HOH’s One-Minute Recess: Happy 233rd, America

Posted July 2, 2009 at 11:03am

Although the thought of heading back to the Capitol during a three-day weekend might be a little unappealing for some staffers, there really is nothing quite like celebrating the Fourth of July with half a million of your fellow Americans on the West Lawn.

[IMGCAP(1)]HOH has the rundown on this year’s “A Capitol Fourth— celebration, which will be hosted by actor Jimmy Smits and headlined by Barry Manilow.

The crooner will kick off the show with “a selection of patriotic and celebratory music— accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra (no word if that includes “Copacabana—). Aretha Franklin also will appear, belting out her famous rendition of the national anthem (no word on her choice of hat).

As our colleague Andrea Cohen recently reported, concert planners took pains to make sure there’s something for everyone. So, the list of additional performers is pretty eclectic, from British pop singer Natasha Bedingfield to Broadway stars such as Michael Feinstein and the cast of the musical “Jersey Boys— to classical pianist Andrew von Oeyen to “Sesame Street— characters Elmo, Big Bird, Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch.

Logistics-wise, the concert is slated to start at 8 p.m. and the Capitol Police will open the gates at 3 p.m., according to a news release issued by the department. If you’ve already got July Fourth plans but want to see the performances, there will be a dress rehearsal starting at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Several streets around the Capitol will be closed, so organizers are advising folks to take the Metro down to the show. Visitors will be required to pass through security before entering the staging area, and there are some restrictions on what can be brought into the staging area.

Our favorite: “United States Capitol Police would like to remind everyone that DC law prohibits the possession of any open containers of alcoholic beverages.—

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