4th of July in D.C.
Together with hundreds of thousands of visitors, we spent this year's Independence Day on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. With the parade on Constitution Avenue, the Smithonian Folk Festival, great local food pavillons, and the big fireworks in the evening, it was going to be the major 4th of July event in the D.C. area.
After all those rainy weeks, it was nice and warm today, and people started gathering around the mall during the afternoon:
By 9 PM, the lawn between the Washington Monument and the Capitol was crowded:
I did a quick estimation and figured something like 300.000 visitors. In the light of the Boston Marathon bombings, police presence and security was massive. Large partes of the mall were fenced, and security booth were installed to check bags before letting people in. But fortunately, folks were relaxed and peaceful, and we didn't notice any incidents whatsoever.
The fireworks started about ten minutes past nine. The launching tubes were placed in the reflecting pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial and we had a nice view with the rockets ascending right behind the Washington Monument:
Behind us, in front of the Capitol, cannons shot salutes:
The fireworks lasted about 15 minutes and was finished at almost total darkness:
After the last shell was fired, crowds quickly left the scene and populated DC to reach their rides. The whole city became very busy. We avoided traffic jams by having a drink and spending some time in one of downtown's restaurants.
After all, the DC fireworks was a spectacular event that was very much worth visiting. Next year, we will definitely come with friends, bring a blanket and something to eat and drink.