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Skip the barbecue and watch the fireworks at home this year. 

The Rockets' Red Glare

You want to celebrate the Fourth, but you don't much want to deal with the heat and humidity outdoors, right? Solution: Watch the celebrations and specials on TV.

For the 20th year, PBS-TV's "A Capitol Fourth" will provide live coverage of America's biggest birthday party. Beginning at 8 p.m., the broadcast from Washington, D.C., will feature music from classical to the blues all set to a dazzling display of fireworks. Barry Bostwick is again the host.

He'll introduce performers Luther Vandross; the Irish Tenors — Ronan Tynan, Anthony Kearns and Finbar Wright; the Pointer Sisters; and other special guests performing with the National Symphony Orchestra led by pops conductor Erich Kunzel. More than half a million people are expected to attend the concert on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

At 9 p.m., NBC-TV celebrates with "Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular," an hour-long special featuring colorful pyrotechnic displays live from various locations around New York City as well as celebrity guests and musical performances. The special will be hosted by Harry Connick Jr. and will feature performances by Bon Jovi, Jessica Simpson and the cast of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical "42nd Street."

Over on ABC-TV from 10 to 11 p.m., Diane Sawyer and Charles Gibson will broadcast live from Philadelphia in celebration of the 225th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. The centerpiece of the broadcast will be a dramatic reading of the declaration by Hollywood stars including Kathy Bates, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman and Edward Norton. The broadcast will also show highlights of Independence Day celebrations in each of the original 13 colonies. The show will close with live coverage of Philly's spectacular fireworks display.

On the A&E cable network, "Pops Goes the Fourth" will feature Joan Lunden as the host for the annual live telecast from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. of festivities from the banks of Boston's Charles River. Conductor Keith Lockhart will lead the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra in a night of rousing musical entertainment, including "Stars & Stripes Forever" and the "1812 Overture," complete with cannons, church bells and fireworks.

On the TNT cable network, "An All-Star Tribute to Brian Wilson" will air at 8 p.m. Despite Ricky Martin's wretched opening-act performance of "California Girls" and "Help Me Rhonda," the broadcast (taped in March at Radio City Music Hall) manages to pay due homage to the singer/songwriter that Sir George Martin called "the one living genius of pop music." Particularly moving is Paul Simon's version of "Surfer Girl" that adds an amazing dimension to the song's otherwise pedestrian lyrics, and a performance of "In My Room" by Carly Simon, David Crosby and Jimmy
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