In case you are wondering … yes, the July 4 celebration is on! The rain possibility reminds us why the Soldiers Home campus is so beautiful and green for Independence Day, but don’t let it prevent you from having fun. Weather forecasters are saying we might catch some breaks as we get closer to fireworks time. Come on out! See you there.
Wet weather didn’t stop about 1,750 people from enjoying the fourth annual Friends of the Soldiers Home July 4 celebration! More Soldiers Home residents joined the fun than in any previous year. It was wonderful to see so many veterans and citizens mingling and having a great time! The Music Messiahs, One Man Band Resident Waymon Lucas and Resident DJ Billy White provided great musical entertainment. The NAM Knights parked their motorcycles in orderly fashion and then did a wonderful job directing parkers and pedestrians at the event. Thank you Knights!
Captain Cookie and Lemongrass continued their tradition of joining us at every single event we have held, and other new, and some returning, food trucks also served delicious treats! Thanks to our sponsor Budweiser there was also some beer to enjoy. For the first time there were also some carnival games to enjoy. People really enjoyed the vast green expanse of the driving range where kids roamed far and wide. Thanks to Friends President Mary Bucci for doing a great job in leading the organization of this event. We are also grateful to the many volunteers who gave several hours to make this event so successful. Yes it was fun, but we’re not done yet! We will see you at Fall Fun Fest on Sunday Oct. 4, which is the next big community event. Mark your calendars!
Story and photos by John Hughes.
More photos after the jump.
The weather forecast is calling for a beautiful day on the 4th and we are ready to deliver a party for the whole family! Come join the Friends and the Residents of the Armed Forces Retirement Home for a fireworks celebration. We’ve got softball, beer and a great line up of food trucks this year. As always we’ve got tons of fun for kids of all ages. Hope to see you all on the 4th!
Could July 4 have been any more fun? Thanks to more than 3,000 of you who came out and celebrated. Once again, D.C. with all its amazing diversity came together for a low-key, family-friendly celebration of fishing with Trout Unlimited, great food and dancing to DJ Billy White. The Hortonville, Wisconsin marching band, courtesy of Music Celebrations, was fabulous. People enjoyed relaxing, running around and viewing fireworks. Our veteran friends had a wonderful time. We thank the veterans and staff of the Armed Forces Retirement Home for opening the beautiful campus to the public. We thank our sponsors, GreenLine and Safeway, for making this possible.We thank more than 30 Friends of the Soldiers Home volunteers who worked hard at the event — you are the best. Thanks to Mary Bucci, our Friends vice president, who is overseeing all of our festival events this year. (Next is Oktoberfest on Oct. 5.) Thanks to the July 4 committee who worked for several months: Claire Andrews and Lynne Brehmer, co-chairs; Victoria Taylor Earls, Eric Hagerson, Arianna Koudounas and Mike Potvin. What a fantastic committee! We are an all-volunteer organization and not three years old, yet the connection between the Home and the community is becoming more firm with each passing day. The best is yet to come!
President, Friends of the Soldiers Home
Photos by Isabelle Hughes
Friends of the Soldiers Home is proud to announce details of the third annual:
(Enter at Randolph Street NW and Rock Creek Church Road)
Catch and Release Fishing with Trout Unlimited*Free Yoga From Lighthouse Yoga Center*Harambee with Baba Ras D*Hortonville, Wisconsin 100+ Member Marching Band Courtesy of Music Celebrations*DJ Billy White*Food w/ Captain Cookie, Lemon Grass Truck, Los Verracos, DC Ballers, Hardy’s BBQ, Friends of the Soldiers Home Hot Dog Stand*Kids’ Bike Parade*Kazoo the Balloon Maker*Face Painter Yanira Quinteros*Explore A DCFD Firetruck*Information and Kids’ Activity Tables from President Lincoln’s Cottage, Hero Dogs and Kirov Academy of Ballet
Thank you to our sponsors GreenLine Real Estate and Safeway!
Glow sticks, cracker jacks, t-shirts and water and soda also available — sales of these items and the $5 parking charge benefit Friends of the Soldiers Home.Carry in your own food and drink if you prefer; walk or bike in; take the H8 bus or Metro. The festival is a short walk from the Georgia-Petworth station. There will not be a shuttle bus between the main festival area and the ponds this year. No dogs allowed at festival. Remember to stay off the golf course.
Friends of the Soldiers Home is grateful for staff and veterans of the Armed Forces Retirement Home for making this opportunity available to the community. We are grateful for your service.
Activities & Event Schedule:
- 4.30pm: Free yoga class for adults and kids hosted by Lighthouse Yoga Center
- 4.30pm: Explore a firetruck with DCFD
- 5pm: Harambee with Baba Ras D
- 6:30pm: Kids bike parade – decorate your bike and join in our parade!
- 7.30pm: Hortonville, Wis., High School Polar Bear Marching Band. A field performance featuring more than 100 entertainers! We are grateful to Music Celebrations for helping arrange this special event
Also featured will be music from the AFRH’s very own DJ Billy White!
All of the following activities will be ongoing and finish before the marching band at 7.30pm:
- Catch and release fishing hosted by Trout Unlimited
- Balloon animals and sculptures by Kazoo the Balloon Maker
- Face Painter Yanira Quinteros — she’s back from Spring Fling!
- President Lincoln’s Cottage Hosts a ‘Color-in Petworth Commute Map’ kids’ activity
- Hero Dogs – Information table and ‘Meet the Hero Dogs’
- Kirov Academy of Ballet – Information table and ‘Picture Yourself as a Ballet Dancer’ kids activity
Thank you everyone for coming out to the July 4th celebration. It was a huge success! We had 2,300 people participate!
Even though the event was bigger than last year, it retained its laid back, family atmosphere.
Whether you fished in the pond, rode in the bike parade, sampled delicious food or danced to the music of Billy White as the couple in the photo above did, we hope you had a good time.
It was wonderful to see so many children running freely and having a good time. The kids were creating July 4th memories they will have for many, many years to come.
Are you eager to do it again? Mark your calendars — our next community event is Oktoberfest on Oct. 6!