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Fourth of July fireworks relocated to West Potomac Park and Lincoln Memorial backside

The Reflecting Pool and the World War II Memorial will be publicly accessible

July 4, 2018 fireworks over the National Mall
Shutterstock

It’s official, folks: The Trump administration is shifting the federal government’s official July 4 fireworks display away from the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, where it has happened for almost 20 years, so the president may deliver a speech in front of the memorial, the U.S. Interior Department announced Wednesday. The Washington Post reported last month that changes to the annual ceremony were in the works, and now more details have been released.

Spectators will be able to watch the fireworks and the holiday’s other events from the areas around the Reflecting Pool, the World War II Memorial, and Constitution Gardens. This is “the first time in recent memory” that those sites will be accessible to the public the night of the Fourth, according to the Interior Department. The fireworks will be launched from West Potomac Park—south of Independence Avenue SW—and also behind the Lincoln Memorial.

The Signers of the Declaration of Independence Memorial will also be accessible as it will no longer be within the “fireworks safety zone.” The Interior Department says “additional details about the day’s events, including security restrictions, public access points, road closures and prohibited items, will be announced in late June.” Below is the official schedule as of June 19.

“National Independence Day Parade – Constitution Avenue NW from 7th Street to 17th Street NW

11:45 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Marching bands, fife and drum corps, floats, military units, giant balloons, equestrian, drill teams and more celebrate Independence Day in this patriotic, flag-waving, red, white and blue celebration of America’s birthday!

Salute to America – Lincoln Memorial

6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

President Trump leads a celebration of America’s military with music, military demonstrations and flyovers. Gates open at 3:30 p.m.

A Capitol Fourth Concert – West Lawn the U.S. Capitol

8 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Co-sponsored by the National Park Service and the National Symphony Orchestra, A Capit[o]l Fourth honors our nation’s 243rd birthday with an all-star salute of the best in American entertainment. Gates open at 3 p.m. www.pbs.org/capitolfourth

Fireworks Display

9:07 p.m. – 9:27 p.m.

Independence Day culminates with a spectacular fireworks display over the National Mall. The fireworks will be launched from West Potomac Park and behind the Lincoln Memorial. They will be visible from locations throughout D.C. and Northern Virginia.”

As the Post reported Tuesday, the administration is also apparently planning an Air Force One flyover above the National Mall for July 4. Officials have started preparing for the day: “Park Service officials issued a notice last week informing local residents who play softball and other sports in West Potomac Park that between June 29 and July 6, ‘multiple athletic fields managed by the Mall will be unavailable for use due to activities associated with President Trump’s Independence Day celebration,’” the newspaper additionally reported.

The organizers of “A Capitol Fourth,” PBS’s annual July 4 concert, say it is unaffiliated with the administration’s events. It will be broadcast from the U.S. Capitol’s west lawn, at 8 p.m.

Lincoln Memorial

National Mall, Washington, DC 20024