U.S. President Donald Trump says he is planning "A Salute To America" in Washington on the Fourth of July, the country's Independence Day, to replace his planned military parade that was cancelled last year.
"HOLD THE DATE! We will be having one of the biggest gatherings in the history of Washington, D.C., on July 4th," Trump said on Twitter Sunday.
HOLD THE DATE! We will be having one of the biggest gatherings in the history of Washington, D.C., on July 4th. It will be called “A Salute To America” and will be held at the Lincoln Memorial. Major fireworks display, entertainment and an address by your favorite President, me!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2019
Several hundred thousand people have gathered for years on the National Mall on the holiday, with a concert at the Capitol at sunset and mid-evening fireworks.
But Trump said his celebration would be held at the opposite end of the Mall at the Lincoln Memorial and include, along with the fireworks and entertainment, "an address by your favorite President, me!"
Trump, inspired by France's Bastille Day parades, had called for a military parade last year on Washington's Pennsylvania Avenue for the annual Veterans Day commemoration on November 11, which in 2018 also marked the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.
Planning for the parade was called off when Defense Department officials estimated it would cost up to $92 million to bring in troops and military hardware to Washington.
Local Washington officials also voiced concern that the rolling treads on military tanks would tear up the city's streets on and near the parade route.
Earlier this month, Trump told reporters he was considering the idea of a parade again, though he quickly corrected himself to describe the event as a gathering. There was no word Sunday on whether the July 4th event will include the military.