Despite torrid heat, high humidity and lingering power outages and storm damage, the Washington area rang in the nation’s 237th year as planned Wednesday.
Thousands of visitors braved the heat and filled the Mall, packing the green between museums to check out the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.
On the Mall, the Folklife Festival buzzed with activity. On the west end, crowds cheered to live go-go music. A more somber atmosphere took over the other side, by the AIDS Memorial Quilt, as volunteers read the names of victims over a loudspeaker.
Some visitors bypassed the Mall. David Climenson, 52, of Gaithersburg arrived by noon and put down a blanket to claim his spot on the Capitol steps to take in the annual concert and fireworks show. Playing with his smartphone and resting in a green lawn chair, Mr. Climenson said three other families would be joining him in the evening. Until then, he had plenty of activities to stay busy.
“I’ve got two or three decks of cards. Play some solitaire, put on some sunscreen, catch a suntan, take a nap,” he said.
As dusk fell, the National Symphony Orchestra, Matthew Broderick, John Williams and Josh Turner performed at the Capitol, and Olympic speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno took the stage to host a tribute to Team USA.
Farther south along the Potomac at the homestead of the nation’s first president, one of the most popular attractions at George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate was a demonstration of how ice cream, one of Washington’s favorite desserts, was made in the 18th century. Historical interpreters Gail Cassidy and Anette Ahrens showed the crowds how cocoa beans were roasted and ground into a paste for chocolate ice cream, made with the use of ice hauled up in massive blocks from the Potomac River and stored underground to last as long into the summer as possible.
Visitors Wednesday gathered on the mansion’s back porch, a breezy piazza overlooking the Potomac.
“It feels good out here. It’s the same thing we do in Texas,” said Chris Moore of Austin, sitting with his wife, Dina.
“This place is incredible. It’s just the kind of place that people need to see,” he said, noting the divided nature of the country’s current politics. “We all need to step back and look at where we started.”
Marching bands, floats, community groups and military service members paraded through Philadelphia’s historic district Wednesday as crowds braved sweltering temperatures for the city’s annual patriotic tribute to America.View Entire Story
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
By Andrew P. Napolitano
The president's men trash the Constitution to pursue antagonists
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
First over-the-counter column approved for fast and effective relief from even your worst media-induced headache.
Opinion, analysis, and musings on politics, pop culture, reinvention, and the resultant flotsam and jetsam floating around the right-of-center quadrant of the Left Coast.
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
We welcome you to the intimate and personal thoughts on the news and events we, as editors, watch, read, and discuss with our writers every day.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall