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4th of July Parade Spectating FAQs

What is the route for this wacky homespun parade?

The parade starts at the intersection of Whitehaven Pkwy and MacArthur Blvd at 11:00am 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.

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 9:00am, but you didn’t hear that from us and don’t hold us to it.)  It’s a great idea to come early, 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. 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.

Where is the best spot for the perfect view?

Oh yes …  This is a great question. You can find a spot anywhere along the route with a great view! The parade runs on the northbound side of Macarthur.

You can set up your blanket, umbrella, and camp chairs in the median or find a spot on the sidewalk! There are some great shady spots by the entrance to the Battery Kemble Trail and nearly the entire stretch between Chain Bridge Road and Ashby provides great shade. 

The official Parade Judge’s Tent will be by Dana Place and MacArthur Blvd. Many of our local businesses will be open with refreshments for sale — keep an eye on the listserv for updates on this!

Will my kids get candy from the parade marchers?

YES! Several groups will throw candy or small giveaways to kids along the route. Please bring a bag for your child to collect these.  

Also — and this is a very very important detail — children are not permitted to run into the street to get candy. Parade participants are instructed to ensure that anything tossed to spectators is done so closely so they do not need to come into the street. The parade has marchers, dancers, skateboards, and lots of wheels attached to very heavy objects and it is 100% not safe for the kids to be in the street. It’s easy to get caught up in the fun spirit of things, but this is a safety issue and it’s important for all participants to help make sure our parade is safe.

Will water be provided for spectators?

NO! Please bring water for your entire group — it is always hot. There will be lemonade and water at the picnic!

All this spectating made me hungry, where should I go?

Come to the biggest, greatest picnic of the year at Palisades Park! The picnic starts at 12:00pm, 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!