Planning 4th of July

The biggest birthday party in America, and I have no plans.

Look no further, because you have plenty of options to choose how you want to celebrate your 4th of July in DC.


The Plan

The Lists (50%) + Opinons (Writing (12.5%)) + Word of Mouth (12.5%)) + What I’m in the Mood For (25%) = the perfect DC 4th of July.

The Lists

I’ve been following these to decide what do spend my Independence Day doing:

Opinons (Writing)
  • GOG: “There may be no better year than this to forgo the trip to the Mall. Construction (on the new Museum of African American History and Culture, as well as rehabbing of the Mall grounds and Reflecting Pool, which is all but gutted) has made much of the Mall a serious eyesore, and could obstruct your view.”
    • Reaction: Going to try biking to one of the bridge that go over into Arlington (if it doesn’t seem to crowded).
  • Going Out Gurus: Slidshow on 40 Places/Things to the Coolest Washington Summer Ever, and Poolside Parties made the list.
Opinons (Word of Mouth)
  • “DON’T go to the National Mall unless that’s all you want to do all day. Plus, it takes 1 hour to clear everyone out of there.”
    • Reaction: Really not going to the National Mall.
What I’m in the Mood For:
  • Dancing, social events, new experiences, and adventure (some things just don’t change).
  • Specifically, the Recs above.
  • I do want to glimpse the fireworks, but not from the National Mall.

The Execution

I was wrong.

I completely ignored my plans & the advice I got from everyone, and somehow ended up with the best 4th of July ever.

  • “A Capitol Fourth” Dress Rehearsal: REALLY enjoyed it (until we got kicked out due to an incoming thunder storm).
    • FREE and w/o as big of a crowd 7/3 every year. 8pm.
    • Arrive just an hour early, and you’ll have a good spot.
    • Great local crowd.

And from there on out, I went against my plans.
The No-Nos

  • Number 1: Fireworks on the National Mall: In-FREAKIN-credible and not as bad crowds as everyone says.
    • Arrived by bike  3 1/2 hours early to the Jefferson Memorialexpecting chaos only to find I was 1 of the 1st people there.
    • Everyone had a good amount of space (I had the top 3 stairs to myself) and was generally friendly and talkative.
    • Allowed to bring food, bags and umbrellas. Bathrooms and water fountains provided.
I want to do it again.
    • Ryan Recs:
      • Arrive 1 hour early for a good spot (doesn’t include Lincoln Memorial).
      • BIKE so you can weave through traffic after.
      • Brought food/tons of water. Picnic on the monument? Hey~ Would bring 1 less bottle because I could just refill it.
      • Bring a blanket to “mark your spot” so you can freely go to the bathroom, refill water.
And this was the result.
  • Number 2: Stayed in my neighborhood (Capitol Hill) after instead of hitting the nightlife downtown.
    • The Result: Stumbling upon the “unofficial” fireworks after party at Lincoln Park.
      • Every year Capitol Hill residents rush the park with fireworks in one hand, beer in the other, and have a competition of who has the best fireworks…until it eventually gets shut down.
    • Great people, great fireworks (REALLY up close), & something I will remember forever.
      • Ryan’s Recs:
        • Arrive RIGHT AFTER the fireworks (9:30pm ish).
        • Bring something to drink and/or something to light up.
        • Enjoy the show.
 So even though everything I recommended above was great, DON’T let the locals discourage you from hittin the Mall for the fireworks.

One thought on “Planning 4th of July

  1. Pingback: Architecture, Aids Quilt, & Adams Morgan | What's an Intern to Do?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s