Virtual July 4th: It’s Not Just About ‘Hamilton’ (for All)

By Jhoana T. Merino-Martinez

News Editor

The Fourth of July, a day marked by gatherings such as parades and concerts, will look a lot less social this year. 

The beloved patriotic holiday cannot be observed in its traditional ways as fewer gatherings are planned in order to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus … but that won’t stop the celebrations. 

July 4th, or Independence Day, is when the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the 13 colonies in 1776. It is celebrated as the birth of American independence itself and has been celebrated as a federal holiday since 1941. 

Various companies, news stations and local towns are hosting virtual events. From concerts, poetry readings, fireworks streaming, a Twitter search yields an abundance of options updated regularly. 

For those of us who didn’t catch “Hamilton” on Broadway (most of us), the Tony Award-winning musical about one of the founding fathers will stream on Disney + on your phone, TV or laptop for a price, of course. “Hamilton,” the movie, was meant to be released in October in theaters. 

A more traditional 4th with a fireworks display is available with the Macy’s 44th Fourth of July annual show broadcast live on NBC Saturday from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. EDT. 

The Total AR app can also augment a phone’s camera to see fireworks as if they’re happening in real-time. 

For music lovers, PBS will stream “A Capitol Fourth,” an event hosted by actors/performers John Stamos and Vanessa Williams, starting at 8 p.m. EDT. The annual event from our nation’s capital will feature performances by The Temptations, American musician John Fogerty (of Creedence Clearwater Revival fame, if you’re watching with your grandparents), the National Symphony Orchestra and more, all ending with a grand fireworks finale. 

For those who miss touring famous landmarks, The Washington Post compiled a list of livestreams from hotspots all over the globe such as Venice in Italy and Copacabana in Brazil. 

For history buffs, the famous San Antonio site, the Alamo, will have virtual musket firings and living-history presentations on Facebook.  

The National Archives Foundation launched an itinerary of events marking their first virtual Independence Day. These include historical readings, discussion and kids activities. 

To check some out for yourself, sites like Eventbrite have both local and national events. 
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