A Capitol Fourth is a free annual concert performed on the west lawn of the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., in celebration of Independence Day each July 4. Broadcast live on PBS, NPR and the American Forces Network, the concert is viewed and heard by millions across the United States and the world, as well as attended by more than half a million people at the Capitol. The concert traditionally features elements of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, the U.S. Army Band, the National Symphony Orchestra and the Choral Arts Society of Washington, who provide much of the music during the show for various celebrity artists. A celebrity host and a variety of guests entertain and pay tribute to their country throughout the evening.
One journalist described the event as "a mix of patriotism and pop culture ... as the National Symphony Orchestra launched into Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture with accompaniment from an Army artillery squad, a spectacular fireworks display erupted over the Washington Monument. There was something special about being in the nation's capital on Independence Day, surrounded by a few hundred thousand of our fellow citizens.