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A guide for Independence Day in D.C.

Wednesday - 7/3/2013, 9:20am  ET

WASHINGTON -- The National Mall is a huge gathering point for Independence Day fireworks.

Security checkpoints to access the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial areas along National Mall open at 10 a.m. on Thursday, July 4. The Capitol Grounds open at 3 p.m. Don't bring weapons, fireworks, alcohol, grills or glass containers.

Find a map of security checkpoints, restrooms, first aid tents, bike parking, concession stands and information booths here.

The secure area surrounding the Washington Monument includes the entire Tidal Basin and extends between Constitution Avenue and the Potomac River west of 14th Street and east of the Memorial Bridge.

The Virginia side of the Arlington Memorial Bridge has a security checkpoint to enter D.C. The Memorial Bridge will be closed from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Independence Day.

To receive Fourth of July related emergency or event notifications from the U.S Park Police via text message, text JULY4DC to 888777. That service sends information that might include weather alerts, mall access closures or descriptions of lost children.

Lose a child -- or any other item -- and the U.S. Park Police lost and found trailer is on the south side of the Washington Monument grounds along Independence Avenue, SW.

Prepare for hot weather by wearing appropriate clothing and staying hydrated. There are numbers of first aid medical tents in the secured mall area and along the George Washington Parkway.

Fireworks viewing areas in Virginia include Gravelly Point, Columbia Island and the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima).

The fireworks start downtown at 9:10 p.m. They'll blast off for 17 minutes. Be safe and have fun.

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