- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 1, 2009

On the day America celebrates its freedom, there are plenty of free events to enjoy. Here is a small sample of July Fourth offerings in the nation’s capital:

• The National Independence Day Parade on Constitution Avenue from Seventh to 17th streets Northwest starts at 11:45 a.m. It will feature marching bands, floats, equestrian teams and giant balloons. For more information, visit www.july4th parade.com.

• The Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the Mall runs from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily through Sunday. This year’s festival highlights the rich oral tradition in the black community, artists from North and South America and the culture and history of Wales. For more information, visit www.festival.si.edu.

• A Capitol Fourth concert by the National Symphony Orchestra will begin at 8 p.m. on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Concertgoers will be admitted to the lawn beginning at 3 p.m. Special guests will include Aretha Franklin and Natasha Bedingfield. Fireworks follow immediately after the concert, at about 9:15 p.m. For more information, visit www.kennedy-center.org.

- Gabriella Boston

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