White House cancels annual July Fourth picnic, ‘Capitol Fourth’ still scheduled

WASHINGTON, July 4 (UPI) — The White House canceled its annual July 4th picnic on the South Lawn held exclusively for military veterans and their families, but the Capitol fireworks event will continue unless there is “severe weather,” authorities said.

The White House said President Barack Obama and the first lady will host performances indoors with Janelle Monae and Kendrick Lamar and deliver remarks in the East Room.

Capitol Police said only severe weather would force the cancellation of the 36th annual concert, which is expected to draw about 200,000 visitors. Rain has been falling through the region.

“Mother Nature has tempted us before, but we’ve never had to cancel,” said executive producer Michael Tolbert.

Smokey Robinson, Kenny Loggins, Alisan Porter, Jackie Evancho, Gavin DeGraw, Amber Riley and the U.S. Army band are to perform at this year’s edition of A Capitol Fourth in Washington. Organizers taped the full dress rehearsal Sunday night and that will be televised on PBS for 90 minutes in case the event is canceled. Fireworks then will be rescheduled for Tuesday night.

Tom Bergeron is hosting the live program at the Capitol, which not only celebrate the 240th birthday of the United States, but also the United Service Organizations’ 75th anniversary and the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

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