The Fourth of July is on a Sunday this year; and in light of the falling number of COVID cases, the Commonwealth is opening back up businesses and events. After a year of isolation, residents are ready to celebrate the Independence Day weekend with a bang.
Governor Ralph Northam reported that the Commonwealth hit President Joe Biden’s goal of 70 percent of adults having received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by July 4, and residents are ready to get out again.
“It is so exciting to see things opening up again. It feels strange that a mask is not required anymore, it will take some readjusting to get back to normal life,” said Herndon resident Diana Roe. “Being able to get out for the Fourth of July and spend time with family and friends is great.”
Fairfax County has a variety events people can attend to celebrate the holiday weekend. For residents looking to kick the weekend off on Friday night with fireworks, the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton is having a family friendly event July 2 (9601 Ox Rd.). The tailgate begins at 6 p.m. where attendees can meet Uncle Sam, pick up a balloon animal and watch a magic show followed by the fireworks at sundown.
To keep the holiday celebrations going, July 3, there is the 55th annual City of Fairfax Independence Day Parade at 10 a.m. The event will wind around downtown Fairfax and includes nine high school marching bands, floats, balloons, clowns and other fun sights for the family. The parade will leave from City Hall (10455 Armstrong St.).
For those looking to enjoy fireworks on Saturday night, Lake Fairfax will have a variety of food trucks during the day followed by the fireworks display at 9 p.m. There is an entry fee per car to get into the park and enjoy the show. Tickets can be purchased in advance or upon entry (1400 Lake Fairfax Dr.).
Sunday provides a wide variety of activities for Fairfax County residents to check out and enjoy outdoors. The return of celebrations is giving many people hope and a sense of normalcy. “I can finally see my family and friends again and be sure that I am keeping them safe,” said Alejandro Garcia, a resident of Chantilly. “It’s nice to get to be a part of family traditions again after not being able to last year.”
One event residents can attend on the Fourth is Mount Vernon’s annual Independence Day event where there will be daytime fireworks, 18th Century hot air balloons and a performance by the National Concert Band for the family to enjoy starting at 9 a.m. (3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway).
For those who want to get some exercise in on the holiday, Reston Town Center is hosting the Fourth of July Firecracker 5k for the Troops presented by Leidos at 8 a.m. There will also be live music for everyone to enjoy after the race (11900 Market St.).
Great Falls will also get a running start to their holiday. The Great Falls Freedom Memorial Annual 5k begins at 8 a.m. It will be followed by a parade at 10 a.m. which will be full of firetrucks, horses, floats and antique cars (Great Falls Village Center, 754 Walker Rd.).
For those who want to stay in their car on the Fourth, the McLean Community Center is hosting a drive-thru Fourth of July event for Dranesville Small District 1A residents. Participants must sign up and can visit for one of the three hour-long timeslots. There will be ice cream and a DJ for the community to enjoy (1234 Ingleside Ave.).
When the sun goes down, there will be plenty of places to view fireworks around the county. One place to catch a show is Fairfax High School. There will be onstage entertainment starting at 6:30 p.m. followed by the fireworks display when the sun goes down (3501 Rebel Run).
The Town of Herndon’s fireworks will begin at 9:30 p.m. They are being launched from the Herndon Centennial Golf Course and can be viewed from Bready Park (814 Ferndale Ave.). It is recommended viewers get to the park early to secure an area to sit.
Another place to view fireworks is Turner Farm Park. Revelers can first enjoy live music, games, contests and food trucks starting at 6 p.m. followed by the light show once it is dark (925 Springvale Rd.).
With so many options of things to do across the county, everyone is sure to find something to do. With the fall of reported COVID cases, people are feeling optimistic. “It’s exciting to make up for lost time from last year and spend this holiday with friends in a manner that was not possible in 2020,” said Centreville resident Adam Lee. “Not being able to see friends last year makes this year more special.”