Independence Day is celebrated throughout the United States with flag-waving parades but none are as patriotic as the ones that take place in the nation's capital. Washington, D.C., and its suburbs are home to at least a dozen processions on this day, with some taking place in the bustling downtown area, and others occupying the quieter outskirts such as Leesburg, Virginia. The Fourth of July parade that's held on the National Mall is the region's main event, but there are plenty of smaller celebrations in Maryland and Northern Virginia, too.
Some Independence Day events have been altered or canceled in 2020. Check details below and websites of the organizers for more information.
The biggest Fourth of July parade in the city—and one of the biggest in the country, actually—descends on the National Mall with over-the-top floats, fife and drum corps, oversized balloons, and more. However, that's not the only thing happening downtown on Independence Day.
- National Mall: Washington's primary July Fourth procession has been canceled in 2020. It typically begins at 11:45 a.m. and follows Constitution Avenue between 7th and 17th Streets until 2 p.m. The parade features marching bands, military and specialty units, drill teams, balloons, floats, and the occasional VIP. The event kicks off a full day of spectacular Independence Day celebrations.
- Capitol Hill: Every year, antique cars, community leaders, miniature superheroes and princesses, local school groups, and street performers march down 8th Street as part of the Capitol Hill Community 4th of July Parade, an 18-year tradition. In 2020, however, it'll take place virtually. According to the event website, the organizations usually featured in the parade will submit short videos that will be compiled into a pseudo parade displayed online.
- Palisades: This event has been canceled in 2020. Palisades Citizens' Association's parade usually begins at 11 a.m. at the corner of Whitehaven Parkway and MacArthur Boulevard and ends at the entrance to the Palisades Recreation Center. There is a free picnic afterward with moon bounces, food, and live music.
The Maryland side of the D.C. area offers the widest variety of Independence Day parades in the area, spanning from Annapolis to Montgomery Village.
- Takoma Park: The annual Takoma Park Fourth of July parade has been canceled in 2020. It usually kicks off around 10 a.m. at Carroll and Ethan Allen Avenues, proceeding south along Carroll Avenue to Maple Avenue, then turning right on Maple Avenue and ending at Sherman Avenue. It features performers, decorated floats, and dogs, all adhering to a parade theme like 2019's "Community Heroes."
- Kensington: Kensington throws a different version of the holiday tradition each year: a bike parade. The kid-centered procession typically includes bicycles, strollers, wagons, and the occasional furry friend. It begins at 10 a.m. at St. Paul Park, but participants are encouraged to line up by 9:45 a.m.
- Montgomery Village: Montgomery Village's Fourth of July Parade will take place on July 3, 2020, starting at 10 a.m. at Apple Ridge Road and the Apple Ridge Recreation Area. This year's theme is "Stars, Stripes & Summer Knights." A Rock ‘n’ Roll Show and carnival will follow until 1:30 p.m.
- Laurel: This event has been canceled in 2020. It traditionally starts at 11 a.m. on 4th Street and leads into a full day of entertainment including an antique car show, contests, live music, and a fireworks display.
- Annapolis: This event has been canceled in 2020. An evening Fourth of July Parade usually takes place at 6:30 p.m. and is followed by fireworks at the barge in Annapolis Harbor. The parade begins on Amos Garrett Blvd., then proceeds right on West Street, around Church Circle, down Main Street, left on Randall Street, and ends in front of the Market House.
Locally known as NoVA, the D.C. suburbs of Northern Virginia are known for their charming and historic towns and sprawling nature. Though it may be quieter than the big city itself, it knows how to put on an Independence Day celebration.
- Fairfax: This event has been canceled in 2020. The Fairfax parade starts at 10 a.m. and lasts about two hours. Here, the community comes together for a patriotic procession followed by the Old-Fashioned Fireman's Day with firefighter competitions, food, and games. Finally, the holiday is capped with a fireworks display.
- Great Falls: The 2020 4th of July Hometown Celebration has been canceled. In previous years, the parade has started at the Village Green at 10 a.m. and ends at Safeway. The Great Falls Foundation also sponsors a 5K Fun Run at 8 a.m., a blood drive, a Little Patriots Parade for babies and toddlers at 9 a.m., and festivities and food from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Then, there are evening games and activities at 6 p.m. and fireworks after dusk.
- Leesburg: Leesburg's Fourth of July parade has been canceled in 2020. It typically begins at 10 a.m. at Ida Lee Park and travels down King Street to Fairfax Street. The community kicks off the festivities with a patriotic celebration through historic downtown Leesburg, then gathers for a fireworks show at 9:30 p.m.