2010 marks the 30th year of the broadcast of our nation’s premier Independence Day celebration in Washington, D.C. This year “A Capitol Fourth” will be hosted by Jimmy Smits. The all-star line-up features performances from the likes of Reba McEntire, Darius Rucker, Lang Lang and the National Symphony Orchestra.
One of my favorite childhood memories is camping out near the Washington Monument to see the firework show in person. All day we were entertained by concerts, games and other activities and at night the fireworks launching over the Lincoln Memorial was a beautiful and powerful moment.
Washington, DC July 4, 2010 fireworks | ©Photo Phiend/Flickr
I definitely think this is one event everyone needs to see in person at least once in their life. If you’re planning on visiting our nation’s capitol for the fourth of July holiday you’ll be happy to know it’s not too late to uncover some spectacular savings on Last Minute Travel. In fact, there are still 4-Star hotels for under $100 a night.
More details about A Capitol Fourth can be found in the full press release below the jump:
This July 4, America’s national Independence Day celebration will mark 30 spectacular years on air. The multi-award winning A Capitol Fourth, broadcast live from the West Lawn of the United States Capitol, will kick off the country’s 234th birthday with a musical extravaganza like no other, topped off by the most dazzling display of fireworks anywhere in the nation!
The 30th anniversary broadcast of A Capitol Fourth will be hosted by Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actor Jimmy Smits with unrivaled performances from some of the country’s biggest musical names including: multiple Grammy, CMA and ACM Award-winning country music superstar Reba McEntire; country music sensation Darius Rucker (Hootie & the Blowfish); as well as world-renowned classical pianist Lang Lang with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly (additional talent to be announced). A Capitol Fourth will air live in HD on PBS Sunday, July 4, 2010 from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. ET (check local listings) before a concert audience of hundreds of thousands and millions more at home, as well as to our service members around the world on the American Forces Network. A Capitol Fourth can also be heard live in stereo over NPR Member stations nationwide.
As part of A Capitol Fourth 2010, music legend Reba McEntire will be presented with the National Artistic Achievement Award in recognition of her dedication to enriching the national legacy of the performing arts as well as her lifetime of musical contributions. This is only the fourth time the award has been presented. The first recipient was composer John Williams in 2003; followed by Latin music legends and producing team Gloria and Emilio Estefan in 2005; and Motown icon Stevie Wonder in 2006.
“As we celebrate our freedoms and the nation’s 234th birthday we continue the tradition of founding father President John Adams who called for ‘pomp and parade, bonfires and illuminations,'” said executive producer Jerry Colbert. “Over the past three decades, we have been America’s national Independence Day celebration. There is truly no place like the U.S. Capitol to celebrate the Fourth of July!”
“It is an honor and a privilege to be a part of A Capitol Fourth,” added host Jimmy Smits. “This year marks the show’s 30th anniversary, a truly impressive milestone, and it continues to be a show of quality and distinction while saluting this great country of ours. The greatest fireworks lighting up our nation’s capitol is a very moving and memorable experience. It is powerful and intimate all at the same time, bringing to the forefront what it is to be an American.”
Offering viewers extended coverage of the fireworks display, A Capitol Fourth will capture the stunning pyrotechnics from every vantage point with eighteen TV cameras stationed around the city – including the U.S. Capitol, the White House, the Washington Monument and across the Potomac River. In celebration of America’s 234th birthday, the show will be capped off with a rousing rendition of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” complete with live cannon fire provided by The U.S. Army Presidential Salute Battery, an audience favorite and now A Capitol Fourth tradition. Also participating in the event will be The U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, The U.S. Army Ceremonial Band, The U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, Members of the Armed Forces carrying the State and Territorial Flags and the Armed Forces Color Guard provided by the Military District of Washington, D.C.