- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Country music star Josh Turner, five-time Academy Award-winner John Williams, and current and past Olympic athletes headline this year’s Independence Day celebration on the National Mall in the District.

Capitol Concerts announced the program for the evening, called “A Capitol Fourth,” which will begin at 8 p.m. on the West Capitol Lawn. Fireworks will close the program and begin at 9:10 p.m.

As part of a tribute to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams, Mr. Williams will conduct his “Olympic Fanfare,” and about a dozen Olympians will be part of the festivities. Among those athletes confirmed for the event are Daryl Homer, who is ranked number one in fencing and Sarah Robles, the top-ranked women’s lifter in the all-weight class. Eight-time Olympic medalist Apolo Anton Ohno will host the tribute.

Joining Mr. Turner and Mr. Williams on stage are Broadway star Megan Hilty and two-time Tony Award winner Matthew Broderick performing songs from the Broadway musical “Nice Work If You Can Get It” with four-time Tony nominee Kelli O’Hara, singer-songwriter Javier Colon, and R&B superstars Kool & The Gang.

World-renowned tenor Russell Watson and the National Symphony Orchestra directed by top pops conductor Jack Everly will perform a tribute in celebration of Gene Kelly’s 100th birthday.

The show will be hosted by Tom Bergeron from “Dancing With The Stars.”

The evening festivities will air live on PBS, overseas on the American Forces Network, and on NPR stations nationwide.

A parade will begin the July 4 celebrations at 11:45 a.m. The route follows Constitution Avenue NW from 7th to 17th streets.