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At a time like this, we could all use an excuse to celebrate — and that's exactly why A Capitol Fourth is returning to PBS this 4th of July. Now in its 40th year, the 90-minute broadcast will celebrate America's birthday with incredible musical performances, heartfelt tributes to everyday heroes, and a dazzling fireworks display.
While the show will still be filled with star-spangled spirit, it'll look much different than previous years, especially since it won't be filmed on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Given the current coronavirus outbreak, this year's performances were pre-taped without live audiences, which means viewers will travel to iconic spots throughout the country like Washington, D.C, New York, Nashville, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia. Hosts Vanessa Williams and John Stamos, however, made a safe, socially distant trip to Washington D.C. in June to film select scenes for the show with the nation's iconic skyline in the background.
Despite these changes, the broadcast, which airs on Saturday, July 4 at 8 p.m. ET on PBS, will still stay true to tradition. "For four decades A Capitol Fourth has paid tribute to our nation’s birthday and the hopes and dreams of all Americans," Executive Producer Michael Colbert said in a press release. "This year, our broadcast will reflect what we as a country have faced and the challenges ahead, while showcasing our message of inclusion, patriotism, and love."
The Confirmed Lineup for A Capitol Fourth
If you've watched A Capitol Fourth in recent years, then you'll see a mix of new and old faces. The show will feature performances by Patti LaBelle, John Fogerty, Renée Fleming, The Temptations, Trace Adkins, Andy Grammer, Yolanda Adams, Brantley Gilbert, Lauren Alaina, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Kelli O’Hara, Mandy Gonzalez, and the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Jack Everly.
To acknowledge the current moment, John Stamos will give a special tribute to essential workers who are keeping Americans safe and healthy during the pandemic. The tribute will be followed up by a breathtaking performance of Chrissy Metz's Oscar-nominated song "I’m Standing with You." Vanessa Williams also revealed to Good Housekeeping that she will be performing two songs — "Not While I'm Around" from Sweeney Todd and "Somewhere" from West Side Story — to address the racial injustice at the heart of the Black Lives Matter movement.
How to Watch A Capitol Fourth
If your local fireworks are canceled this year, don't worry: You can watch a stunning fireworks display in the comfort of your home, as a part of this year's A Capitol Fourth, which airs on PBS on Saturday, July 4 at 8 p.m. ET. If you miss the initial broadcast, PBS will replay it at 9:30 p.m. ET.
How to Stream A Capitol Fourth
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