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As regular readers of the site will know I'm on record with my approval of the US tradition of patriotic parades and their love of a good parade to mark a special occasion, and nowhere is this more apparent that on the nation's Independence Day, the 4th of July, where the snappily titled National Independence Day parade takes place on Constitution Avenue in Washington DC.
There are numerous other events taking place in the DC area to mark the day, not least the 4th July fireworks and Capitol Fourth concert I've also featured, but in terms of a family event and a appropriate medium to mark such an occasion, this is probably the one to watch.
With representatives from across the nation marching in the parade, it's a red, white and blue spectacle to behold, with crowds gathering along the length of the route hours before the start to make sure they get a decent vantage point. The parade's main features are the music of the marching bands and the colour and ceremony that will stir the patriotic soul of even the most cynical of viewers.
The Washington DC 4th July parade gets underway at 11.45am, and follows a route down Constitution Avenue, travelling from 7th to 17th street.
It does get very crowded for the parade, so best get there in plenty of time to get yourself a decent viewing point.
The Independence Day parade lineup for this year is:
Beggs H.S. Band of Demons, OK
Drury H.S. Marching Band, MA
Elk Grove Marching Grenadiers, IL
Emerald Command, IN
Fountain Lake Cobra Band, AR
Hamburg Area H.S. Marching Band, PA
Havre H.S. Marching Band, MT
Jerome H.S. Ambush of Tigers Marching Band, ID
LakeVille Falcon Marching Band, MI
Los Alamos H.S. Hilltopper Marching Band, NM
Mitchell H.S. Marching Mountaineers, NC
Mid-America All Star Band, KS
Powdersville H.S. Patriot Marching Band, SC
Sherman E. Burroughs H.S. Band, CA
Springdale H.S. Marching Bulldog Band, AR
Warren East Raider Marching Band, KY
2015 was a big letdown in terms of TV coverage and live streams for this parade after several years of decent coverage so I'm not making any promises for the 2016 event but you can rest assured if it is shown anywhere we'll track it down and post any available information and links right here.
Latest, 30 June: Organisers are advising that they are working on a live stream for the 2016 parade and will announce details soon - keep an eye on their official Facebook page for details.
The organisers do generally advise that they will still be shooting coverage of the parade using their own professional videographer, and that copies of this will be made available after the event to members of participating bands via their band leader.
For something a little different in terms of viewing perspective, and probably about the best you're going to be able to get, there is actually a live webcam feed on Constitution Avenue, right at the corner of 17th Street, where the parade ends:
If you're in the Washington DC area on the 4th July then it is very much advisable to book your accommodation asap. You can search for hotels, check availability and make reservations for local hotels here.
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