WASHINGTON -- This July 4th, America's national Independence Day celebration kicks off our country's 240th birthday with a special salute to our Olympians and Paralympians as they prepare for Rio. Led by Olympic Gold medalist Scott Hamilton, "A Capitol Fourth" will feature a tribute to Team USA before a crowd of hundreds of thousands live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. In celebration of our nation's greatest athletes, number one selling country music star and the Season 3 winner of "The Voice" Cassadee Pope will perform her inspiring hit single "I Am Invincible."
"A Capitol Fourth" will also celebrate the 75th anniversary of the USO and honor their dedication to supporting America's service members and their families around the world. For 75 years, the USO has continued to strengthen our military by keeping them connected to family, home and country (www.uso.org/75). Presented by distinguished American leader General Colin L. Powell USA (Ret.), the tribute will feature footage highlighting the history of the USO plus a performance of "Soldier" by multi-platinum selling singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw before a crowd of over 100 active duty service members and their families.
"I am honored to be at our nation's Capitol on Independence Day to pay tribute to the USO," shared General Colin Powell. "In Vietnam, I remember waiting for Bob Hope to provide a bit of entertainment and relief for soldiers over there. I know firsthand how much the USO means to our military members serving around the world."
The broadcast -- which will be live-streamed online for the first time ever on Facebook Live and www.pbs.org/a-capitol-fourth -- will also mark the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service as Alisan Porter, the Season 10 winner of "The Voice" and the National Symphony Orchestra perform one of the nation's best loved patriotic songs, "America the Beautiful," with stunning footage of some of the country's best national parks, heritage areas, scenic and historic trails. During the centennial celebration, a new generation is invited to discover the special places that belong to us all.
The 36th annual broadcast of "A Capitol Fourth" airs on PBS Monday, July 4, 2016 from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. ET before a concert audience of hundreds of thousands, millions more at home, as well as to our troops serving around the world on the American Forces Network. In addition to being live-streamed, the concert will be available as Video on Demand for a limited time only, July 4 to July 18, 2016. The program can also be heard live in stereo over NPR member stations nationwide. The patriotic tribute to our US Olympic and Paralympic Teams airs prior to NBC providing full coverage of the Rio 2016 Games beginning on Friday, August 5.
Hosted by Emmy Award-winning television personality Tom Bergeron ("Dancing with the Stars"), "A Capitol Fourth" (#July4thPBS) will also feature performances by: legendary Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Smokey Robinson; platinum selling recording star and Grammy Award-winner Kenny Loggins; actress and singer Amber Riley ("Glee"), who is set to star in "Dreamgirls the Musical" on London's West End; musical prodigy and classical crossover star Jackie Evancho; Tony Award-winning Broadway and television star Sutton Foster ("Younger, Gilmore Girls"); Grammy Award-winning gospel/adult contemporary superstar Yolanda Adams; and the cast of the smash hit Broadway musical "On Your Feet!" the inspiring true story of Gloria and Emilio Estefan; with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly. Alisan Porter, the Season 10 winner of "The Voice," will open the show with a special performance of the "National Anthem." The top-rated, award-winning program features twenty cameras positioned around the city, including the U.S. Capitol, the White House, the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument putting viewers front and center for the greatest display of fireworks anywhere in the nation.
OutlooK-12 will be featuring Olympic Gold Medalist Jessica Mendoza
in our July issue, which will be going live on July 5 here: