Since 1776, the 4th of July has been a day of commemoration and celebration in the United States. And while this is especially true in Arlington County, the festivities will obviously be different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic; no formal events or programming are planned in Arlington County.
All Arlingtonians are urged to celebrate the Fourth of July at home. Large outdoor gatherings are still a high risk, especially when people are close together, without any guarantees of proper social distance.
“On the holiday weekend, personal responsibility is going to be very critical — if you can, stay put. Watch the fireworks from your home on TV,” said Dr. Reuben Varghese, Arlington County Public Health Director. “If you’re going to go, keep your distance.”
TRAFFIC ALERT: July 4th Road Closures
Even as the County’s metrics continue to trend in the right direction, it is important to remember that Arlington is a high-density area and community spread still exists. Everyone must remain vigilant and take precautions: Safer at Home; wear face coverings; wash your hands; practice social distancing.
View the National Fireworks (from Your Home)
Looking for a spot to watch the National Fireworks? Look no further than your couch.
Arlington is home to great views of the Independence Day display, but this year, the best — and the safest — viewing spots will be your television and phone screens at home.
The 40th Anniversary Special of A Capitol Fourth will premiere Saturday, July 4, 8 p.m. The show will air on PBS and stream live stream on Facebook, YouTube and their website. Instead of airing live from Washington, DC, this year’s show will feature pre-taped performances from around the country, and will feature a tribute to workers on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis.
- A Tribute to the American Spirit: National Harbor is partnering with The U.S. Air Force Band and Washington Performing Arts for a special online livestreaming concert on July 4 at 4 p.m. EDT.
- U.S. Marine Band’s Free Country Acoustic Quartet: Tune in virtually for the debut Wolf Trap Park Pop-Up on July 4 at 4 p.m. with a streaming performance by the U.S. Marine Band.
- Washington National Cathedral We the People Independence Day Online Concert & Tribute: You’re invited to join Washington National Cathedral at 11 a.m. on July 4 for an online Independence Day concert to celebrate the enduring values that make America strong, resilient and compassionate.
If you do opt to venture outside, follow the protocols to protect yourself and others:
- If you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, to include fever, cough or difficulty breathing, or have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days, stay home.
- Do not gather in groups larger than 250 people.
- Limit close contact with others outside your household in indoor and outdoor spaces
- Maintain six feet of distance, or wear a cloth face covering when physical distancing is not possible
- Wash or sanitize your hands and surfaces frequently
The number of people allowed entry to the viewing area at Long Bridge Park will be very limited and once the area reaches capacity, individuals will be denied entry.
With the 4th of July comes outdoor fun — fireworks and grilling have become synonymous with the celebration of independence. However, with those activities comes inherent risks. Take the steps to ensure your 4th of July weekend is as safe as it is festive with these helpful reminders and tips from the Arlington County Fire Department:
Fireworks Safety Tips
On average, 180 people go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries around the July 4th holiday. The Arlington County Fire Prevention Office wants everyone to enjoy the 4th of July holiday this year by keeping it safe. Fireworks are dangerous and the lighting of fireworks should be left to the experts. If you plan to use fireworks outside your home, know the limitations and prohibitions (including which fireworks are illegal), and follow these safety tips.
In the interest of everyone having a safe and enjoyable outdoor grilling season, the Arlington County Fire Department is sharing information on open flame cooking devices. highlighting the most important things you can do to prevent grill fires.
And when you’re done grilling, don’t overlook the importance of cleaning-up. Backyard cookouts and gatherings can generate more waste than you might think. By planning properly, you can make eco-friendly choices that reduce waste and your impact on the environment.
Celebrate the 4th in Your Neighborhood
- Bluemont’s Bell: the Bluemont neighborhood will celebrate with Social-Distancing Friendly Bell-Ringing of its historic bell on July 4 at 12 noon. “We’ll practice social distancing, including with facemasks, hand sanitizer, alcohol wipes, and encouraging everyone to stay at least six feet apart during this outdoor event.”
- Fairlington Villages MODIFIED Parade: Decorate your porch, patio, or window pane
- Lyon Village’s parade and celebration, a neighborhood tradition dating to 1971. “Due to COVID-19 we will only have a parade, no picnic. For safety reasons please pick a location to watch the parade while socially distancing.”
- Waycroft- Woodlawn July 4th 2020 Celebrations: In lieu of in-person activities, WWCA has two holiday activities planned: 4th of July Bike Parade and 4th of July Decorations Challenge.
Being Counted in the Census Is a Constitutional Right
Although many patriotic events have been scaled back or canceled, taking the Census in not one of them! It’s easy to take the Census online at any time, and the Census Bureau phone lines will be open on July 4 for those who want to take the Census by phone. Taking the Census is a Constitutional right. If you haven’t taken the Census yet, this is a truly patriotic act you can perform as we celebrate this Independence Day. It’s safe, easy, and only takes a few minutes.
- Online: Go to my2020census.gov. Non-English speakers can select a different language at the bottom of the page.
- Phone: Call 844-330-2020 for English, 844-468-2020 for Spanish, or use these phone numbers to take the Census in 12 other languages.
- Mail: If you received a paper copy by mail, just fill it out, place it in the envelope provided and drop it in a mailbox.
Already taken the Census? Please let everyone in your network know how important it is to take it now!
- Learn how Census data support equity and civil rights
- Read more about the history of the Census in Arlington in The Census: Then & Now
- View some of the many Arlington programs funded by the Census
Updated: June 30, 2020