As Independence Day approaches—this year marking 242 years since the founding of the United States—the White House has announced President Donald Trump’s plans for the celebrations.
Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will commemorate the day by welcoming military families to the South Lawn of the White House for an afternoon picnic. This year, the holiday period will run from July 3 to July 8.
“The President and First Lady are excited to extend this year’s Fourth of July celebration to people across the country through a television partnership that will allow viewers to take part in special live performances on the South Lawn of the White House,” the White House said in a statement.
During the evening, White House staff and guests will join the military families in viewing the traditional firework display provided by the National Park Service.
The 90-minute televised event will feature live performances from country singer Sara Evans, pianist Lola Astanova, “American Idol” finalists Jax and Jonny Brenns, “The President’s Own” U.S. Marines Band, the U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters, and the U.S. Air Force Band’s Max Impact.
“I’m delighted to welcome this new addition to the annual White House July 4th celebration,” the first lady said, in a statement. “Americans will be able to tune in from their homes and be part of the festivities. Thank you to the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation, and the event sponsors for helping make this possible.”
About 46.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more this Independence Day holiday, according to the American Automobile Association. That’s an increase of more than 5 percent—or nearly 2 million people—compared to last year, and the highest number recorded by AAA since it first started tracking the data 18 years ago.
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