Back in the day we were lucky if we had sparklers on the 4th of July. We would light them up in the middle of the street and run around in circles until they fizzled away. We didn’t have issues with burning our hands or the neighborhood down. Folks sat on the steps of their homes or on the hoods of their car and stayed out until all the sparklers were gone.

We fast forward a few years later firecrackers became illegal and part of the “celebration” of the week was lighting what I refer to as explosives to get the loudest sound, destroy the strongest bottle or can and leave black marks and tons of paper as evidence the next day.

I kind of steered away from that action after I had my own children. We would take advantage of community festivals and fireworks on the river. Every colorful display we would claim a firework as our own and would strongly emphasize the oooohs and aaaaaahs as we watched in the darkness.

Whether you are inland at Cardoza High School in Columbia Heights, on a sailboat on the Potomac River, on the POV Rooftop Lounge and Terrace or on the lawn at the Washington National Cathedral or National Mall, you can still experience the joy of fireworks in DC with family and friends. It does take a little planning and getting to that right spot before it gets too crowded, but it is well worth it. Make it a special occasion with your family and friends, or an opportunity to connect with your neighbors and community.

Here are just a few options in the DMV to view the festivities. Fireworks viewing opportunities! And don’t forget to oooooh and aaaaaah!

If you have other suggestions or secret places that should not be missed, please share on the DC Living Facebook page. Who knows we might just see each other July 4th!

Cheryl Shaw