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Posted at 12:13 PM ET, 07/ 4/2010

D.C. fireworks: 17 minutes of lights, blasts

By Washington Post Editors

Seventeen minutes of fireworks will top off Washington's annual Fourth of July celebration.

The concert and fireworks display will be broadcast at 8 p.m. on PBS member stations. It will include performances by David Archuleta, Gladys Knight and the National Symphony Orchestra. The fireworks are scheduled to begin at 9:10 p.m.

The 30th annual Capitol Fourth concert will hosted by actor Jimmy Smits on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

National Public Radio stations will also broadcast the concert.

The National Park Service is reminding concertgoers that alcohol, barbecue grills, guns and fireworks are prohibited on the National Mall. Dogs must be kept on a 6-foot leash.
The Washington Metrorail will run from 7 a.m. through midnight on July 4, with near rush-hour level service from 6 p.m. to midnight.

--Associated Press

By Washington Post Editors  | July 4, 2010; 12:13 PM ET
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All that traffic and fuss for seventeen minutes?

Last night, the City of Fairfax's annual celebration included a full half-hour of beautiful fireworks, along with outstanding musical performances by the City of Fairfax Band and Still Surfing (a Beach Boys genre band). And there was plenty of room for folks to sit right underneath the fireworks, as opposed to miles away. By far the better deal, in my view. (And no, I have no connection to the organizers or sponsors of the event.)

Happy Fourth!

Posted by: nan_lynn | July 4, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

While I'll agree that a 30 minute fireworks show in Fairfax is nice (and I live out here), nothing beats fireworks on the Mall in DC, nothing. I've been to fireworks shows in the Colorado mountains, NYC, Miami, and here, and nothing beats it.

Posted by: miacane1 | July 4, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I agree with nan_lynn.

I too was at the City of Fairfax's fireworks display yesterday. It was a full 30 minutes of non-stop fireworks accompanied by music. Although we came late, there was still ample room to spread out a blanket and be so close to the fireworks that you begin to entertain the possibility of getting hit by falling debris. I didn't worry about heavy traffic because their shuttle system was just sublime.

I've officially gotten over the fuss of DC fireworks.

Posted by: ikicbutt | July 4, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

True, I think given the choice anybody would choose the Fairfax fireworks over D.C. I wonder why PBS would broadcast the D.C. fireworks to televisions across the nation instead of showing the Fairfax ones. It just doesn't make any sense.

Posted by: barberbolden | July 4, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

barberbolden - PBS broadcasting Fairfax fireworks instead of the ones over the National Mall - are you serious!?!

Posted by: ams1500 | July 4, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

My tax dollars are spending $250,000 for 17 minutes worth of fireworks? Aren't the shows at the minor league baseball teams longer than that? If not, they're darn close. Bowie's shows used to be 15 minutes.

I too was at Fairfax last night and that was a great show and Still Surfin' was awesome.

I'm glad I'm not battling the crowds with my wife and child to get to DC for 17 minutes. Heck, I'll watch a 30 minute Herndon show from my house tonight. When I was younger, the shows used to be 30-45 minutes in length. 17 is not acceptable when local municipalities are MUCH longer and you're close to the show.

Posted by: dj1123 | July 4, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

The length of the display has been shortened over time. Down from 20 minutes in 2004. I've not been down there since Watt booted the Beach Boys out. I'd rather see the City of Alexandria's birthday fireworks next week.

Posted by: grobinette | July 4, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse


I'm with you about the Alexandria City celebration, too! One of the nicest things about living in (or near) Alexandria is the fact that they always hold their celebration the weekend AFTER the Fourth, which provides an additional opportunity to hear good music (Alexandria Symphony & guest artists) and enjoy fireworks festivities in a community setting. See you there....

Posted by: nan_lynn | July 4, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

I have been to fireworks in NYC, DC, and Pittsburgh. NYC and DC should feel shamed by the display that Pittsburgh has been putting on for years. The last time I saw fireworks there, which was about a year ago, they had two barges full of fireworks on the rivers, there were cascades of fireworks coming off of both bridges leading into and out of town, and they set off fireworks from the tops of the skyscrapers!! NOTHING BEATS PITTSBURGH FIREWORKS. You don't know fireworks until you've seen those.

Posted by: quimarie | July 4, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

I've grown more disappointed in the fireworks in DC as each year goes.The last super show there was Dessert sad the Nations Capital should have the best show!

Posted by: bonniecu | July 4, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Dessert Storm??? Ahahahahahah, please, puhleeze tell me you're joking!!!

Did Dessert Storm include Creme Brulee? Chocolate Torte?

Jesus, please grant bonniecu the ability to spell.

Posted by: nunovyerbizness1 | July 4, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

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