D.C.

D.C. area hosts U.S. vs. Belgium World Cup watch parties at Smithsonian, Freedom Plaza, National Harbor

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WASHINGTON (WJLA/AP) - Sweaty soccer fans converged in a sunbaked plaza in downtown Washington to watch the United States take on Belgium in the knockout round of the World Cup.

District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray's administration organized a World Cup viewing party Tuesday afternoon in Freedom Plaza, across the street from the District government building.

The party began at 3 p.m., an hour before the game, and is being broadcast on a 17-foot-tall screen. City officials are providing water and "misting stations" at the event, as Tuesday's forecast calls for a high temperature of 96 degrees.

D.C. United is co-hosting the viewing party along with Akridge, a developer that stands to benefit if the city agrees to build a new stadium for the Major League Soccer franchise.

The National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum are also getting in on the World Cup excitement by hosting an official watch party.

The Smithsonian is hosting a viewing party Tuesday with the Embassy of Belgium, the D.C. mayor's office and the Downtown D.C. Business Improvement District. It is being held at the museums' air-conditioned Kogod Courtyard.

The match airs Tuesday at 4 p.m. The museums are located at 8th and F streets in Washington. The Smithsonian says fans are invited to attend the free event and dress to support their team.

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