It was both a familiar and an odd Fourth in D.C. this year. The pandemic is not yet over and so many people are still suffering, and our nation is struggling to confront the injustices of the past and present.
So while looking at these photos of the celebration of the Fourth, we should also remember the pain of others, including this view of the Fourth expressed so powerfully by Frederick Douglass – see this article by our late colleague Karen Ramsey.
After the celebration being cancelled last year due to the pandemic, the fireworks returned and were fantastic from the usual viewing spots on the Mall.
It’s always spectacular to view the fireworks from across the Potomac River.
In addition to all the traditional viewing locations, a new viewing spot was available this year – The REACH at the Kennedy Center – and became instantly popular.
The White House was still in the process of being decorated on the afternoon of the Fourth, before President Biden hosted a fireworks viewing party for first responders and military personnel.
The crowds on the Mall seemed almost as large as in pre-pandemic times.
The Archives has always been a center of celebration on the Fourth, since the Declaration of Independence is inside. There was no parade this year due to the pandemic, but people were there all day, and especially enjoyed this performance by Batala.
The streets were blocked off, and people made chalk drawings by the Archives.
The areas around the Mall were filled with people relaxing, performing, and remembering in the hours before the fireworks show.
1, 2: ©Rob Klug, 3: ©Victoria Pickering
There was, of course, a day and night-long party on Meridian Hill.
©Rob Klug. Note a former Miss D.C. dancing in the background.
There’s no way to sum up this year, although seeing this air dancer looming over Constitution Avenue felt somehow appropriate.