Where better to be on the Fourth of July than in the nation's capital?


For a star-spangled Fourth of July, join the throngs in the nation's capital on Saturday.

Festivities begin with a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence at 10 a.m. from the steps of the National Archives building. The two-hour program includes a concert of American music by a fife and drum corps and a demonstration of Colonial military maneuvers complete with cannon and musket fire. At noon the National Independence Day parade wends its way down Constitution Avenue between Seventh and 17th streets. The afternoon could be spent at the Festival of American Folklife, which runs from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on the National Mall.

At 5:30 p.m. there will be a concert, featuring the Navy Band, a dance troupe from Hersheypark, Pa., and some other surprise guests, at the Sylvan Theatre on Washington Monument grounds.

As night falls, Mstislav Rostropovich will lead the National Symphony Orchestra in its traditional concert from the west lawn of the Capitol. Special guests will be James Galway, Patti LuPone, Henry Mancini, Julia Migenes and host E. G. Marshall. The day concludes with fireworks bursting in air over the Washington Monument grounds at 9:20 p.m.

All programs are free. Call (202) 619-7222.

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