The big fireworks display at the Washington Monument begins tonight at 9:10. It is one of dozens of area events celebrating the nation's 201st birthday.

Metro will operate special bus and subway service today for those who want to view the fireworks display at the Monument or visit the Mall area.

The Metro subway will run between noon and midnight on both lines with all stations open. The fare will be 50 cents: exact change is required and must be deposited in barrels at each station entrance. Electronic fare-collecting equipment will not be used until Metro resumes regular operations Tuesday.

Metrobus will operate a special inbound bus shuttle between parking lots at the RFK Stadium and Pentagon and the Mall area between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. Buses will run every 10 or 15 minutes as needed.

Buses will leave the Mall area after the fireworks, with the last bus scheduled at 11 p.m. Buses for the Pentagon, marked Pentagon, will be assembled along Constitution Avenue west of 14th Street N.W.

Buses for the Stadium, marked Stadium, will be assembled along Constitution Ave. east of 14th Street, NW. The fare will be 40 cents each way for Stadium-Mall buses, and 70 cents each way for Pentagon-Mall buses. Exact change only will be accepted.

Metro will also operate a regular Sunday bus schedule today augmented between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. by Rtes 13X, A9 and T9, the 18X and T9 will operate every 30 minutes, the A9 every 15 minutes.

The Smithsonian Institution's Fourth of July celebration, featuring music and crafts continues today at the Museum of History and Technology.

On the Monument ground the U.S. Army Band and the D.C. Youth Chorale will entertain from 7:30 p.m. until the fireworks display begins.

During the day in the district, 10 recreation centers will host picnics, games, barbecues and sports events. A parade, starting at 11 a.m. will wind its way along MacArthur Boulevard and conclude at the Pallsades Recreation Center.

Rockville will hold its 17th annual Independence Day Celebration at Pichard Montgomery High School where the Rockville Concert Band will play at 7:15 p.m. and the Bluegrass Cardinal Concert will play at 8:30. At 9:15, fireworks will be launched.

Prince George's County will be the scene of numerous activities.At Becketts Field in New Carrollton there will be games, carnivals, food and entertainment from 1 to 10 p.m.

The Five Cent Fourth of July Celebration will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Old Maryland Farm in Largo. There will be games, pony rides, and a left-handed arm wrestling competition.

In Clinton, a parade leaves Surrattsville High School at 10 a.m. and goes to Clinton, a parade leaves Surrattsville High School at 10 a.m. and goes to Clinton Shopping Center featuring 60 marching units.

In Hyattsvile's Magruder Park fireworks will light the skies at 9 p.m.

For further information concerning holiday activities in Prince George, call 277-2200.

In Fairfax County, three special program are scheduled. At Lake Fairfax Park, a fireworks display lasting 45 minutes will begin at 9:30 p.m.

There will be a 19th century Fourth of July Celebration at Colvin Run Mill. From noon to 5 p.m. musical entertain, crafts demonstrations refreshments and the greased pole competition will take place.

Ball games, rides, music, games and picnics will be held in Lee District Park from 11 a.m. with fireworks at 9.

Arlington will have a parade starting at 10 a.m. along Wilson Boulevard to Bon Air Park. At Bluemon Park, a free band concert will be held at 8 p.m. and fireworks will follow at 9:15.

Alexandria's Independence Day celebration will feature a free program at T.C. Williams High School at 7 p.m. that will include entertainment by the Alexandria Pipes and Drums, the Riverside Ramblers, and the Dixieland Jazz Band along with the annual invitational 1.776 yard track race.

Columbia, in Howard County, Md., will continue its 10th anniversary fair in the downtown area followed by fireworks.

Most banks, businesses and government agencies in the area will be closed but most food chains will be open.