Guide to 4th of July in Philadelphia and Wawa Welcome America! Events

WAWA Welcome America events

‘Fireworks, Parades, Concerts, Kids Activities & More During Independence Day in Philadelphia’

There is not a better place to celebrate Independence Day than in America’s Birthplace!

The celebration kicks-off with many events and activities prior to 4th of July, all thanks to WAWA Welcome America!

The annual WAWA Welcome America Festival starts on June 27 and continues all the way to the incredible fireworks finale over the Philadelphia Museum of Art on July 4!

Philadelphians and visitors will be able to celebrate with events and activities such as story telling for the kids, free concerts, free admission to a few museums, free movies, experiencing a military encampment, free hoagies and much more. But wait, we are missing something! The largest outdoor free concert in America followed by one of the best fireworks shows in the world.

Below is our guide to the best fireworks watching spots, free concerts, events, activities and more, leading up to the July 4th in Philadelphia!

All Week Long! Thursday, June 29 – Tuesday, July 4

  • Sand Sculpture Spectacular

Times: 9:30 am – 7:00 pm
Location: Shops at Liberty Place (1625 Chestnut St)

The Rotunda at the Shops will be transformed with life size sand sculptures depicting historic icons and imagery. Get your cameras read. This is one instagrammable moment you won’t want to miss! ~ More Info ~

Thursday, June 29

  • FREE Admission to National Constitution Center

Times: 9:30 am – 8 pm
Location: National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street

Guests can enjoy access to the Center’s signature multimedia theatrical performance of Freedom Rising presented in the Sidney Kimmel Theater as well as the Center’s numerous feature exhibits. ~ More Info ~

  • WAWA Hoagie Day

Time: Noon – 2 pm
Location: Independence Mall, Market Street Between 5th and 6th Streets

FREE – Your lunch is on WAWA! This event is in honor of local and national heroes including members of the military, fire and police departments. Meet Food Network Chef Robert Irvine and enjoy performances by the USO Show Troupe. For more details, Click Here

  • Go 4th & Learn About Music and Culture

Time: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Location: Mummers Museum, 2nd Street & Washington Ave

Mummers are about celebration, fun, and family. They value tradition and community, so they invite all Philadelphia residents and visitors to join us for a fun evening learning about the oldest continuous folk parade in the United States. Learn about the instruments, costumes, dancing and more! There will be story time as well. ~ More Info ~ Stay for a Mummers Concert Under the Stars starting at 8 pm! Listen to the Quaker City String Band! FREE ~ More Info ~

  • Philly @ the Movies ~ Despicable Me 2

Time: 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Location: Schmidt’s Commons (1001 N. 2md St) in Northern Liberties

When the Anti-Villain League decides it needs an insider’s help, they recruit Gru in the investigation. Together with the eccentric AVL agent, Lucy Wilde, Gru concludes that his prime suspect is the presumed dead super villain, El Macho, whose his teenage son is also making the moves on his eldest daughter, Margo. ~ More Info ~

  • Philly @ the Movies ~ Despicable Me 1

Time: 8:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Location: In Manayunk – Cotton Street, in between Main & Cresson Sts

Come early and enjoy food trucks including Smokin’ Tacos Food Truck, Summer J Pops, Mama’s Meatballs, Farm Truck and shop at Pineapple on Main’s concession stand. Be sure to stop by Wissahickon Creek Veterinary Hospital’s photo booth on Cotton Street and take your photo with Minions – dogs dressed as minions that is! More Info ~

Friday, June 30

  • FREE Admission at Penn Museum

Time: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location: Penn Museum, 3260 South St in University City

~ More Info ~

  • FREE Admission at Eastern State Penitentiary

Time: 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Location: Eastern State Penitentiary,  2027 Fairmount Ave in Fairmount

Explore America’s most historic prison at night! ~ More Info ~

  • Philly @ The Movies ~ The Lego batman Movie

Time: 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Location: 3100 N 22nd St

~ More Info ~

  • Philadelphia Orchestra Concert & Fireworks

Time: 8 pm – 9:30 pm
Location: Great Plaza @ Penn’s Landing, 101 S. Columbus Blvd.

The world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra presents a FREE Concert on the RiverStage at the Great Plaza & FREE fireworks afterwards! Fireworks approximately at 9:30 pm. ~ More Info ~

Saturday, July 1

  • FREE Admission to the African American Museum

Time: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location: African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch Street

Visit the African American Museum to experience the richness and vibrancy of African American heritage and culture in four exhibition galleries filled with exciting history and fascinating art. ~ More Info ~

  • Go 4th & Learn at Fairhill Square

Time: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Location: 4th St & W. Lehigh St

Bring the kids for a fun, entertaining and educational afternoon featuring dance performances and lessons, interactive activities, games and more!The first 500 children will receive a free book courtesy of Books in Homes. ~ More Info ~

  • U.S. Army Band, “Pershing’s Own” Concert & Fireworks

Time: 8 pm – 9:30 pm
Location: Penn’s Landing at Delaware River Waterfront, 101 S. Columbia BLVD

Listen to the United States Army Band followed by live fireworks at 9:30 pm! ~ More Info ~

  • Philly @ the Movies ~ A Star Wars Story

Time: 8:30 pm – 11 pm
Location: Vernon Park, 5800 Germantown Ave

~ More Info ~

Sunday, July 2

  • FREE Admission to National Constitution Center

Times: 9:30 am – 5:00 pm
Location: National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street

Guests can enjoy access to the Center’s signature multimedia theatrical performance of Freedom Rising presented in the Sidney Kimmel Theater as well as the Center’s numerous feature exhibits. More Info ~

  • FREE Admission to The Barnes Foundation

Time: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location: 20th & Benjamin Franklin Parkway

~ More Details ~

  • 1776 Revolutionary War Encampment Experience

Time: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm (July 2 to 4)
Location: National Constitution Center (Front Lawn), 525 Arch Street

Experience the life of an American Revolutionary War soldier through a recreated historic military encampment. Guests will be able to practice mustering with the troops, visit the wounded in a medical tent, watch how soldiers reloaded their weapons and much more. ~ More Info ~

  • Pay-What-You-Wish Admission at Philadelphia Museum of Art

Time: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2027 Fairmount Ave

More Info ~

  • Go 4th & Learn: Rocky Addition

Time: 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Location: Steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Enjoy a Rocky look-a-like, a ARocky fitness challenge, story time & more. ~ More Info ~

  • Philly @ The Movies ~ Rocky

Time: 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Location: 26th Street & Benjamin Franklin Parkway

More Info ~

Monday, July 3

  • 1776 Revolutionary War Encampment Experience

Time: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm (July 3 & 4)
Location: National Constitution Center (Front Lawn), 525 Arch Street

Experience the life of an American Revolutionary War soldier through a recreated historic military encampment. Guests will be able to practice mustering with the troops, visit the wounded in a medical tent, watch how soldiers reloaded their weapons and much more. ~ More Info ~

  • FREE Admission at National Liberty Museum

Time: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Location: National Liberty Museum 321 Chestnut St

Visitors to the National Liberty Museum enjoy an inspiring and entertaining experience, as they interact with incredible stories of heroes and a collection of contemporary art.  Their core themes for young people and adults include leadership and good character; diversity and inclusion; peaceful conflict resolution; and civic engagement. ~ More Info ~

  • Historic Philadelphia Block Party

Time: 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Location: Independence Mall ~ 5th and 6th Streets Between Market and Chestnut Streets

The largest block party of the summer offers Philadelphia residents and visitors an opportunity to explore the city’s diverse food scene and some of its finest live entertainment that surrounds Independence Hall & the Liberty Bell.  Enjoy arts, music and speech. Throughout the day talented artists will create works of art inspired by our country’s independence on the Artist’s Stage. Entry and entertainment are free; however, food and drinks must be purchased. ~ More Info ~

  • Pops! on Independence

Time: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Location: Steps of Independence Hall, Chestnut Street, between 5th & 6th Sts

The Philly POPS! return to celebrate America’s birthday with POPS! On Independence, a free concert at Independence Hall. Conductor Michael Krajewski and featuring Broadway and featuring guest vocalists Tony DeSare – a POPS favorite – and Hamilton star Mandy Gonzalez will take part in this year’s show. Seating is first-come, first come first serve, and concert goers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy one of Philadelphia’s most popular Fourth of July traditions. ~ More Info ~

  • Philly @ The Movies ~ Sing

Time: 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Location: Franklin Square, 200 6th St

~ More Info ~

Tuesday, July 4

  • Celebration of Freedom Ceremony

Time: 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Location: Steps of Independence Hall, Chestnut Street, between 5th & 6th Sts

Philadelphians and visitors can pay tribute to our nation at the Celebration of Freedom Ceremony featuring music, inspiring remarks, among other special elements. Get ready to be moved. The Philly POPS® BIG Band debuts and Boyz II Men’s Nathan, Wanya & Shawn will read an excerpt from the Declaration of Independence.~ More Info

  • 1776 Revolutionary War Encampment Experience

Time: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location: National Constitution Center (Front Lawn), 525 Arch Street

Experience the life of an American Revolutionary War soldier through a recreated historic military encampment. Guests will be able to practice mustering with the troops, visit the wounded in a medical tent, watch how soldiers reloaded their weapons and much more. ~ More Info ~

  • FREE Admission to The National Museum of American Jewish History

Times: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location: National Museum of American Jewish History, 101 S. Independence Mall E, 5th & Market Streets

~ More Info ~

  • FREE Admission to Philadelphia History Museum

Time: 10:30 am – 4:30 pm
Location: Philadelphia History Museum of Art, 15 S 7th St

More Info ~

 

  • Independence Day Parade

Time: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Location: Throughout Historic Philadelphia in Olde City

You won’t want to miss the largest Independence Day Parade in decades as it comes to life in Philadelphia’s Historic District. Over 6,000 participants will march through the nation’s most historic square mile. Special guests include Miss America and more!

The parade begins at 5th and Chestnut Streets, then travels West on Chestnut Street to 9th Street. It then turns right onto 9th Street, before heading down Market Street toward Front Street. The parade finishes by marching down Front Street to Chestnut Street. Total route is 1.2 miles long. ~ More Info ~

  • Party on the Parkway

Time: Noon – 10:00 pm
Location:  Benjamin Franklin Parkway, 20th Street to Eakins Oval

The highly anticipated, day-long Party on the Parkway features blocks of exciting activities, games, entertainment, and food for the whole family. Families can enjoy an interactive kid’s area featuring the Strider Bikes obstacle course, Zipline, games, and make-and-take arts and crafts. Animal lovers can bring their furry friends to enjoy the Amtrak Pet Friendly area. The 21+ crowd can kick back and relax in two beer gardens, and all can enjoy the diverse food and music from the Philly Groove stage. ~ More Info ~

  • Philly 4th of July Jam Concert

Time: 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Location: Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Benjamin Franklin Parkway at Eakins Oval

The Philly 4th of July Jam, known as the “Largest Free Concert in America,” kicks off with celebrity performances on the iconic Benjamin Franklin Parkway will headline the non-stop live concert featuring food trucks, beer gardens and fun activities. The Concert will honor Philly’s own Boyz II Men and feature performances by The Philly POPS, Mandy Gonzalez, Tony DeSare and the legendary Mary J. Blige! (tickets only needed for front seating at Eakins Oval) Their performance on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway is followed by a spectacular fireworks display over the Philadelphia Museum of Art. ~ More Info ~

  • Grand Finale Fireworks

Time: 9:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Location: Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Benjamin Franklin Parkway at Eakins Oval

FYI: Street Closures in the Area

Monday, July 3 – Historic Philadelphia Block Party in Independence Mall area
5th and 6th streets, between Market and Chestnut streets, will be closed to vehicular traffic, from 9:30 a.m. until midnight.
Chestnut Street, between 5th and 6th streets, will be closed to vehicular traffic, from 9:30 a.m. on July 3d through Saturday, July 4th at 5 p.m.

Monday, July 3 – Preparation for the July 4th concert and fireworks in Ben Franklin Parkway area
The inbound inner lanes of the Parkway will be closed July 3 from 9:30 a.m. through 5 a.m. on Sunday, July 5
The outbound inner lanes of the Parkway will be closed to vehicular traffic, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., for set-up related to the concert. The outbound lanes will open, from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., for evening rush, and then close, from 6:30 p.m. on July 3 to 5 a.m. on July 5.
The outer lanes of the Parkway will be open to vehicular traffic throughout the day.

Tuesday, July 4 – Celebration of Freedom Ceremony and Parade in Independence Mall area 
Chestnut Street, between 5th and 6th streets, will be closed to vehicular traffic, from 9:30 a.m. on July 3rd through Saturday, July 4th at 5 p.m.

The following closures will be in effect related to the parade (all times are approximate):

-        From 5 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Chestnut Street, 5th to Front streets; 3rd Street, from Chestnut to Walnut streets, and on 4th Street, from Market to Chestnut streets.

-        From 10:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Chestnut Street, from 6th to 9th streets; 9th Street, from Chestnut to Market streets and Market Street, from 9th to Front streets; 5th Street, from Arch to Walnut streets; 4th Street, from Arch to Walnut streets; 3rd Street, from Walnut to Arch streets; 8th Street, from Arch to Walnut streets; 7th Street, from Walnut to Arch streets; 6th Street, from Arch to Chestnut streets; 2nd Street, from Walnut to Arch streets; Strawberry Street, from Market to Chestnut streets, and Bank Street, from Market to Chestnut streets.

-        From 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Front Street, Dock Street, Arch Street and
the Chestnut Street viaduct, from Front to Market streets.

-        The remainder of Chestnut Street and the entire parade route will be closed to vehicular traffic prior to the parade, beginning at about 10 a.m., until after the parade concludes. All streets affected by the parade will be cleaned before being re-opened to vehicular traffic.

Tuesday, July 4 – Philly 4th of July Jam concert & Grand Finale Fireworks in the Benjamin Franklin Parkway area 
A limited-access perimeter (event participants and residents only) will be established on July 4th –from 18th Street to 25th Street — and on Race Street to Pennsylvania Avenue, from 5 a.m. to midnight.

The entire width of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be closed to vehicular traffic, from 5 a.m. to midnight.

The Parkway, from 20th to 25th streets, will be closed for extensive cleanup overnight until about
5 a.m. on Sunday, July 5th.

All streets affected by the closures are scheduled to be reopened in the Parkway vicinity by 6 a.m. on Sunday, July 5th .

Location

Various locations all throughout Philadelphia

Date

June 29 – July 4, 2017

Cost

FREE for most events

Web Site

Jeff Belonger

Jeff Belonger has been in the mortgage industry for 19+ years and now wants to do something different. With his experience of blogging and social media, Jeff wants to share all of what Philadelphia has to offer, so he created MyPhillyAlive.com. At MyPhillyAlive, we want to share the excitement that the City of Philadelphia resonates. Sharing the passion within, from the people of Philadelphia. At MyPhillyAlive, we’ll be talking about Philadelphia restaurants, fun bars, the city night life, the history of Philadelphia, Philly attractions & events, the arts, sports, and much more. We want people to add their experiences regarding Philadelphia, even if they are from out of town, which can be done on our Facebook fan page as well. www.facebook.com/MyPhillyAlive At the end of the day, we want to be different from the many Philadelphia sites. We want our site to be easy to navigate, while at the same time, we want you to not only find the hot spots, the best things to do in Philadelphia; but those hidden gems within the city. Thanks...

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