- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 3, 2016

To celebrate the Fourth of July with a bang, check out these patriotic and cultural activities in the District.

Brush up on American history at the National Archives, where the Declaration of Independence is on display. On Monday at 10 a.m., actors will do a dramatic reading of the Declaration. Following the presentation, meet the revolutionary figures, including Benjamin Franklin and John Hancock.

Visitors can beat the heat in a surreal underwater world at the National Building Museum’s installation — ICEBERGS — which opened to the public on Saturday.

Made of recyclable greenhouse materials, the installation is a “constructed” ocean wherein icebergs suspend from the ceiling. Visitors can get a panoramic view of this arctic landscape by ascending to a viewing area inside the tallest berg.

You don’t have to travel outside of the United States to experience different cultures. This year’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival features Basque cultural presentations and activities. Learn one of the oldest European languages, play Basque handball and watch traditional dance performances.

The festival also will feature ethnic American traditions. The “Sounds of California” program spotlights how immigrant populations have preserved their culture. The day will be full of dancing to the rhythm of Japanese drums and regional Mexican music.

Before the patriotic festivities begin, prepare for the National Independence Day Parade on Constitution Ave. The Ninth Street and 12th Street tunnels will be closed. In addition, 12th Street NW will be closed from the Interstate 395 exit to Pennsylvania Ave. NW.

Avoid the crowds at the National Mall and opt for these alternate spots to watch fireworks. The U.S. Supreme Court provides a clear view from its 252-foot wide plaza. Or watch from the Marine Corps War Memorial and Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Virginia.

As for the fireworks themselves, the National Park Service said the annual display on the Mall will proceed unless there’s “heavy rain, thunderstorms or high winds.”

Rain is in the forecast for Monday, and the fireworks are scheduled to begin at 9:09 p.m. If they’re postponed, they’ll be rescheduled for Tuesday evening.

For additional information on road closures, visit the Metropolitan Police Department website.

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