FALLS CHURCH, VA — Fourth of July is slated to look different this year due to the ongoing pandemic. Falls Church’s fireworks and many other celebrations are canceled, leaving residents to find ways to celebrate at home. But one thing we can count on is a scheduled holiday.
Because July 4 falls on a Saturday, the Independence Day holiday is observed on Friday, July 3. City of Falls Church and Fairfax County government offices will be closed, and other services will have schedule changes.
Many services are already affected by the pandemic. Here are the openings and closings to know, plus things to do on July 4:
City of Falls Church government offices: City Hall and all government offices are closed on July 3, including the Commissioner of the Revenue, Treasurer’s Office, and Permits Counter.
Fairfax County government offices: Fairfax County Government offices are closed on Friday, July 3. Most government buildings and offices have been closed to the public since March 27. See services available for residents online.
Courts: Arlington and Fairfax County courts do not operate on July 3. See operating updates from Fairfax County Circuit Court, General District Court and Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court; and Arlington County Circuit Court, General District Court and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.
Animal shelter: The Fairfax County Animal Shelter is conducting essential services by appointment only, and virtual adoptions are available
Community centers: The Falls Church Community Center remains closed to the public. Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services (NCS) NCS community centers, neighborhood centers, resource centers and teen centers are closed until further notice.
Fairfax Connector: Since April 11, Fairfax Connector bus service is operating with reductions on 14 routes, regular service on 38 routes and discontinued service on 39 routes. On July 3, Fairfax Connector is providing Saturday level service. www.fairfaxcounty.gov/connector for more information.
Libraries: Mary Riley Styles Public Library will not have curbside pickup on July 3-5. All Fairfax County libraries are closed to the public until further notice, and curbside pickup is not available on July 3-4.
Metrorail: Metrorail operates from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends. The following Orange and Silver Line stations are closed for platform improvement projects: Vienna, Dunn Loring, West Falls Church, East Falls Church, Wiehle-Reston East, Spring Hill, Greensboro, Tysons Corner and McLean. Shuttle bus service is provided as an alternative.
Metrobus: Metrobus operates on weekdays from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. and 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends. Visit www.wmata.com for more details on specific routes.
Park authority: Many Fairfax County Park Authority features are open. See the operating status list of parks, programs and facilities.
Post offices: Closed on Saturday, July 4.
Trash and recycling pickup: City of Falls Church collections happen on Wednesdays. For Fairfax County collection customers, regular trash, recycling, yard waste and special collection services happens on July. Items should be on the curb by 6 a.m. on collection day. The trash and recycling administrative office will be closed on July 3 and reopen on July 6. Private collection customers should check with their provider for changes.
Trash and recycling centers: The self-serve Falls Church recycling center is open. The Recycling and Disposal Centers at the I-66 Transfer Station (4618 West Ox Road) and the I-95 Landfill Complex (9850 Furnace Road) will be open on Friday, July 3 and closed on Saturday, July 4.
Things to do on July 4 in Falls Church
Despite the fireworks show cancellation, there are other ways to celebrate Independence Day.
The City of Falls Church Recreation and Parks Department has created a Historic Scavenger Hunt at parks and landmarks throughout Falls Church. Participants should use clues to identify each park or historic landmark and find the kiosk or sign with a corresponding letter. Unscramble the letters from the nine clues and you’ll crack the code word and win a Historic Scavenger Hunt t-shirt.
You can download a form here to track the code word or make your own form. Send the completed form (scan or picture) with the letters and unscrambled code word, contact information and t-shirt sizes to [email protected] by July 5 to be eligible to win a t-shirt.
In addition, Falls Church Distillers is hosting a performance by The Tragic Schoolbus from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. State Theatre is holding a Fourth of July cookout starting at noon to approximately 11 p.m. There will be live music, socially distant games, virtual fireworks on the big screen and hot dog specials. Attendees are advised to show up early due to limited capacity. This is not a ticketed event.
Residents are reminded that the sale, storage, use or explosion of fireworks is prohibited within the city — including sparklers. State code already prohibits use of fireworks that “explode, travel laterally, rise into the air, or fire projectiles into the air,” except for use by licensed contractors. Surrounding jurisdictions such as Arlington and Fairfax counties allow the sale and use of other fireworks, including firecrackers, sparklers, bottle rockets, skyrockets and torpedoes. However, the City of Falls Church bans use of any firework entirely, except for permitted shows.
Fireworks violations are considered Class 1 misdemeanors and should be reported to the City of Falls Church Police Department at 703-241-5053.
The National Fire Protection Association encourages residents to find safe alternatives to fireworks. The association estimates fireworks started 19,500 fires nationwide in 2018, causing five deaths, 46 injuries and $105 million in property damage.
SEE ALSO: What Fireworks Are Legal, Status Of NoVA Shows: July 4, 2020
This article originally appeared on the Falls Church Patch