Washington Braces for Trump's Reality Show July 4 Celebration
However, there could be a larger contingency of protestors near the National Mall than the president's supporters, as several counter-demonstrations are planned.
It’s typically standing-room only at the National Mall in the nation’s capital for the Fourth of July fireworks show, but President Donald Trump has been touting for months an additional affair dubbed “Salute to America” that will involve the sort of flare usually associated with a Hollywood-style production, even though Tinseltown may not be well represented.
Salute to America, with a fireworks display donated by Phantom Fireworks and Fireworks by Grucci, is considered separate from Washington’s usual Independence Day celebration. Trump’s bash runs from about 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Lincoln Memorial where the president is set to speak amid a display of military music, tanks and aircraft flyovers.
Tickets are free, though an invitation VIP section is reserved for some members of the U.S. Armed Forces and other dignitaries, but the White House isn’t saying who from the film or TV industry have been invited.
Presumably, Jon Voight has a ticket, as the outspoken Trump supporter and Kennedy Center board of trustees member is set to appear alongside Gold Star moms at a “Rally for Freedom” anti-socialist event at the U.S. Capitol lawn earlier in the day.
The actor promoted his freedom rally appearance on Fox News recently where he also responded to Alyssa Milano, who tweeted her disdain for Voight’s love for Trump. “Stay in your lane, Jon! Has been! F-lister trying to stay relevant! Nobody cares what an out of touch actor thinks!” wrote the actress-activist.
“I have sympathy for people that are in ignorance. It doesn’t scare me,” Voight said on Fox News. “Ignorance doesn’t scare me. I was like that myself. I just root for everybody to come to the truth.”
In fact, there could be a larger contingency of anti-Trump celebrities than supporters, as several counter-protests are planned near the Capitol that day, most notably from Code Pink, which wanted to fly its “Baby Trump” blimp overhead, though the National Park Service has restricted it to an elevation of just two feet.
As of now, Code Pink says the only celebrity lined up for its event is comedian Lee Camp, host of Redacted Tonight on the RT America pay TV network. Code Pink also denounced “the VIP tickets going to Trump campaign contributors and the Republican National Committee” and said that taxpayer money should not be used “to turn July 4 into a presidential campaign rally.” Trump, though, says the cost is negligible.
“The cost of our great Salute to America tomorrow will be very little compared to what it is worth. We own the planes, we have the pilots, the airport is right next door (Andrews), all we need is the fuel. We own the tanks and all. Fireworks are donated by two of the greats. Nice!” Trump tweeted Wednesday. He also tweeted: “Our July 4th Salute to America at the Lincoln Memorial is looking to be really big. It will be the show of a lifetime.”
Another separate July 4 event, “A Capitol Fourth” concert, is more forthcoming about confirmed attendees, announcing that John Stamos will host a nighttime concert featuring Carole King, Vanessa Williams, the Sesame Street Muppets and others. King, though, stressed in a hand-drawn tweet that “I am NOT participating in T’s political rally.”
Fox News and C-SPAN are expected to cover Salute to America, while MSNBC, CNN and other television news outlets will likely address the event in some form or another without offering anything near wall-to-wall coverage.
On Tuesday, Trump tweeted: “Big 4th of July in D.C. ‘Salute to America.’ Pentagon & our great Military Leaders are thrilled to be doing this & showing to the American people, among other things, the strongest and most advanced Military anywhere in the World. Incredible Flyovers & biggest ever Fireworks.”