Special Events

Fourth of July Fireworks Info

You feel that? It’s the anticipation of the Independence Day National Fireworks! One of the greatest things about living in DC is getting to see the fireworks fly against a backdrop of national monuments, and it’s easily one of my favorite yearly events. Over the years I’ve imparted my knowledge of the event to help improve our readers’ experience. You can get some advice on what to expect; some great viewing locations around the area; and even some photo advice for taking your own firework images.

I have very little new to add this year, so just read (or reread) my posts from years past. I highly encourage everyone to go and see the fireworks, so ignore that inner pessimist that’s telling you to “avoid the crowds.” Go forth and celebrate the independence of our country by seeing a small part of it blown up!

And if you’re going out to take photos, get some inspiration from previous firework displays: 2011, 2012, and 2013!

The Daily Feed

Ramos Has A Big Day Back, Nats Win 8-5 on Independence Day

Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos
Photo by Keith Allison

It was his first day back in a Major League line-up for the first time in 44 games, but that didn’t keep Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos from leading his time to an 8-5 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Independence Day in the Washington.

Ramos (3-for-4) tallied his first hit since May 15 early on in the fourth inning before coming up big with a three-run homerun in the seventh to give the Nats back the lead and help his team win the Fourth of July match-up. The game marked a career-high 5-RBI day for Ramos.

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Special Events

Fourth of July Fireworks Viewing Locations

Oh, the 4th of July fireworks on the Mall! If you ask me, this is one of the great things about living in DC. And yet, I know most people either avoid them completely, or, are so overwhelmed by the idea of how many people come out for them, they decide staying home and watch the display on TV. Well, I’m here to tell you seeing them in person is the best, even with the crowds!

A few years ago, I put together this handy post on seeing the fireworks; it’s still quite good and worth a read. However, I’ve decided that what’s needed is something more visual. So, I packed decades of Mall fireworks excursions, and a few years of photos, into this handy Google Map (it’s after the jump, as well). And if you want some nice photos, here are my 4th of July shots from the past few years. Continue reading

Special Events

Fourth of July Flashback: 2012

Photo courtesy of mosley.brian
2012 – Fourth of July – Party in America
courtesy of mosley.brian

Another hot July 4th with the unfulfilled threat of rain. And as usual, we got through it! Hope everyone had all the grilled food, adult beverages, and what have you to celebrate the Fourth. And if you did or didn’t get a chance to see the fireworks along the Mall, you get a chance to relive them below. Enjoy, and remember only 363 Days until the next July 4th! Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Firecracker FAQ: Can I Blow That Up?

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘erin m’

Once you light that fuse, you really don’t have the time to look up whether or not it’s actually legal to set off a firecracker in the District. Luckily, the good people over at the Hill Is Home did the necessary research ahead of time so you know what you can and cannot legally set off as part of your own personal fireworks display this Fourth of July:

In the District of Coumbia, the only legal “fireworks” are sparklers less than 20 inchestorches, box fire, fountains, cones, dip sticks, non-poisonous snakes, paper novelty items, colored lights, and paper caps. So basically nothing more explosive than a Christmas popper.

Everything else including firecrackers or fireworks that explode, such as cherry bombs, salutes, Roman candles, floral shells, and artillery shells is illegal.

You’ve probably noticed that around this time of year, several temporary stands are erected for you to buy your snakes and sparklers. Here is a map listing all of the licensed vendors this year.

Be safe out there…

The Daily Feed

SoberRide Saved for the Fourth

Photo courtesy of
‘Nacho #9’
courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

Earlier this month, it looked like there was some concern as to whether or not there would be enough budget for Washington Regional Alcohol Program to supply their SoberRide initiative around this year’s Independence Day celebrations. SoberRide is a simple program that ensures revelers can get home safely and responsibly, but in offering free cab rides on large party holidays in the past years, WRAP was staring in the face of some serious fiscal concerns.

The good news is that several large donors have stood up to make sure that the program would be available for this weekend’s holiday, including MillerCoors and Geico. The contributions helped WRAP get past a $31,000 gap that would have prevented the service’s availability. Thanks to these sponsors, if you or a friend has enjoyed the fireworks and cookouts a little too much, SoberRide is still available to get someone home – up to a $50 fare – for free. Between the hours of 10 p.m. on Sunday the 4th, through 6 a.m. on Monday the 5th, all you’ll need to do is dial 1-800-200-TAXI, and SoberRide will help arrange to get you home.

The Daily Feed

SoberRide Could Not Have Budget to Run On Fourth of July

Photo courtesy of
‘Georgia Avenue Taxi’
courtesy of ‘Photos by Chip Py’

For major “party” holidays – including Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day and the Fourth of July – the Washington Regional Alcohol Program has partnered to offer free taxi rides for visitors and residents of the District. The initiative and program is designed to guarantee that there is a smart and safe way for those who celebrate the holidays with alcohol to get home.

This year, while WRAP was able to offer the program during St. Patrick’s Day, there is a chance the program will not be around come the July 4th holiday due to budget concerns:

“Many people think that SoberRide is just big-hearted cabdrivers giving people a lift,” said Kurt Erickon, president of the McLean-based organization. “In fact, it’s corporate support that pays for it. I don’t want to single anyone out, but the funding has been less because of the economic downturn. We have a $31,000 gap between revenues and the cost of cab fares.” If that $31,000 can’t be found, the program won’t be offered over the July 4 holiday, a time when tens of thousands of people flock to downtown D.C. and other locales for fireworks and picnics.

The holiday is just a few weeks away, and things are not looking good right now. Whether it’s free or not, please remember to not drink and drive any night of the year, but hopefully SoberRide can find the budget they need to create as many ways for people to get home as possible.

Featured Photo

Featured Photo

IMG_8562b by D©Bloom

Independence Day has come and gone, but I couldn’t resist highlighting this patriotic moment captured by D©Bloom.  While our Flickr pool was inundated with oodles of “Ooooo!” and “Ahhhhh!” photos of the fireworks on display at the National Mall, we see a more personal and patriotic celebration here of Uncle Sam launching some bottle rockets in his back yard.  I stared at this photo for a long time and wondered why I loved it so much until finally realized that it reminded me of how I feel every 4th of July.  Being born on Independence Day, I can’t help but to claim it as my own, as my day.  When I see the rockets’ red glare, my surroundings fade to black, the crowd disappears, and it’s just me and a shower of colors bursting in the night sky.

This photo was taken with a Canon G9 which, next to the newer G10, has earned a reputation of being one of the best point and shoot cameras on the market.  Unlike most point and shoots it offers full manual control of the camera and takes 12.1 megapixel RAW images, resulting in large, uncompressed photos that you can print big if you have a winner.  It’s a great all around camera and fairly compact, making it easy to sneak a photo of Uncle Sam when he isn’t looking.

Entertainment, The Features

We Love Independence Day Movies

Photo courtesy of
‘Tchotchke the Freedom Bulldog’
courtesy of ‘staceyviera’
With one day to go until July 4th, it’s time to marinate the chicken, clean the grill, set out the checkered table cloths, raise Old Glory and get pumped to celebrate the birth of our country.  And what better way to do that, than watch a kick ass, chest thumping USA! USA! movie tonight that will make you jump out of your recliner, scream “God Bless America!” and parade around your living room waving a small US flag.
Not surprisingly some of these movies were filmed in or are based in DC, which makes them all the more badass to watch for us DC lovers.  Of note:  this is only my personal shortlist of movies to get me in the Independance Day mood.  I’m sure there are a lot more out there that spark the same sense of pride, so leave a comment on what you’d add to the list.

  • In The Line Of Fire: Clint Eastwood as a secret service agent, nuff said. Oh, and the plot is awesome and John Malkovich is creepy (what’s new.)  A large portion of the movie takes place in DC, with the Lincoln Steps prominently featured.
  • Top Gun:The Kenny Loggins featured soundtrack to this movie alone will get you pumped up, but the F-14s,  shirtless volleyball, Tom Cruise/Val Kilmer tension and a good old fashion love story don’t hurt as well.
  • The Great Escape: If you’ve got time for this one watch it! Yeah, I know I’m recommending a movie with the Yanks working with the Limeys on Independence Day, but it’s a classic. Continue reading