President Donald Trump says the Independence Day celebration at the nation's capital will be "the show of a lifetime." Here's what you need to know about the event, which will include military demonstrations, tanks, fireworks and a speech by the president.
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The day's main events start with the National Independence Day Parade, which will take place from 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m., marching down Constitution Avenue NW from 7th Street to 17th Street. The Department of the Interior said the parade will feature marching bands, floats, giant balloons, drill teams and military units.
The parade will be livestreamed on Facebook Live and YouTube.
The "Salute to America," a ticketed event, is set for 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 pm. at the Lincoln Memorial. In addition to a speech by the president, it will feature "music, military demonstrations, flyovers and much more," according to the National Park Service.
Two M1A2 Abrams Tanks, which weigh 70 tons each, will be on display on the mall, along with other military vehicles, during the event. Tanks haven't appeared on the streets of Washington since thousands of Persian Gulf War veterans paraded down Constitution Avenue on June 8, 1991, causing minor damage to the roads, according to the Washington Post.
"You've got to be pretty careful with the tanks because the roads have a tendency not to like to carry heavy tanks," Trump told reporters Monday.
Military aircraft participating in the flyover demonstrations include: two Super Hornet F-18s, plus two F-35Cs from the Navy; four Apache helicopters from the Army; a B-2 bomber and two F-22 fighters from the Air Force; and H-60 and H-65 helicopters, plus an HC-134 aircraft, from the Coast Guard, according to CBS News. Marine One, Air Force One and the Blue Angels are expected to participate as well.
Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper and other senior military leaders are expected to attend, CNN reported. Per CNN, some of the event's 500 VIP tickets went to some of Trump's donors and political allies.
The National Park Service diverted $2.5 million from its entrance and recreation fees to help pay for the Salute to America, The Post reported.
"Salute to America" will be broadcast live by Fox News and C-SPAN. The president’s appearance and portions of the parade will air on ABC’s streaming channel, ABC News Live, according to Politico. CBS’ streaming channel, CBSN, will show the event live, as will NBC's site, NBCNews.com, and streaming platform NBC News NOW.
From 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., "A Capitol Fourth" will take place at the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Hosted by John Stamos, it will include musical performances by Carole King, Vanessa Williams, Colbie Caillat, the National Symphony Orchestra and a special appearance by the Muppets.
"A Capitol Fourth" will be broadcast live on PBS and on the PBS website.
At 9:07 p.m. there will be a fireworks display at the National Mall and neighboring parks.
A complete schedule can be found at the National Parks Service website here.
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