America's Annual Independence Day Parade
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Facts & History

About the Parade

Minutemen Corps The National Independence Day Parade takes place late morning on July 4th, right on Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th Street before a street audience of over 300,000 spectators. The National Independence Day Parade consists of invited bands, military and specialty units, floats, and VIP's and is a patriotic, flag waving, red white and blue celebration of America's birthday. This parade is co-sponsored by Diversified Events and the National Park Service.

Bands are invited based on recommendations from each State Governor's office. These recommendations sometimes come from the State Music Educators office or state tourism board at the governor's request.

Representation from all parts of the United States is the goal of the band National Selection Committee. Bands must submit a video tape, photos, and biographical information detailing experience, honors, past adjudication results, festival ratings etc. The deadline for band applications is December 1st of each preceding year. Bands are notified of their acceptance no later than January 31st of the same year. Marching bands are selected on the basis of overall quality and geographical, ethnic and stylistic diversity.

The parade is a substantial part of, but by no means the only, excitement of being in the nation's capital on July 4th. A National Folklife Festival on the Mall features different cultures in the Americas and a variety of ethnic groups. That evening, parade participants are all part of the audience of the PBS Concert at the Capitol Building featuring the National Symphony and one of the country's largest fireworks displays.

Evening crowds easily number in excess of 700,000. There is no greater location displaying greater excitement on America's birthday than Washington, D.C.

Units in the parade consist of 18-20 marching bands (including fife and drum corps), 15 floats, 20 specialty units (military, giant balloons, equestrian, municipal entries, drill teams), 15 celebrity participants (movie/television and recording artists and local and national dignitaries and officials).

The recommended parade and concert tour package for July 4th is 3 nights/4 days in Washington, D.C. Shorter and longer alternatives are available.


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