DC Fireworks / parking / carpooling

I love the DC fireworks… but it is a huge hassle to get there. Metro parking lots are mobbed… the Metro itself is mobbed… you have to wait HOURS afterward to even get a Metro home… and you have to carry all your crap around with you.

Seems like it would be nicer to go early and drive in… but it’s impossible to find parking and even if you can it’s hugely expensive.

So I was wondering if any of our DC dopers had any ideas? Also if we did find a way to drive in somehow, we’d be willing to carpool some people assuming we can find a space big enough for the van (and assuming that a blown fuse is actually the problem with the van).


If I go, I expect to be on bicycle. I’d be interested in meeting for the fireworks, though!

A couple of years ago we pitched a tent on the Mall and hung out. It could be a good hang out spot if people wanted to gather. Problem is I don’t know where our old tent is. I have a new one coming, but it’s being sent on Monday, so it probably won’t be here on time…

I don’t see anything in the security precautions for July 4th on the Mall that would prohibit a tent, but I’ve got just a sneaking suspicion that a tent anywhere inside their security perimeter might not go over well this year.

I hope this security perimeter thing is just a one-time aberration. I’ve been going to the Mall on July 4th every year since 1987, but it figures to be significantly less fun this year because of the excessive security. This is looking less and less like the country I grew up in. :frowning:

(Aside: One certain way of getting a seat on the Metro after the fireworks is to board an eastbound train as far as Minnesota Avenue, then transfer to the westbound train which will be nearly empty.)

Ack. I think that maybe DC this year would be a bit too annoying. Maybe next year :slight_smile:

Ack. I think that maybe DC this year would be a bit too annoying. Maybe next year :slight_smile:

Opal, do what we do and avoid the Mall completely. Watch the firworks from this side of the river, Arlington Cemetary has a good viewing spot at the grounds around the Netherlands Carillion. The best way to get there would be to head up 395 and park in the lot for Pentagon guests, then take Metro to the Cemetary. Parking in Rosslyn and walking down Fort Myer Drive is another option but getting out after the fireworks would be a huge pain in the ass.

Well, Manassas is doing fireworks this year. I think I’ll be out of town, but if not, we’ll give those a look-see. I know, I know, not the same as the Big Show, but I don’t feel like fighting the crowds/security either.

Where in Manassas? I might be up for that.

Fairfax City is having an all day program, which includes fireworks in the evening. While the scale is certainly smaller than that of the national celebration, it has been fairly good in past years. The parade is a bit on the hokey side. But if you like funnel cake, you really have to come to the early events.

Opal, (or any other Dopers, who plan to attend,) let me know. We could meet in one of the city’s restaurants, before, or after the fireworks.


Oh, by the way, the Manassas fireworks will be at 9:15 PM, at Osbourn High school. They have an all day program as well.

I assume the Fairfax ones are at Fairfax High again? We did that once and it was horrible! It was a bazillion degrees and there was nowhere to sit. The whole stadium was packed to the point of squishing…

I’ll check out the Manassas ones… hopefully there will be a place nearby where we can just park the van and watch from there.

That is, if we don’t just head for the mountains and go camping instead. :slight_smile:

I’ve only lived in Manassas since last September, so I don’t have anything but hearsay to go on. It seems there are typically 2 fireworks celebrations. One at the minor league baseball park, after the game. From what I understand, this is usually a big draw and might be sold out. Some people just park along a road near the stadium and watch for free.

The second is put on by the city of Manassas Park, at Signal Hill Park.

Now, my understanding is that this is the first year Manassas itself (see link provided by Trisk) is having a fireworks festival. That now makes three choices, assuming Manassas Park is still doing theirs.

Compared to the DC celebration, these will probably be on the hokey side. If I stay in town, I may wander over to Old Town Manassas during the day. I’m pretty sure I will be able to see the fireworks from my deck that night, as I don’t live too far from the activity area. (As long as they shoot them up high!)

Sounds like there are plenty of options for the 4th around here. I think I’d like to see the Mall fireworks, but maybe I’ll take Jeff Olsen’s advice and go to Arlington to watch em.

I also heard that a great vista for viewing the DC fireworks is from the Marine Corps Memorial (Iwo Jima) in Arlington. The hill there has an outstanding view of Washington, DC - so you can see the fireworks against the backdrop of the Capitol, Washington Monument etc.

As for me, I’m getting away from DC for the 4th. Call me paranoid…

It’s looking likely that we will be heading to the mountains the morning of the 4th to go camping, and just skip the whole fireworks thing entirely for this year.