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4th of July Parade & Picnic FAQs

The Palisades Community Association Presents:

The 58th 4th of July Parade & Picnic 2024
Thursday, July 4
Parade at 11:00am | Picnic at 12:00pm

Thank you for your interest in the 58th annual Palisades Parade and Picnic! It is the absolutely best small town parade in DC and quite possibly anywhere! Here are some answers to commonly asked questions. If your question isn’t here, feel free to reach out, we’re happy to help!  

How do I get in the parade?

The line-up starts at 10am on Whitehaven Parkway. You MUST enter Whitehaven from Foxhall Road. Entry from MacArthur is blocked by MPD. Whitehaven Pkwy is in-between Our Lady of Victory school and the fire station. You should arrive no earlier than 10am and you can continue to arrive until the last in line has left. When you get there check in with a yellow-vested Marshal!

Can I drop people off at the line-up and then leave?

No! Once your car turns onto Whitehaven, it can not leave until after the parade. Walking/biking/scooter parties can be dropped off along MacArthur before the road closure and they can walk up to get in line.  

Whoa, this line-up is a ZOO — Who is in charge??

The line-up is an absolute bundle of bursting celebration, music, joy, and FUN!  But, it can seem a bit chaotic to a first timer. Don’t worry, it’s all going to be great, the Marshals have it covered. Look for a yellow-vested Marshal. Those gurus will turn you into a parade pro in no time.  

When do the streets close for the parade?

This will be a parade day decision by MPD, and we all respect and appreciate MPD’s commitment to safety! (Last year it was around 9am, but you didn’t hear that from me and don’t hold me to it.)  

Wait ... before we get into more details about being IN the parade, what if I just want to WATCH?

Oh yes …  This is a great question. You can find a spot anywhere along the route and set up your blanket, umbrella, and camp chairs! There are some great shady spots by the entrance to the Battery Kemble Trail! The official Parade judge’s tent will be by Dana Place and MacArthur Blvd too!  The parade marches on the northbound side of MacArthur Blvd. It’s a great idea to come early, or park further away, and take a morning stroll to find your spot, as the roads will close early and parking and moving about in a car can get tricky.  Please note — you can NOT PARK ON MACARTHUR BLVD ON EITHER SIDE! This is a full stop. Your car will be towed and you will make MPD’s job much more difficult. If there is a no parking sign, or a cone, pretty pretty please DO NOT park there.

Do I need to register in advance?

You DO NOT need to register for the parade. All you need to do is show up, check in with a yellow-vested Marshal, and get in line. It’s that easy! 

I want to be first in line (or at least right at the very front) because I have to be somewhere right after the parade. What should I do?

Uh Oh … EVERYONE wants to be at the front!  Here’s something that will make perfect sense as soon as you read it. If we don’t space out the music, dancers, politicians, kids, floats, cool cars, etc., and mix things up a bit, then it will be a very boring parade. And while everyone wants to be at the front. NO ONE wants a boring parade!  So, please listen to the Marshals and follow their instructions. They know what they are doing and you are going to have a blast no matter what. Just think about all the cheering fans while you wait for your turn!!!  

What should I do in the parade?

If your group would like to bring a vehicle, make sure you bring only ONE. Too many cars, especially clustered together, is tough on the crowds. We encourage walking, biking, or scootering alongside your main vehicle. Get creative. Make a float! Make it fun and interesting!! Play music! 

I don’t know if my child can handle being in line for an hour and then marching without going potty. What do I do?

St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church very kindly makes their bathrooms available to those waiting in line. We appreciate this very much and ask everyone to treat the church building with respect.

Can I throw candy or toys to the spectators?

You are permitted to throw candy or little toys as long as they are reaching spectators and not landing in the street.  Children will run into the street to get them, which is dangerous, and we are all about low danger, very very low. 

Will water be provided for marchers and spectators?

NO! Please bring water for your entire group — it is always hot.

What is the route for this wacky homespun parade?

The parade starts at the intersection of Whitehaven Pkwy and MacArthur Blvd at 11am sharp. The Parade turns right onto MacArthur, continues past Dana Place, then takes a left on Edmunds, a left on Sherier, and ends at the Palisades Rec Center.

So ... I just stop and leave my car at the park at the end??? That doesn’t sound right.

That is NOT RIGHT! Please continue on, following (and obeying) the cones blocking the first side streets and KEEP GOING all the way until you can’t go any further (like all the way down Sherier to Nebraska and back up to MacArthur), or you can quickly (and safely) park your car in a LEGAL spot.  If traffic stops at the park, the parade can’t finish and while we never want the fun to end, it sorta has to because we’re all hot and hungry and ready for the next fun event.  

You’re right, all that marching did make me hungry, where should I go?

Come to the biggest, greatest picnic of the year at Palisades Park! The picnic starts at 12pm, immediately following the parade, and is FREE to all! The PCA sponsors the picnic and the Masons will be serving hot dogs, the Lions will be serving refreshing lemonade, and we’ll have delicious watermelon, live music, moon bounces, a dunk tank, balloon twisting, glitter tattoos, and face painting. Come one, come all!!

Wow ... this celebration sounds amazing, is there anything I can do to help?

Yes!  You can volunteer!

There are multiple options for volunteering.

  • Selling T-shirts: If you would like to join many of your neighbors who volunteer to sell t-shirts in June, please email Maria Garcia.
  • Picnic Set Up and Clean Up: On July 4 itself, we need people to set up at the Park at 8:30am and help clean up at 2:00pm.
  • Parade Marshals: During the parade, we need individuals to monitor each block and help keep the parade flowing and the kids out of the street. This is a coordinated effort and you should reach out if you think you can do this!

If you are interested in volunteering for picnic help or as a parade marshal, please email Jessica Davis.

This also sounds very expensive, can I make a financial donation to help?

Yes!  You can make a donation to the PCA on the membership page of our website!  If you are a business or would like to discuss your donation, please contact Jessica Davis.

I have a general question that wasn’t answered here, what do I do?

If you have further questions, you can email the Palisades Community Association or Jessica Davis. Please email well in advance of the parade.

Thank you and we'll see you on July 4th!