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Arlington is back to fully celebrating July 4 for the first time since 2019

Fourth of July fireworks from the Iwo Jima memorial in 2021 (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

For the first time in a couple of years, Arlington is back to fully celebrating America’s Independence Day.

In both 2020 and 2021, the pandemic led to the canceling of a number of official July 4 events as well as many of the local holiday festivities.

But, for the most part, Independence Day events, parades, and firework shows are back this year in Arlington.

The fireworks on the National Mall are set to start shooting off at 9:09 p.m. on Monday, July 4 and there are plenty of local spots to watch them without heading to the District.

  • Gateway Park and the Key Bridge in Rosslyn are both popular viewing spots for viewing and will be open to the public. There’s no seating on the bridge, however.
  • Gravelly Point, just north of National Airport on the George Washington Parkway, is a National Park Service site and will also be open to the public. No “hard perimeter” or “physical security checkpoints” will be in place, a NPS spokesperson tells ARLnow, though certain areas may be roped off to help with crowd control.
  • Long Bridge Park in Crystal City will be open to the public for firework viewing. Arlington County police will be on hand “conducting road closures and providing safety and security” on-site, a county spokesperson tells ARLnow.
  • Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima) near Rosslyn is one of the most popular spots to watch fireworks outside of the National Mall. No “hard perimeter” or security checkpoints will be in place, though it might get crowded and certain areas could be roped off.
  • Mount Vernon Trail along the Potomac River near Roosevelt Island provides “uninterrupted views” of the District’s skyline. Though, the best views are on the trial which is only accessible for bikes and pedestrians.
  • Prospect Hill Park near Pentagon City is a small county park from which one can view the fireworks, though it is only a half-acre and mostly used by nearby residents.

The Air Force Memorial, another popular viewing spot, will be closed this year due to “safety and security concerns” related to the ongoing Arlington National Cemetery expansion project.

The View of DC observation deck on top of the CEB Tower at 1201 Wilson Blvd also will not be open this year for fireworks viewing, closing at 5 p.m. on July 4, an employee confirmed to ARLnow. In years past, residents were able to enter their names into a lottery to watch the show 31 floors up, but that isn’t the case this year.

The Washington Golf and Country Club off of N. Glebe Road is again set to have its own fireworks show, though it’s only open to members and their guests, we’re told.

For those looking to head downtown for the fireworks, Metrorail will be operating until midnight, with trains every 20 minutes on the Blue and Orange lines and every 15 minutes on the Yellow Line. Trains will arrive every 7 minutes at the downtown stations serviced by several lines.

Several Arlington communities and neighborhoods are back to holding parades and festive events this year as well:

With all of this going on, there will also be road closures including Arlington Memorial Bridge and Arlington Memorial Circle starting at 6 a.m. on July 4.

4:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

  • Marshall Drive, from Route 110 to N. Meade Street
  • N. Meade Street, from Marshall Drive to N. Fairfax Drive (access to the Ft. Myer Heights neighborhood will be from the Rhodes Street bridge – local traffic only)
  • Exit ramp from westbound Route 50 to N. Lynn Street (Rosslyn exit)
  • Exit ramp from eastbound Route 50 to N. Meade Street (Rosslyn exit)
  • Eastbound N. Fairfax Drive, from N. Pierce Street to N. Fort Myer Drive

6 p.m. to 11 p.m.

  • Columbia Pike, between S. Oak Street and Rotary Road
  • S. Joyce Street, between Army Navy Drive and Columbia Pike
  • Exit ramp from westbound Washington Boulevard to Columbia Pike (Air Force Memorial)
  • Southgate Road, from Oak Street to S. Joyce Street

9 p.m. to 11 p.m.

  • Exit ramp from westbound Washington Boulevard to Columbia Pike/S. Orme Street
  • Exit ramp from westbound Washington Boulevard to westbound Columbia Pike (Bailey’s Crossroads exit near the Sheraton Hotel)
  • Exit ramp eastbound Washington Boulevard to Columbia Pike/S. Queen Street

The county is also advising residents to proceed with caution if using fireworks at home. Nationally, 180 people go to the emergency room every day on average with fireworks-related injuries, according to statistics from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Fireworks with projectiles or sparks greater than 12 feet is prohibited by the county fire code as well as Virginia law.

On the county webpage, a 44-page document lists approved and permissible fireworks in Virginia. Most are sparklers and non-projectiles.

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