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Watch this: Patriotic programming for the July Fourth weekend



Did you not get congressional approval to take off the Fourth of July weekend, but don't want to throw away your shot at celebrating America's birth?

Plop on the couch with leftovers from your friends' cookouts and this frosty Rocket Pop cocktail for historical marathons, TV specials and live fireworks to celebrate America's 240th birthday.

That would be enough.

A Capitol Fourth

8 p.m. July 4, PBS/WEDU

Hosted by Tom Bergeron, the concert and party on the West Lawn of the Capitol features performances by Smokey Robinson, Kenny Loggins, Gavin DeGraw, Cassadee Pope, Jackie Evancho, the cast of Broadway's On Your Feet! and more.

The live show ends with one of the greatest fireworks displays with Jack Everly and the National Symphony Orchestra performing Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture." Also participating in the fiery showcase is the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets and U.S. Army Ceremonial Band.

For the Hamilton-obsessed (aren't we all?), Christopher Jackson, who stars as George Washington in the hit musical joins other Capital Fourth guests for a special performance.

If Jackson doesn't walk on stage to ‘Right Hand Man' then our Independence Day is ruined.

Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular

8 p.m. July 4, NBC

Nothing says Happy Birthday, America quite like Kenny Chesney, 5 Seconds of Summer, Meghan Trainor and a fireworks show above the New York City skyline.

Marathons, movies and must-watches

History Channel

America: The Story of Us: From the first settlement in the early 1600s to celebration of the new millennium, the U.S. has come a long way in growth, innovation, technology and cultural ideals. In short, more than nine hours of American history. 10 a.m., Monday


Mr. Smith Goes to Washington: A naive junior senator becomes embroiled in political corruption, but doesn't back down in making a positive impact in the Capitol. 3 p.m., Monday
West Side Story: The 1961 films follows Romeo and Juliet-esque star-crossed lovers from two warring street gangs. 5:15 p.m., Monday


The Walking Dead, season 1 marathon, because we should be more appreciative of the zombie-less country we live in. 9:30 a.m., Sunday

Jaws marathon, because nothing says ‘America' quite like celebrating Shark Week in between firework explosions. 1 p.m., Monday


Saving Private Ryan: A quintessential war story following a group of soldiers desperately trying to find a fellow private. More about the personal journeys of soldiers during a war than the war itself, this one will leave you a weepy mess. 2 p.m., Monday


Turn: Washington's Spies, AMC: The British Army took back New York City during the height of the Revolutionary War, and George Washington ordered inside information from behind enemy lines. Thus, the Culper Ring was born, gathering tide-turning information about British battle plans and supply lines. Cameos by Benedict Arnold and the Battle of Monmouth.

Two season available on Netflix.

Amazon Prime

John Adams: HBO's miniseries from 2008 follows John Adams' political life and role in founding the new nation. Based on the book of the same name by David McCullough, the biopic details the first 50 years of the young United States in seven parts. You'll get a look at Adams' not-so-hot meeting with King George III and his strained relationships with Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton.

All seven episodes available through Amazon Prime.

Want to see actual fireworks? Here's where to see them around Tampa Bay

Contact Chelsea Tatham at Follow @chelseatatham.


[Last modified: Thursday, June 30, 2016 1:13pm]


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