The Washington Post

Celebrate July 4 with cookouts, fireworks and water balloons

Don't look now, but there's only a week until Independence Day. If you want to watch the fireworks from a rooftop or spend the afternoon eating grilled food and listening to live music, you should start planning now. Some of the best July 4 parties in town require advance tickets, while others allow you to just show up with no reservations. We've featured both types of events below, and will be adding to this list as we get more information, so keep checking back.

An annual reminder: Call ahead before assuming you can watch the fireworks from your favorite rooftop bar. Some, like the Arlington Rooftop Bar and Grill, will be closed for private events.

The Hill Country Backyard BBQ opens at 2 p.m. on Independence Day, with free admission and live music. (Photo by Fritz Hahn/The Washington Post)

Parties that require tickets

With one of the best views of the Capitol on H Street NE, Avery's Bar and Lounge is a natural place to spend July 4. The Instagram-ready #4thAtAverys celebration includes $5 Fireball shots and $6 Jack Daniel's and Jameson drinks during happy hour (5 to 9 p.m.) and party tunes spun by DJ Hamp the Stampede. Tickets are $5 in advance from, or $10 at the door.

1905 Roof Deck BBQ
Believe it or not, you can see the top of the Washington Monument -- and most fireworks -- from the rooftop at Ninth and T streets NW. 1905 chef Joel Hatton will be grilling on his restaurant's rooftop deck, where the $15 ticket ($20 at the door) includes a choice of protein (burgers, sausage and smoked pork ribs) and two side dishes. Vegetarians can choose from a selection of salads and sides. Drinks aren't included, but 3 Stars drafts are $5 from 3 to 10 p.m.

Boom With a View
Face it: You're not going to get any closer to the fireworks than the P.O.V. rooftop terrace at the W Hotel, and if you want to enjoy that view, you're going to pay for it. Tickets are $75, and include guaranteed admission (though not a seat) starting at 6 p.m. and a post-fireworks party with a DJ until 2 a.m. Food and drinks are sold a la carte.

First Annual Freedom Fest at Republic
As of July 1, Montgomery County's famously restrictive alcohol system becomes far more friendly to local brewers. Any Maryland brewery that produces less than 22,500 barrels of beer a year -- which is almost all of them -- can sell its products directly to any bar Montgomery County without having to go through wholesalers or the county's warehouses. On July 4, Takoma Park's Republic is celebrating the new laws with Freedom Fest. Buy a $35 ticket and you'll get unlimited pours of 25 local brews, including a new IPA from Silver Spring's forthcoming Denizens Brewing, for four hours. (There are two time slots, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. or 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. You can also stick around and drink all day for $50.) The day also features live music and house barbecue.

July 4 Rooftop Celebration at Flight
The Flight Wine Bar in Chinatown doesn't technically have a rooftop deck. But the 11-story building in which Flight is located does, and the wine bar has arranged to take it over on July 4. The $85 ticket includes unlimited wine, craft beer, sodas and such small plates as duck sliders and beet salad from 7 to 11 p.m. Reservations are required, and only 40 tickets are available. (Flight's first-floor location will be closed July 4.)

Fourth of July BeerBQ Battle
City Tap House joins forces with the District's 3 Stars Brewing Company and Salisbury's Evolution breweries for its party. Pay $10 for samples of barbecue prepared by teams from each brewery, served with sides from City Tap House, from noon to 5 p.m. Ten 3 Stars and 10 Evolution beers will be on tap for $5 each. And because it's a cookout, there will be a corn hole tournament. Entry is free, but you must e-mail before July 3 to sign up your two-person team.

Free events with no tickets required

The Brixton
There's nothing more American than a Fourth of July hot dog eating contest, even when you're a British-style pub. The Brixton's second annual contest is open to all comers: Contestants have 10 minutes to eat as much encased meat and buns as humanly possible, with a $75 bar tab for the winner. The feeding frenzy begins at 4 p.m.; sign-up begins at 1. The bar offers happy hour from 1 to 7 p.m., including $15 buckets of Bud Light. Hang around for a view of the fireworks.

Cafe du Parc
Swinging by the White House on Independence Day? From noon to 8 p.m., the outdoor Cafe du Parc at the Willard Hotel is setting up an outdoor grill for burgers, hot dogs, and chicken and veggie wraps. A main dish comes with cole slaw, chips and water for $15. You can get it to go -- it's an easy walk to the Mall -- or dine at a picnic table along Pennsylvania Avenue. Beer and wine will be available, and bluegrass musicians perform throughout the day.

DC9's Grillin' with DC Brau
For the fourth year in a row, DC Brau is sponsoring a July 4 party on DC9's rooftop deck. Guests pay $11, for a choice of meat or veggie burgers and brats, two sides and a slice of watermelon. (Beer isn't included, but DC Brau beers are $4 all night.) Doors open at 2 p.m., and yes, the rooftop actually does have a view of the Washington Monument.

Hill Country Backyard BBQ
Hill Country's down-home picnic on the lawn of the National Building Museum opens at noon. (Arrive early for the best picnic tables.) Beyond the usual barbecue, brisket and Shiner beers, the day features live country music from Jeremy Steding, beginning at 5 p.m., and two sets from the more rockin' Slim Kings, starting at 6:30pm.

Jack Rose
The Adams Morgan whiskey bar Jack Rose is throwing two full days of parties to mark Independence Day, each beginning at noon. Thursday's theme is "Wetter, Hotter American Summer" with 10 Sam Adams beers on tap on the rooftop deck. They'll sell for $4 from noon to 5 p.m., and then $6 until 7:30. A special summer treat: Bartender Trevor Frye of Dram and Grain is turning Sam Adams' Porch Rocker and Blueberry Hill lagers into syrups, which will be used in boozy snowcones.

Then, on Friday, the Flying Dog-sponsored Ameri-CAN features $4 Flying Dog canned beers, discounted drafts, free water guns, water balloons and general grade school-style mayhem. Fireworks are visible from the decks at the front of the building as well as the back tiki bar.

DJ Gavin Holland of Nouveau Riche and Lost Society spins at the Lounge at RedRocks, which features a roomy rooftop deck with Capitol views. Doors open at 8 p.m.

Fritz Hahn has covered bars, drinks and nightlife for the Washington Post Weekend Section since 2003, but he also writes about everything from Civil War battlefields to sailing classes. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram.



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