For the past 33 years, PBS has hosted an annual concert special – “A Capitol Fourth” – on Independence Day shot live from the west lawn of the Capitol building. The line-up of artists selected for the special spans genres and generations culminating in a show for all-ages and this year’s line-up is no exception.
This year’s show features timeless American stars like Barry Manilow and Neil Diamond, two American Idol winners including Scotty McCreery and the newly crowned Candice Glover, as well as Broadway’s Megan Hilty (of Smash), Darren Criss (Glee), and that’s just to name a few. With one of America’s favorite television hosts Tom Bergeron acting as emcee for the evening, PBS is on its way toward producing yet another memorable Fourth of July concert special on the National Mall.
On the third of July, the artists gather for one final run through before the official open dress rehearsal later that night. The day’s events also serve as an opportunity for those involved with the show to reflect on what being in DC for Independence Day means to them and what an honor it truly is to be involved with “A Capitol Fourth.”
To a seasoned performance veteran like Barry Manilow – who first played the show in 2009 – being in DC for Independence Day makes him believe in America. When asked about why DC is so special on the Fourth of July, he responded by asking a question in retort, “Do you guys live here?”
Photo by Rachel Levitin
If you’re anything like me then you tend to steer clear of the National Mall on Independence Day due to massive crowds. This year, though, I may make a trip down there. Why? The lineup for the Capitol Fourth concert sounds like fun.
Acts ranging from multi-platinum recording artist Josh Groban to rock legend Little Richard are scheduled to take the stage with appearances by American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, Glee’s Matthew Morrison, actor/comedian Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, and the National Symphony Orchestra.
A Capitol Fourth marks its thirtieth season this year and is celebrated for being one of the highest rated programs on PBS over the past decade. The concert will air live from the Capitol’s west lawn on Monday, July 4 from 8 to 9:30 p.m. (ET) The show can also be heard live in stereo over NPR Member stations nationwide, but why be a television viewer or radio listener when you can get down there and watch the show in person?
Plus – there’s fireworks when it’s over! You can’t go wrong.
photo courtesy of pbs.org
This Sunday evening, September 27 at 8pm, the long awaited Ken Burns documentary The National Parks: America’s Best Idea premieres on PBS. The documentary stories the inspiring individuals who dedicated themselves to establishing our National Park System and to protecting America’s cultural, natural and historic heritage. The series will air a new episode every night next week with the concluding episode on Friday, October 2.
To spread the word about this awesome documentary and get park lovers to share their parks stories with friends and family, the DC-based non-profit, the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) is organizing nation-wide viewing parties for the Sunday premiere, and they’ve made it super easy to host your own get-together with customized evites, your own personalized party page, helpful party tips and innovative ways to share this documentary with people around the country. “Our goal is to inspire all Americans to dedicate themselves to protecting and preserving our national parks,” says Tom Kiernan, NPCA President, “so that the parks can be enjoyed, explored, and cherished by our children, our grandchildren, and by all future generations.”
Register to host a (private or public) party, and you’ll be entered in a raffle to win 1 of 5 signed copies of award-winning, conservation photographer Ian Shive‘s The National Parks: Our American Landscape. This new, visually stunning photo journey highlights the beauty and majesty of our national parks from Alaska’s Denali to Florida’s Everglades. RSVP’ed guests will also be entered in the drawing, and you, as the host, will get a bonus entry for every guest. Woot! Continue reading