on the lawn is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Entrances will be at:

  • 3rd Street NW and Pennsylvania Avenue NW
  • 3rd Street SW and Maryland Avenue SW 
George Washington Memorial Parkway – Fireworks can be viewed from the following locations along the George Washington Memorial Parkway;unless otherwise indicated, access to these areas opens at 6 a.m.: 

  • U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial and Netherlands Carillon (opens at 1 p.m.)
  • Columbia Island/Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove ( Access to the Potomac Riverfront is now possible via the new bike/pedestrian tunnel that runs underneath the Boundary Channel Bridge (a.k.a. the "Humpback Bridge")
  • Gravelly Point, north of National Airport 
  • Washington Sailing Marina at Daingerfield Island 
Road Closures 
The following roads will be closed and off limits to vehicles on Saturday, July 4: 

  • Closed from 6 a.m. until approximately 10 p.m.
    • Arlington Memorial Bridge and Arlington Memorial Circle on the Virginia end, to and including Lincoln Memorial Circle in the District
    • Rock Creek Parkway south of Virginia Avenue NW to Lincoln Memorial Circle, including all approaches and ramps
    • Parkway Drive from Rock Creek Parkway to Lincoln Memorial Circle
    • Henry Bacon Drive NW
    • Daniel Chester French Drive SW
    • Lincoln Memorial Circle and all approaches and ramps into and out of Lincoln Memorial Circle, including Henry Bacon Drive N, Daniel Chester French Drive SW, 23rd Street NW and 23rd Street SW
    • Ramp from Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Bridge to Constitution Avenue NW and Independence Avenue SW and Ohio Drive SW;all inbound traffic from the bridge will be directed to the E Street Expressway
    • Constitution Avenue NW from 23rd Street NW to 14th Street NW 
    • 7th Street NW from Constitution Avenue NW to Independence Avenue SW 
    • 4th Street NW from Constitution Avenue NW to Independence Avenue SW
    • 15th Street NW from E Street NW south to Raoul Wallenberg Place SW
    • 17th Street, NW from E Street NW south to Independence Avenue SW
    • 18th Street NW between Constitution Avenue NW and Virginia Avenue NW
    • 19th Street NW from Constitution Avenue NW to C Street NW
    • 20th Street NW from Constitution Avenue NW to C Street NW
    • 21st Street NW from Constitution Avenue NW to C Street NW
    • 22nd Street NW from Constitution Avenue NW to C Street NW
    • Virginia Avenue NW from Constitution Avenue NW to 18th Street NW
    • C Street NW from 17th Street NW to 18th Streets NW
    • D Street NW from 17th Street NW to 18th Street NW
    • Raoul Wallenberg Place SW to Maine Avenue SW
    • Independence Avenue SW from 14th Street SW to 23rd Street SW, including merge with Rock Creek Parkway
    • Madison Drive NW from 15th Street NW to 3rd Street NW
    • Jefferson Drive SW from 15th Street SW to 3rd Street SW
    • Ohio Drive, SW from the Inlet Bridge to Independence Avenue, SW
    • West Basin Drive SW from Ohio Drive SW to Independence Avenue, SW
    • East Basin Drive SW east of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial to Ohio Drive SW
    • Ramp from southbound and northbound George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP) to Memorial Avenue /Circle
    • Ramp from northbound Va. Route 110 to Memorial Avenue/Circle
    • Ramp from Va. Route 27 to Memorial Avenue/Circle

  • Closed from 11 a.m. until approximately 10 p.m.
    • 3rd Street from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to Maryland Avenue SW
    • Constitution Avenue NW from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to 14th Street NW
    • 14th Street NW from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to Independence Avenue SW
    • Right lane of northbound George Washington Memorial Parkway from the 14th Street Bridge to Theodore Roosevelt Island

  • Closed from 3 p.m. until approximately 12 a.m., July 5
    • Eastbound U.S. Route 50 ramps to the George Washington Memorial Parkway and roads in the immediate area of U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial;
    • Southbound GWMP ramp to 14th Street Bridge (9 p.m. –9:45 p.m. as necessary)
    • Northbound GWMP ramp to 14th Street Bridge (9 p.m. –9:45 p.m. as necessary) 
Prohibited Items and Activities 
Visitors will be screened at all entrance points. All coolers, backpacks, packages, and persons will be subject to inspection.

  • No grills, alcohol, glass containers, or personal fireworks are permitted on NPS property 
  • Launching, landing or operating unmanned or remote controlled aircraft on National Park Serviced property is strictly prohibited.  
  • Personal tents that block other visitors' views and tents that require stakes are prohibited on the National Mall and along the George Washington Memorial Parkway.
  • Due to limited space on the Washington Monument grounds, visitors are asked to refrain from recreational activities (e.g. –volleyball, badminton, etc.).
  • It is strongly recommend that pets be left at home. 
  • Possession of firearms in national parks is prohibited, governed by federal as well as local law, which may vary depending on the jurisdiction in which the national park is located. All visitors should be aware of and follow applicable firearms laws of the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Virginia. 
Getting There 
Visitors are strongly advised to use public transportation. Metrorail riders should try using stations other than the Smithsonian or Federal Triangle, which have the heaviest use on the Fourth of July. Additionally, the National Mall area immediately around the Smithsonian station is closed due to construction and not available to as a viewing venue for the fireworks. Up-to-date information on Metro can be found at

A free "self-parking" bike area will be available at 14th and 15th Streets on Independence Avenue SW. Locks will not be provided. 

  • The Washington Monument will be closed on July 4; it will close at 5 p.m. on July 3.
  • The World War II Memorial will close at 4 p.m. as part of the fireworks safety zone. Cleanup of the World War II Memorial will begin immediately following the fireworks show and the site will open as soon as the cleanup is complete.
  • Access to Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial will be limited after 8 p.m. The memorial will remain open, but the public will not be able to access the memorial from Independence Ave. after 8 p.m. Access will be available from West Basin and Ohio Drives.
  • Paddle boats at the Tidal Basin will not operate.
  • Big Bus Tours will not operate on the Mall on July 4.
  • The D.C. Circulator's National Mall route will not operate on July 4.
  • East Potomac Golf Course will close at 3:30 p.m.
  • East Potomac Tennis Center will close at 3 p.m. 

Last updated: June 23, 2015

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