By Patricia Hall, Fairfax Family Fun
Let freedom ring! As much as possible, anyway! To say that the year 2020 is unusual would be a great understatement. In late winter, when the COVID-19 coronavirus began spreading in the United States, no one imagined than keeping social distance and quarantining for a few weeks would become months, with not just spring but summer activities cancelled. And here we are, right before the Fourth of July. What does 2020 Independence Day in DC and Northern Virginia look like? Are there ANY celebrations?
The short answer: yes. The longer answer? They are few and far between, and you have to be willing to go further out (about 1-1.5 hours away) to find a couple, but there are some events taking place. Think it’s still too soon to head out, and that it’s better to stay home as much as possible? There are options for you, too! Whether you want to enjoy the holidsy outside or at home, we’ve compiled a list of Independence Day activities, and suggestions for ways to celebrate this country now or at any time of the year. We won’t have the big parade in DC or the multiple giant fireworks displays in Northern Virginia, but we do still have some fun, family-friendly options.
- Local Independence Day events (live events listed first, then streamed ones)
- “Anytime” ways to celebrate the USA
2020 Independence Day events
Friday, July 3, 2020, 5-10 pm
LIVE EVENT: Country Americana Festival at Lake Anna Winery
Lake Anna Winery (about 1.5 hours from Northern Virginia) hosts an evening of fun for the family. Red Rooster performs on stage in the evening till dark, with holiday food from Gregory’s Grill all night and fireworks later on when it gets dark. There will be a watermelon eating contest for kids, and maybe a pie-eating contest or other events. Admission is $10 per adult.
Friday-Sunday, July 35, 2020, 5-10 pm
LIVE EVENT: All-American Weekend at B&O Railroad and Babe Ruth Museums
Enjoy an All-American Weekend in Baltimore, MD, at two museums! At the B&O Railroad Museum you can paint American flag t-shirts, enjoy railroad story time, take the self-guided Rail Trails: Presidential Passages tour, and more! At the The Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum, you can tour the house where the Babe, George Herman Ruth, was born and take your photo with sports trophies (on Saturday, the Baltimore Orioles 1983 World Series and on Sunday the Baltimore Colts Super Bowl V Lombardi). Your discounted combo ticket gets you admission to both places.
Saturday, July 4, 2020, 10 am
LIVE EVENT: Independence Day Waynewood Parade
The Waynewood neighborhood of Alexandria, VA, is having an Independence Day car parade! Bring your chairs and line up along the parade route to cheer on classic cars decorated for the holiday. The parade kicks off at 10 am from Heritage church and ends at Waynewood Elementary.
Saturday, July 4, 2020, 11 am to 9m
LIVE EVENT: July 4th at Bluemont Vineyard
Experience the views of the Loudoun Valley and catch a firework show in the distance, while sipping on Bluemont Vineyard wine. The tasting room is open 11 am to 9 pm (reservations encouraged), serving Bluemont wines, seasonal sangria, wine slushies, and bomb pop sparklers. The Food Truck will be serving local beef burgers and hand-cut fries and there will be live music by the Larry Thomas Duo 4-8 pm. There also will be a pop-up tasting room and additional food at the The Stable at Bluemont Vineyard. Blankets and chairs are suggested, as seating will be limited.
Saturday, July 4, 2020, noon to 8 pm
LIVE EVENT: July 4 at Henway Hard Cider
Located on the grounds of Great Country Farms in Bluemont, VA, Henway Hard Cider invites you to enjoy with five ciders on tap plus Bluemont Vineyards’ White Sangria! The food menu will feature a traditional holiday spread including brats, beef hot dogs, and ribs, with live music by Duffy and Ro 1-5 pm. Guests can bring their own fishing gear to enjoy the catch-and-release pond. The bonfire will be on at 6 pm for marshmallow roasting, and once the sun goes down, guests can light up the night with sparklers to celebrate!
Saturday, July 4, 2020, noon to 8 pm
LIVE EVENT: July 4 at Dirt Farm Brewing
Located on the grounds of Great Country Far by Bluemong and Henway Hard Cider is Dirt Farm Brewing, which also celebrates the holiday! Here you will find its homemade craft brews (including the cherry tart one), a pig roast, and live music all day long starting at 12:30.
Saturday, July 4, 2020, 3 pm
LIVE EVENT: Fishing Derby at Leesburg Animal Park
Get some fresh air with the family at Leesburg Animal Park! Fish on the Fourth during this derby starting at 3 pm. It’s a catch-and-release pond, so the fish get their “Independence Day” after all!
Saturday, July 4, 2020, 5-8 pm
LIVE EVENT: A City of Fairfax 4th of July Wave Parade
The City of Fairfax cancelled its big traditional Independence Day parade but it’s bringing the parade to you! The “Wave Parade” will have superheros, motorcycles, and even planes from The Flying Circus go through Fairfax city neighborhoods.
Saturday, July 4, 2020, 6:45-9:45
LIVE EVENT: DC Flyovers and Fireworks
Watch a flyover and fireworks in the nation’s capital on Independence Day: this event on the National Mall features a Salute to America flyovers from different branches of the military and the annual fireworks spectacular. The event features flyovers to honor service members and veterans from 6:45-8 pm, the Capitol Fourth show (taped, not live, this year; see below), and the fireworks display 9:07-9:42 pm).
Saturday, July 4, 2020, 9-9:45 pm
LIVE EVENT: Firework Light Show in Springfield
The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce is offering a free drive-in light show for the Fourth! Grab dinner from one of the many restaurants at the Springfield Town Center, then park your car near JCPenney (enter near Spring Mall Drive) and enjoy the light show 9-9:45 pm.
Saturday, July 4, 2020, 9-9:30 pm
LIVE EVENT: FredNats 4th of July Spectacular
The Fredericksburg Nationals baseball team is hosting the FredNats 4th of July Spectacular from the team’s new ballpark (about 1.5 hours from Northern Virginia). The first firework show for the organization will be sponsored by SimVentions, Pohanka Nissan & Hyundai of Fredericksburg, and the City of Fredericksburg and will be paired with patriotic music on Superhits 95.9. Fans are invited to park and remain in their cars within a two-mile radius of the ballpark to view the half-hour show that is set to begin at 9 pm.
Saturday, July 4, 2020, 10 am-12:30 pm
*VIRTUAL* EVENT: USS Constitution Facebook Live
The Fourth of July “aboard” the USS Constitution, also known as “Old Ironsides,” the world’s oldest commissioned naval vessel still afloat. The Boston-based ship goes live in 2020 with a daylong schedule that includes virtual tours and a 21-gun salute.
Saturday, July 4, 2020, 11 am-5 pm
*VIRTUAL* EVENT: July 4 at the National Archives
The annual daylong National Archives July 4 celebration goes virtual this year. The event includes discussions between actors as revolutionary figures, talking about the roles they played in shaping history, and the annual reading of the Declaration of Independence, hosted by Soledad O’Brien.
Saturday, July 4, 2020, 4 pm
*VIRTUAL* EVENT: Tribute to the American Spirit
National Harbor and Washington Performing Arts are streaming a concert to honor Independence Day. The event features the U.S. Air Force Band, Joshua Bell, Larisa Martinez and Soloman Howard, and Washington, D.C.’s own Aaron Gilchrist, morning anchor on NBC4, as the host.
Saturday, July 4, 2020, 8-10 pm
*VIRTUAL* EVENT: A Capitol Fourth concert and fireworks
This national tradition normally takes place on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. For its 40th anniversary, A Capitol Fourth features new taped performances from iconic locations across the country, including DC, New York, Nashville, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia, plus highlights from previous years. Performers include Patti LaBelle, John Fogerty, Renée Fleming, The Temptations, Trace Adkins, Andy Grammar, Yolanda Adams, Brantley Gilbert, Lauren Alaina, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Kelli O’Hara, Mandy Gonzalez, and the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly, plus iconic performances from previous concerts. The program also will include a tribute by John Stamos to the first responders, health professionals, grocery store workers and truck drivers, scientists and mail carriers, who are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis; a segment honoring the contributions of African American heroes past and present; and a salute to our wounded warriors and their families. The fireworks display over our nation’s iconic skyline will be covered live during the broadcast captured by multiple cameras stationed around the city.
Saturday, July 4, 2020, 8-10 pm
*VIRTUAL* EVENT: Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Show
Macy’s 44th Fourth of July fireworks extravaganza goes online this year! After a few days of fireworks throughout New York City, on Saturday, July 4, the grand finale will be broadcast on TV for all to see. The event will feature “a spectacular display choreographed to an epic musical score” of pop and patriotic tunes. It also will have a tribute to America’s front-line workers. The event and fireworks display will be broadcast live on NBC 8-10 pm.
Saturday, July 11, 2020
*VIRTUAL* EVENT: Alexandria & USA Birthday Celebration
The City of Alexandria celebrates the country’s and its own birthdays each year one week after DC’s Independence Day celebrations. This year, the event is on July 11 and will be 6-10 pm, celebrating Alexandria’s 271st and the USA’s 244th birthday virtually with to-be-announced online activities.
For other ways to celebrate Independence Day at any time, scroll below!
Want to celebrate and/or learn about our country at any time while also avoiding times that may draw large crowds? Here are a couple of ideas in our area:
- George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Mount Vernon, VA: The estate of our nation’s first president sold out quickly for its daytime and nighttime celebrations, but you still can visit at any time to learn about Washington and the many roles he played in founding our country. Mount Vernon is open for visitors daily with special rules in place (social distancing, face coverings). Read about how to plan for your visit
- Fort McHenry, Baltimore, MD: Visit the place where the Star-Spangled Banner was born! Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine has a very special connection to our national anthem. While the Fort’s visitor center, restrooms, and public programs are closed temporarily due to health concerns related to pandemic, the grounds and parking lot are open for recreational visitors. See details on the official site.
List compiled by FairfaxFamilyFun.com