DC region celebrating a different kind of July 4th during pandemic

With so many Fourth of July festivities canceled, many communities in the D.C. region and around the country are foregoing their traditional observances during this pandemic.

People waiting in lines outside of some grocery stores isn’t an uncommon sight these days, but on a scorching Friday afternoon before the holiday, the wait may have been a bit longer than usual outside of a Whole Foods in Bethesda as families with a limited guest list, got ready to celebrate at home.

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“It’s only the immediate family,” said Doris Nguyen. “My husband, myself, and my niece who has been here since March because she is from New York. We are doing what needs to be done. I mean I think it’s crazy, I am seeing the statistics across the country and it’s very disturbing.”

Some people in the DMV wondered if it even feels like the Fourth when the celebration feels out of place with the current state of our lives.

“It’s horrible,” said Isabella Hoffman. “My dad always takes us to watch the fireworks at the University of Maryland but we can’t go this year and they also canceled the community pool party.”

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With so many firework displays canceled this year, the National Mall has been busy with last-minute preps and tying up of loose ends as it gets ready to launch more than 10,000 fireworks Saturday night.

Meanwhile, Mayor Muriel Bowser has been repeatedly telling the public to stay at home, and it seems some will do just that. 

“I mean, if we saw it from our car then yeah, maybe and drive while looking out the window but that’s as far as we would go,” said Nguyen.

Some other people like Mireille Jabroun, who are brand new transplants in the nation’s capital, didn’t even know about The Mall holding one the largest fireworks displays in D.C.’s history.

“Oh they are?" she said. “Well, thank you, I guess this is my lucky day. I just got the news from you.”

RELATED: DC urges fireworks safety over Fourth of July weekend as city continues work to slow spread of coronavirus

According to the Department of Interior and the National Park Service, fireworks are being launched from an area more than a mile in length, from Inlet Bridge at the south end of West Potomac Park to north of the Lincoln Memorial, as well as on the grounds of the Washington Monument.

The show will be approximately 35 minutes long and will be visible throughout the District and Northern Virginia.

A supply of more than 300,000 cloth face coverings will be available and distributed to visitors attending the celebration. These cloth face coverings are not surgical masks or respirators, and visitors should familiarize themselves with CDC considerations for wearing a cloth face covering.

Per CDC guidance, visitors are also strongly encouraged to bring and wear their own cloth face coverings when social distancing. As supplies are limited, visitors should not rely upon receiving a mask.

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