“Any tips for a first timer going to fireworks on the National Mall?”


Photo by Ian Livingston

“Dear PoPville,

Looking to finally bite the bullet and go to the fireworks on the National Mall. But I have no idea what I’m getting myself into – how early do I need to arrive for the 9pm show? Any tips for a first timer? I know it will be hot and crowded, but I want to experience it once!”

Ed. Note: The Mayor’s office released a bunch of info today including street closures:

‘Today, the Bowser Administration provided an update on the District’s public safety preparations for local and national celebrations, including the Barracks Row 4th of July Parade, the Palisades 4th of July Parade, and the National Park Service fireworks show on the National Mall. City Administrator Kevin Donahue was joined by Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert J. Contee, III, DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services Chief John Donnelly, and Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency Deputy Director Carrie Speranza.

“We recognized that celebrating the fourth in the District for the first time since the pandemic will be a special time for our community members, which is why it’s critical we protect our residents and neighborhoods to do so,” said City Administrator Donahue. “Mayor Bowser has charged our public safety agencies to ensure the safety for thousands of visitors and residents to fully enjoy what our nation’s capital has to offer.”

While there is no indication of any specific threats targeting the District, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) will increase staffing of uniformed and un-uniformed officers to ensure events in and around the National Mall are properly secured. The Department will continue its coordination with federal partners to share information and monitor any potential threats and coordinate with the National Park Service and surrounding jurisdictions to manage road closures, waterway restrictions, and traffic mitigation.

“We are elated that after a difficult and challenging year of the public health emergency, we are able to gather together again to celebrate with friends and family,” said Chief Contee. “As with all large scale-events, MPD has increased staffing levels to ensure events in and around the National Mall are properly secured without sacrificing the quality of service we provide to our neighborhoods and District residents.”

“Please hydrate regularly to avoid heat-related illnesses,” advises Chief Donnelly. “Let’s not meet because of the heat.”

As part of the District’s regional collaboration to support a safe holiday, coordinate resources, and manage communications across jurisdictional boundaries, the Bowser Administration will activate the Emergency Operations Center and Joint Information Center. While not currently forecasted, should temperatures rise to meet a heat index of 95 degrees, the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA) will activate the Heat Emergency and open the District’s cooling centers. For more information regarding cooling centers and heat preparations, visit heat.dc.gov.

Residents and visitors are encouraged to register for important alerts from the District by signing up for AlertDC at alertdc.dc.gov.

“AlertDC helps our residents and visitors stay informed and aware of what is going on around them,” shares HSEMA Deputy Director Carrie Speranza. “These alerts can provide critical information in the event of an emergency, as well as guidance in the event of an unplanned street closure or other service adjustment.”

In coordination with the Metropolitan Police Department and the United States Park Police, the following roads will be closed and off limits to vehicles on Sunday, July 4:

Closed from 5:00 am until approximately 11:59 pm:

Constitution Avenue, NW from 23rd Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Jefferson Drive, SW from 15th Street to 3rd Street, SW

Madison Drive, NW from 15th Street to 3rd Street, NW

Independence Avenue, SW from 17th Street to 3rd Street, SW

C Street, NW from 21st to Virginia Avenue, NW

C Street, NW from 18th Street to 17th Street, NW

D Street, NW from 18th Street to 17th Street, NW

E Street, NW from 18th Street to 17th Street, NW

17th Street, NW from Constitution Avenue to E Street, NW

18th Street, NW from Constitution Avenue to E Street, NW

19th Street, NW from Constitution Avenue to E Street, NW

20th Street, NW from Constitution Avenue to E Street, NW

21st Street, NW from Constitution Avenue to E Street, NW

23rd Street, NW from Constitution Avenue to E Street, NW

Virginia Avenue, NW from Constitution Avenue to 22nd Street, NW

Ohio Drive from Independence Avenue and West Basin Drive, SW

Parkway Drive from Ohio Drive and Lincoln Memorial Circle, SW

15th Street, NW from Pennsylvania Avenue to Constitution Avenue, NW

14th Street, NW from Pennsylvania Avenue to Independence Avenue, SW

2nd Street, NW from Pennsylvania Avenue to Constitution Avenue, NW

10th Street, NW from Pennsylvania Avenue to Constitution Avenue, NW

3rd Street, NW from Constitution Avenue to Independence Avenue, SW

4th Street, NW from Pennsylvania Avenue to Independence Avenue, SW

6th Street, NW from Pennsylvania Avenue to Constitution Avenue, NW

7th Street, NW from Pennsylvania Avenue to Independence Avenue, SW

9th Street, NW from Pennsylvania Avenue to Constitution Avenue, NW

Closed for the event from approximately 6:00 am to 11:00 pm:

Theodore Roosevelt Bridge (TR Bridge) Inbound to Constitution Avenue and Ohio Drive ramp (ALL traffic will be diverted to the E Street Expressway)

Eastbound E Street Expressway ramp to E Street, NW

E Street Expressway ramp from the TR Bridge

Henry Bacon Drive from Constitution Avenue, NW to Memorial Circle

Ohio Drive between Independence Avenue and West Basin Drive

Parkway Drive, NW between Ohio Drive and Lincoln Memorial Circle

Independence Avenue from 14th Street to Ohio Drive, SW

23rd Street, NW (northbound) from Constitution Avenue to Virginia Avenue, NW (southbound 23rd Street, NW will be allowed to flow and access outbound TR Bridge)

Virginia Avenue from Constitution Avenue, NW to 24th Street, NW

22nd Street, NW from E Street to Constitution Avenue, NW

21st Street, NW from E Street to Constitution Avenue, NW

20th Street, NW from E Street to Constitution Avenue, NW

19th Street, NW from E Street to Constitution Avenue, NW

18th Street, NW from E Street to Constitution Avenue, NW

17th Street, NW from New York Avenue to Constitution Avenue, NW

15th Street, NW from Pennsylvania Avenue to Independence Avenue, SW

Constitution Avenue, NW from 23rd Street to 14th Street, NW

Constitution Avenue, NW from 9th Street to Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Jefferson Drive, SW from 15th Street to 3rd Street, SW

Madison Drive, NW from 15th Street to 3rd Street, NW

12th Street tunnel

1200 block Maiden Lane, SW

14th Street Bridge Inbound (all traffic will remain on eastbound I-395)

14th Street Bridge (HOV) Inbound (all traffic will remain on eastbound I-395)

Maine Avenue, SW from I-395 (westbound) to Independence Avenue, SW (all traffic will remain on westbound I-395)

Southbound Potomac River Freeway split to Route 66 (all traffic to outbound Route 66)

Arlington Memorial Bridge

Southbound Rock Creek Parkway will be closed at Virginia Avenue, NW

Closed from approximately 1:00 pm to 11:00 pm:

14th Street, NW from Pennsylvania to Independence Avenue, SW

7th Street, NW from Pennsylvania Avenue to Independence Avenue, SW

4th Street, NW from Pennsylvania Avenue to Independence Avenue, SW

The following streets are expected to remain open, but may be closed for public safety:

12th Street, NW from Pennsylvania Avenue to Constitution Avenue, NW

10th Street, NW from Pennsylvania Avenue to Constitution Avenue, NW

9th Street, NW from Pennsylvania Avenue to Constitution Avenue, NW

9th Street Tunnel

The 3rd Street Tunnel will remain open for travel into and out of the city.

The following street will be closed and posted as Emergency No Parking for the Barracks Row Parade from approximately 8:00 am to 12:00 pm:

8th Street, SE from Pennsylvania Avenue to Virginia Avenue, SE

The following streets will be closed for the Barracks Row parade from approximately 8:00 am to 12:00 pm:

E Street, SE between 7th Street and 9th Street, SE

G Street, SE between 7th Street and 9th Street, SE

The following street will be closed and posted as Emergency No Parking for the Palisades Parade from approximately 10:00 am to 12:30 pm:

MacArthur Boulevard, NW from Whitehaven Park to Edmunds Place, NW

The following watercraft restrictions will be in place on the Potomac River from approximately 9:00 am – 11:59 pm:

South of the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge to the Arlington Memorial Bridge will be a No Anchorage Zone.
There will be a designated anchorage zone east of the security zone between the 14th Street Bridge complex and the Roosevelt Memorial Bridge.
There will be a watercraft safety zone north of the 14th Street Bridge on the east side of the Potomac River (Washington, DC side); this zone will be just north of the entrance to the Pentagon Lagoon to north of the Arlington Memorial Bridge. This means no boating, no anchoring.
Watercrafts will be allowed to anchor outside of the channel north of the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge and south of the 14th Street Bridge.
There may be intermittent travel restrictions between the 14th Street Bridge and the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge between the hours of 8:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.”

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