- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 28, 2007

Happy birthday, U.S.A.

Wednesday is America’s 231st birthday, so don your red, white and blue and join more than 300,000 spectators as marching bands, military units, floats, giant balloons and celebrity guests march down Constitution Avenue in the National Independence Day parade. The marching begins at 11:45 a.m. on Constitution Avenue between 7th and 17th streets Northwest. See july4thparade.com.

Fanfare for the Fourth

The National Symphony Orchestra performs live on the steps of the U.S. Capitol as part of the Capitol Fourth celebration on Independence Day. Conductor Erich Kunzel will be joined by guest artists for a performance that will also be broadcast live on PBS and NPR. Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” complete with a live cannon blast from the United States Army Salute Battery, will cap the concert. Showtime is at 8 p.m. on the West Lawn. Admission is free. First Street and Constitution Avenue Northwest. See pbs.org/capitolfourth.

The fiery finish

Lighting up the Mall as a topper to Wednesday’s celebration are the fireworks, to be launched from the Reflecting Pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial. The show is one of the most admired fireworks displays in the country. It begins at about 9:20 p.m. Good spots to watch from include the Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington and the grounds of Washington National Cathedral at Massachusetts and Wisconsin avenues Northwest.

Hey, hey, hey

One of America’s favorite TV dads is back and promises to leave the pudding at home. Join Bill Cosby tomorrow at Wolf Trap’s Filene Center for some of his famous comedy routines. The show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $20 to $40. 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. 703/255-1868.

Margarita, anyone?

Looking for a cheeseburger in paradise or directions to Margaritaville? All signs point to the Nissan Pavilion tonight, when Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band promise to lead the audience down a rock-filled path to the islands. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets range from $36 to $126. 7800 Cellar Door Drive, Bristow, Va. 703/754.6400.

Pop at the pavilion

Merriweather Post Pavilion hosts a pop/rock music fest tonight, when Mae, OK Go and headliners the Fray pull into the outdoor amphitheater. All the bands are showcasing new material along with some of the hits that made them the jewels of Top 40 radio. Tickets range from $25.50 to $40.50. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Md. 202/397-SEAT.

Presidential pets

The White House pets have ranged from dogs to working livestock. They’ve been not just presidential companions but an important part of the history of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. The White House Visitor Center highlights the critters with “White House Pets: Ambassadors-at-Large,” 50 works depicting pets that date back as far as Thomas Jefferson’s magpie. The exhibition is on view through March 9, 2008. Admission is free. Daily hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 1450 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.

Thomas Walter