We lived in the Washington DC area for many years as a part of our military career and took advantage of as much of the national celebrations as we could. I remember all the celebrations in 1976, our 200th Birthday, what a glorious time to be living in our Nation’s Capitol. We soon learned some of the perks of being locals too… like attending the rehearsal performances of the celebration concerts held on the Capitol lawn. Usually the day before the holiday a full rehearsal was held and just like the actual concert there was an audience. Sometimes it was more fun than the actual concert.
It became something we looked forward to every July. We would pick up some Church’s Chicken and pack the coolers and head in town. We usually got there plenty early to assure a good seat and would have our picnic while watching things get set up. Every once in awhile a celebrity would sit and chat while waiting for his or her turn. Usually it was a straight through concert, but occasionally the celebrity would still be on the road and someone else would stand in, which sometimes was quite comical. Regardless it was a great concert and a fun time. And NO traffic heading home.
The next night we would drive to the Pentagon parking lot, climb up a hill and have another picnic, then watch the fireworks while listening to the concert on the radio. We could watch the grand finale and hit the road and avoid all the traffic again. Or another favorite viewing spot was at the Iwo Jima Memorial, but we weren’t always as lucky avoiding the traffic from there.
Tonight I watched the Capitol 4th on TV as I have for the many years since we moved here. It’s a pretty good seat, and there isn’t any traffic to deal with. Not quite the same but it will have to do.