Every 4th of July, the nation's Capitol welcomes thousands of visitors as part of its Independence Day celebration.

The city blooms with culture, historical reenactments, food and drink, live music, performing arts, and parades. Out of all the events that mark this holiday, A Capitol Fourth is the crowning jewel of the 4th of July in D.C. For the past three decades, the free concert series has marked another year of independence with historic performances by some of the country's greatest superstars. A Capitol Fourth is broadcast live on PBS from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol building. The 20 cameras positioned around Washington, D.C., ensure that viewers are front and center for the greatest display of fireworks in the nation. Since its first year in 1979, A Capitol Fourth has featured performances by Frankie Valli, Patti LaBelle, John Williams, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Barry Manilow, Neil Diamond, Dolly Parton, Steve Martin, Josh Groban, Gloria Estefan, Huey Lewis and the News, Little Richard, Tony Bennett, Faith Hill, Ray Charles, the Bee Gees, Kenny G, Aaron Neville, Kenny Rogers, and the Muppets from Sesame Street -- a veritable who's-who of American entertainment! [caption id="attachment_2623" align="aligncenter" width="650"]Capitol Kenny Loggins performing at A Capitol Fourth 2016[/caption] This year's concert begins with the U.S. national anthem, played by the National Symphony Orchestra and sung by Sofia Carson. Emmy Award-nominated actor John Stamos is hosting this year. Stamos will MC between performances by iconic artists The Blues Brothers, multi-platinum pop idols The Beach Boys, soul legends The Four Tops, and The Voice Season 12 winner Chris Blue. The concert will also feature a tribute to our men and women in uniform. The salute is to be performed by Trace Adkins, country music star and Grammy-nominated member of the Grand Ole Opry. The inspiring moment will be dedicated to our troops and veterans and all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice fighting for our freedom.
Also participating in the event will be the Choral Arts Society of Washington, the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, and the U.S. Army Ceremonial Band. Members of the Armed Forces will also be carrying the State and Territorial Flags, in keeping with A Capitol Fourth tradition. The concert finale begins with a rendition of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, complete with cannon fire from the United States Army Presidential Salute Guns Battery. It concludes with the glorious display of fireworks that have drawn crowds to D.C. year after year. For a few moments in time, thousands of people -- and tens of thousands more -- will be united across the country as they watch the fireworks explode in the sky, marking the birth of the country we all share. This year's edition of A Capitol Fourth begins at 8 p.m., with doors opening to the public at 3 p.m. The performance is free to the public; no tickets are necessary. Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. More information, including a full lineup and set times, can be found here.
Will you be going to A Capitol Fourth? Have you gone in the past? How was it? Let us know in the comments!

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