Washington, DC, always puts on a show for the Fourth of July, but for the first time this year, President Trump is personally planning and throwing together his own Independence Day event at the Lincoln Memorial.
Here’s what we know about what’s changing in DC for the Fourth of July this year:
- Trump adds Lincoln Memorial event: Although the Lincoln Memorial is usually utilized for fireworks watching, this year it will feature a speech by Trump. The area in front of the memorial has been cordoned off for a VIP area and tickets have been distributed to the RNC and political donors, among others.
- About the fireworks: Due to Trump’s event, the launch site for the DC fireworks show was moved from the reflecting pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial to West Potomac park, along the Potomac river. The DC fireworks show, televised on PBS, will run a full 35 minutes and wrap at 9:42 p.m. ET.
- The DC airspace will be closed: Airspace around Washington, DC, will close twice on the Fourth of July. In normal years it does not close at all.
- Tanks will be on display: Trump confirmed to reporters that there will be tanks and other armored vehicles on display for his event. Military officials told CNN the tanks will not parade along Pennsylvania Avenue.
- Blue Angels and Air Force One will do flyover: The Navy’s elite airshow squadron the Blue Angels will do a flyover during the “Salute to America.” They’ll be joined by other aircraft, including the helicopter and 737 that transport the President and are known as Marine One and Air Force One when he is aboard.
- Protests are planned: The National Park Service granted a permit for a protest less than a mile down the Mall from the Lincoln Memorial that will include a large inflatable balloon in the likeness of Trump as a baby. Anti-Trump veterans will hand out T-shirts for the USS John McCain in order to troll Trump, who has belittled the dead senator and former prisoner of war.
- Political allies are getting VIP tickets: Compounding concerns that Trump’s event will seem more like a political rally, Republican donors and VIPs will get special access to the event.
- Thunderstorms are a real possibility: Everyone should be on the lookout for thunder, lightning, and a possible fireworks redo.