take back the fourth!
July 2, 2007 4:29 AM   Subscribe

Is anything exciting happening on on the eastern seaboard on the 4th of July?

Like everyone else I have the fourth off, and like most everyone else, I want to go somewhere. I'm in DC, willing to drive or train 2-3 hours, and will happily consider all options, even those not particularly 4thy. Any advice on what cool stuff i'm missing in DC would be also be appreciated and also just general stuff on what's fun to do on this holiday... the last decade of independence days has been sort of lacklustre for me and I'd like to find a way to change that (other than becoming 10 again).
posted by bluenausea to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total)
...well, the DC fireworks (on the Mall) are supposed to be pretty good. Lots of people go into the city to see them. If you already live IN the city, then you get to miss the worst part, which is trying to get OUT of the city again.

Alternatively, you could go to the beach (Delaware? VA Beach? Ocean City [Maryland]?) and probably catch some good fireworks. You'd want to stay overnight, though, and it may be a bit late to get a tent...hotel, perhaps?
posted by anaelith at 5:55 AM on July 2, 2007

I have a budding weird 4th of july tradition (well, I did it last year, and I'm doing it again this year) of going to a true monument to all that is American: a metal scrapyard (aka recycling yard, salvage yard, wrecker, breaker).
The best ones are full of old cars, bikes, and a bunch of rusty machinery that you can't really figure out what it does or did.

The easiest way to tell if a scrapyard is going to be a "good one" is by looking at it in google earth. If it looks large and wildliy disorganized, and has some trees or similar, it will at least be decent. If it looks more or less like a parking lot, with neat rows of cars, it won't be all that great.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 6:21 AM on July 2, 2007

I'm partial to the 4th celebration in Boston. The Boston Pops perform on the Charles River, in a band shell (called the Hatch Shell) and there are fireworks to the tune of the 1812 Overture. Very dramatic. There's always a huge crowd - I think usually about 500,000.

If you want to sit near the Hatch Shell, you have to get there around dawn. Bring a picnic and a beach umbrella and make some new friends.

Otherwise, if you get there around 5 or 6, you can set up your blanket by the Charles (where there's a great view of the fireworks). People also gather on the Cambridge side to watch the fireworks, but you can't really hear the music there (however, it is broadcast on the radio, so you could always bring a radio with you to listen along).
posted by lunasol at 7:24 AM on July 2, 2007

oh, i see you're only willing to go 2-3 hours, so Boston is probably out...
posted by lunasol at 7:25 AM on July 2, 2007

In DC, the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival is both on the mall, huge and a great outdoor day activity. Follow that up with the fireworks at night, especially if you can get close...
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 7:33 AM on July 2, 2007

Tip for DC: it's actually better not to be close. Folks on the Mall get to enjoy the rain of ashes (perhaps good training for the apocalypse?) and the throngs of tourists (good training for post-apocalypse experience in pits of hell?). Folks up in Malcolm X/Meridian Hill Park get to listen to bands on the grass until the fireworks start and then get a lovely view of the city skyline.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:06 AM on July 2, 2007

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