Where to Party in D.C. on 4th of July

Does it get any American than the Fourth of July? How about celebrating the holiday in Washington, D.C.? America’s capital city brims with patriotism (and tourists) year-round, and Independence Day takes the good American vibes to a whole other level.  Even better is the fact that the Fourth of July falls on Monday this year, making it a three-day weekend!

Most people would agree that the fireworks display is the main attraction, but there are a host of events and parties happening next weekend. Here are some picks to consider when planning the calendar:

The annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival will be running throughout the day on July 4 down on the National Mall. It begins on June 29 and also will run the following weekend, July 7th through the 10th. This year’s theme is Basque culture and the music of California. They’re not a natural pairing, but it will make for plenty of entertainment and tasty eats and drinks. Dishes will highlight everything from paprika pork sausages to crab and cod burgers. Taco, burrito and thai food stations will also be part of the setup. Wash it all down with a Basque cider or a wine and coke “caliomocho” slushies.

Barbecues are always popular, and several area restaurants plan to break out the grills on Monday. If you’re planning to be close to the National Mall, consider hitting up 701 restaurant (701 Pennsylvania Ave, NW). It’s holding a pig roast at 2 p.m. with lobster rolls, hot dogs, pork sandwiches and a spread of sides. Walk-ups are welcome and everything will be sold a la carte from $5-$20.

Republic (6939 Laurel Ave) restaurant in Takoma Park is hosting its 3rd annual Freedom Fest on Monday. The food and live music event is broken up into two sessions – one from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and one from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online and are $40 for one and $60 for a day pass. The food menu will include a plate of barbecue pork, Peruvian-style chicken, watermelon, salads and other picnic goods. Expect a great selection of local beers too, from breweries like Denizen’s, Right Proper, Jailbreak, Hellbender and others.

If you prefer to take a more spur-of-the-moment approach, you can pencil in an afternoon on Jack Rose Dining Saloon‘s (2007 18th St. NW) rooftop terrace. The bar is teaming up with Maryland’s Flying Dog brewery for a beer-centric party featuring $4 Flying Dog beer cans and half-off appetizers like pork belly skewers and chicken wings all day and night starting at 2 p.m.

This is just a sample of what’s out there in what’s certain to be a lively holiday weekend in the District More special parties and happy hours are sure to trickle in over the next week or so. Whatever you do, there’s no excuse to be bored in the lead up to Monday night’s fireworks finale.

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