PBS’s ‘A Capitol Fourth’ Plans Virtual Event With Tribute To First Responders, Essential Workers

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The continued coronavirus pandemic has forced the cancellation of a live Independence Day concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, but producers are planning a virtual event for PBS.

A Capitol Fourth, now in its 40th year, will feature pre-taped performances from around the country, hosted by John Stamos and Vanessa Williams.

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As was the case with the recent National Memorial Day Concert, segments for A Capitol Fourth are being pre-taped, and the special also will feature highlights from past years.

The 90-minute show also will feature a tribute by Stamos to workers on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis, with Chrissy Metz singing I’m Standing with You.

There also will be segments honoring African American heroes from the past and present, and a salute to wounded warriors. A live segment of the special will feature the annual fireworks display over the D.C. skyline.

Executive producer Michael Colbert said, “For four decades A Capitol Fourth has paid tribute to our nation’s birthday and the hopes and dreams of all Americans. This year, our broadcast will reflect the reality of what we as a country have faced and the challenges ahead, while showcasing our message of inclusion, patriotism and love.”

Performers include Patti LaBelle, John Fogerty, Renee Fleming, The Temptations, Trace Adkins, Andy Grammer, Yolanda Adams, Brantley Gilbert, Lauren Alaina, Brian Stokes-Mitchell, Kelli O’Hara, and Mandy Gonzalez, as well as members of the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Jack Everly.

The special will air on PBS on July 4 at 8 PM ET, and will be heard on the American Forces Network and in stereo over NPR member stations. The concert also will be streamed on Facebook, YouTube and PBS.org and available on demand from July 4-18.

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