By Patricia Hall, FairfaxFamilyFun.com
Summer is almost here, and that means many of us will be enjoying fun concerts and other shows at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna. On Sunday, May 26, 2019, you can kick off summer at Wolf Trap’s annual Summer Blast-off, a FREE community event that includes music and fireworks!
The annual tradition takes place every Sunday before Memorial Day. Since the following Monday is a federal holiday and a day off for most workers and students, you can spend a night out with the family with music under the stars. The Summer Blast-off honors our military heroes and celebrates the start of summer. The entertainment begins around 8 pm with a concert by “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band. A fireworks display follows the concert around 9:45 pm.
This is a popular event and can fill up early. In fact, the event will close once the park has reached capacity, so you’ll want to sure to get there early! The gates will open 90 minutes before the show, so you can arrive early to pick your spot. To kill time while you’re waiting, bring little games or activities for the kids, or even a ball for them to kick around on the lawn — the grounds at Wolf Trap are huge, so once you’ve picked your seats or “lawn seats,” you can go down to an area to the sides of (or behind) the Filene Center so kids can play without getting in anyone’s way while you still have a bit of daylight.
Also, remember this event goes into the late evening, so bring a light coat or blanket in case the evening gets chilly. We love Wolf Trap and go there a lot, so please read our important and useful tips below!
Useful tips for the Wolf Trap Summer Blast-Off May 26:
- SEATING: Seating for this show is first-come, first-served. You can choose from partially enclosed seating (a roof above you but open sides) or “lawn seats” where you can spread out on a blanket. Get there early if you want to be able to pick a spot and/or if you have a larger group. Please note: if you are bringing a lawn chair, you will need to sit at the back of the lawn area, behind the signs in place on the lawn. This includes legless beach chairs. Seat cushions with back support (which you also can rent from Wolf Trap) can be used anywhere on the lawn.
- WHEN TO ARRIVE: Gates will open at 6:30 pm (90 minutes prior to the start of the show) so get there early for best seating.
- PARKING: Parking is free and plentiful at Wolf Trap, but the late you get there the farther away you’ll have to park. Wolf Trap does have a little shuttle that can take you up he hill from the parking lots. Please note: The Fairfax Connector bus service from the West Falls Church metro station is not available for the Blast Off performance..
- FIREWORKS: The fireworks viewing area will open around 9:30 pm; fireworks start at around 9:45 pm.
- FOOD: Pack a picnic! Wolf Trap its generous with its food and beverage policies (you may bring your own food and drinks, including alcoholic ones) but all coolers and bags are subject to inspection; please see their rules to be sure what you’re bringing is allowed. Of course, you don’t have to bring anything at all: Wolf Trap has several dining options, including concession stands and its on-site restaurant Ovations, which serves entrees, picnic meals (order ahead of time), and a nice buffet.
- OTHER IMPORTANT INFO: (1) Wolf Trap is a smoke-free facility. (2) See more tips on the Wolf Trap FAQ page.
If you can stay late, don’t miss the fireworks… they’re great! Here is a video of them I shot at the 2015 event. It was a fun time, as you can hear by the excitement of the folks around us!
Filene Center photo (c) and courtesy of Wolf Trap and used with permission
Video (c) P. Hall