WASHINGTON - There's no better place than the Fourth of July in the Nation's Capital. But with heat, large crowds, and with the constant potential for security threats, DC police and city officials are taking plenty of precautions to make sure DC locals and visitors stay safe.
Gates open at 3 p.m. for the Capitol Fourth celebration on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. The event, from 8 p.m. - 9:30 p.m., is co-sponsored by the National Park Service and the National Symphony Orchestra. The celebration hosted by John Stamos, will feature Jimmy Buffett and the Broadway cast of Escape to Margaritaville, as well as The Temptations and the Beach Boys.
Watch the Temptations' Terry Weeks and Otis Williams chat with Mike Thomas about the big performance -- despite the heat, in the player above!
There is also a fireworks display following the performance from 9:09 p.m. - 9:27 p.m. 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 be canceled in case of heavy rain, thunderstorms or high winds.
DC police say the following streets will be closed, except to emergency vehicles, from 5 a.m. until approximately 11 p.m.:
Theodore Roosevelt Bridge Inbound to Constitution Avenue. All traffic will be diverted to the E Street Expressway.
Independence Avenue, Southwest, from 15th Street to 23rd Street
23rd Street Northbound from Constitution Avenue to Virginia Avenue, Northwest. Southbound 23rd Street will be allowed to flow and access outbound Theodore Roosevelt Bridge.
22nd Street, Northwest, from C Street to Constitution Avenue
21st Street, Northwest, from C Street to Constitution Avenue
20th Street, Northwest, from C Street to Constitution Avenue
19th Street, Northwest, from Virginia Avenue to Constitution Avenue
18th Street, Northwest, from Virginia Avenue to Constitution Avenue
17th Street, Northwest, from New York Avenue to Constitution Avenue
15th Street, Northwest, from Pennsylvania Avenue to Independence Avenue, Southwest
Henry Bacon Drive Lincoln Memorial Circle to Constitution Avenue NW
Constitution Avenue from 6th Street to 23rd Street, NW
Arlington Memorial Bridge
Southbound Rock Creek Parkway closed at Virginia Avenue, NW
7th Street from Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest, to Independence Avenue, Southwest
4th Street from Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest, to Independence Avenue, Southwest
3rd Street from Pennsylvania Avenue to Independence Avenue, Southwest
The following streets will be closed from approximately 2 p.m. until 11 p.m.:
3rd Street from Pennsylvania Avenue, NW and Maryland Ave, SW
The 3rd Street tunnel will remain open for the entire day. The 9th Street and 12th Street tunnels will be closed during the Independence Day Parade from approximately 1115 hours until approximately 1600 hours.
Pedestrian Entry Points:
There will be eight entry points along the perimeter through which citizens may enter the Mall. The pedestrian access points are as follows and open at 10 a.m.:
Constitution Avenue, NW between 23rd Street, NW and Henry Bacon Drive, NW
Constitution Avenue, NW and 17th Street, NW (opens at 2 p.m.)
West side of 15th 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)
Ohio Drive at Inlet Bridge SW
West end of Memorial Bridge
Capitol Grounds Pedestrian Entrance Points:
3rd and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
3rd and Maryland Avenue, SW
Barracks Row Parade
The following roads will be closed from approximately 9 a.m. until 1130 p.m.
8th Street, SE from Pennsylvania Ave, SE to Virginia Ave, SE
D Street, SE from 7th to Pennsylvania Avenue, SE
E Street, SE from 7th to 9th Street, SE
G Street, SE from 7th to 9th Street, SE
I Street, SE from 7th to 9th Street, SE
The following roads will be closed from approximately 8:30 a.m until 12 p.m. for the Palisades Parade:
MacArthur Boulevard from Whitehaven Parkway to Edmunds Place, NW
Sherier Place, NW from MacArthur Boulevard to Edmunds Place, NW
On Wednesday, July 4, 2018, National Archives July 4th Declaration of Independence Reading will take place in the District of Columbia.
Please note that Constitution Avenue, NW between 7th St and 9th St NW will be closed from 7:30 a.m. until 11:30 p.m.
As hundreds of thousands of people prepare to descend on the National Mall for Independence Day celebrations, the city is not taking any chances.
With packed crowds, keeping all of the tourists and spectators safe is no easy feat, especially in an ever-changing security landscape.
DC police chief Peter Newsham says his department is being proactive -- addressing threats both large and small. Officials say they're preparing for a wide variety of potential attacks.
In DC, visitors should expect increased DC and U.S. Park Police presence to address any and all threats they may encounter, putting both uniformed and plain-clothes officers patrolling the crowds.
There's a robust security footprint in addition to personnel, which includes 18,000 feet of fencing and multiple security checkpoints.
Officials will also be activating the Emergency Operations Center and Joint Information Center, where they can share information in real time.
Additionally, the National Park Service says they will be partnering with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, D.C. Fire & Emergency Medical Services, and Arlington County Fire Department, as well as over 100 emergency medical service volunteers to provide medical services on the National Mall and along the George Washington Memorial Parkway.
Medical Aid Stations will be clearly identified by red banners with a blue star of life on it.
Officials also ask that visitors be vigilant when bringing young children, and pets to the celebrations.
Visitors are asked to take precautions against the heat, including drinking plenty of water, wear sunscreen (even bring extra to re-apply), wear light clothing and a hat, and take shelter as much as possible.
Other recommendations for being out in the heat, and for signs of heat exhaustion can be found through the National Mall National Parks Service.
For anyone planning on consuming alcohol in DC on July Fourth, Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) has teamed up with Lyft for its Sober Ride program. WRAP will be offering $15 off rides with Lyft in the DC region from 7 p.m. on Wednesday till 4 a.m. on Thursday.
What you can and cannot bring:
The National Park Service says there items and activities that are prohibited at National Mall Fourth of July festivities:
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 recommended 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.
There is no parking allowed in the lanes of, or the grassy areas adjacent to, the George Washington Memorial Parkway at any time.
Leave pets at home
Travel by Metro
Bring plenty of water
Due to safety concerns and large crowds, no grills, alcohol, glass bottles, or personal fireworks are permitted on NPS property, as grilling and personal fireworks risk fires.
There is an automated system through Nixle that can help visitors stay informed, with the latest updates and alerts. To subscribe, text JULY4DC to 888777. Visitors can also report any suspicious activity.