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

Fireworks, concerts, parades and parties during Independence Day in America’s Birthplace

For the Fourth of July, Philadelphia—America’s birthplace—paints the town red, white and blue thanks to eight days of music, exhibitions, Colonial characters and re-enactments, patriotic ceremonies and, of course, fireworks.

Celebrate Independence in Philadelphia with the eight-day Wawa Welcome America! festival from June 27-July 4 featuring FREE special events and activities throughout the city leading up to the massive Philly 4th of July Jam and Grand Finale Fireworks on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

In addition to dozens of patriotic celebrations, visitors can enjoy free admission at select museums, a citywide celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Gay Rights Movement; and much more.

Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package™

With July 4th happening on a Saturday, turn your celebration into a patriotic getaway with the Visit Philly Overnight® Hotel Package. The special offer includes overnight accommodations; passes to ride the PHLASH bus, offering easy access to Philadelphia's major attractions; and FREE parking while you celebrate America’s birthday in America’s birthplace.

Click here to book your stay

Continue reading for our complete guide to July 4th in Philadelphia.

Twitter Accounts To Follow For the Latest July 4th Updates

Most events during July 4th in Philadelphia are rain or shine, so be sure to get the most up-to-date information by following the accounts below on Twitter.

Twitter Accounts To Follow
@July4thPhilly @visitphilly @INDEPENDENCENHP
@PhiladelphiaGov @uwishunu @HistoricPhilly
@philly311 @PHLVisitorCntr @penns_landing
@SEPTA_SOCIAL @ConstitutionCtr @lgbt50th


Saturday, July 4

Historic Philadelphia Pass: 4 Days of the 4th

Maximize your fun this holiday weekend with a FREE Historic Philadelphia Pass offering exclusive discounts and offers, including as 50% off select admission, to 19 attractions in the Historic District. The pass can be picked up anytime at the Historic Philadelphia Center (6th & Chestnut Streets), the Independence Visitor Center (6th & Market streets) or the National Constitution Center (6th & Arch streets), or any participating attraction from July 2-5. For more information, click the button below. More on Historic Philadelphia Pass

Free Museum Admission on the 4th

In addition to the fantastic events happening in Historic Philadelphia for Independence Day, the National Constitution Center and the National Museum of American Jewish History will be offering FREE admission all-day.

Celebration of Freedom Ceremony

Time: 10-11 a.m.
Location: Steps of Independence Hall, 6th and Chestnut Streets

Pay tribute to the history of our great nation at Independence Hall with a patriotic and inspiring morning of music, a reading of excerpts from the Declaration of Independence. This year’s ceremony commemorates a number of important milestones: the 50th anniversary of the first major LGBTQ protest in the United States; the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965; the 50th anniversary of the Immigration & Nationality Act of 1965; and the 150th anniversary of the addition of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visitors can also witness the initiation of new American citizens during a special naturalization ceremony at the event.

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Inspiring remarks, music and a reading from the Declaration of Independence kick off the Independence Day festivities at Independence Hall.

Independence Day Parade

Time:11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Location: Throughout Historic Philadelphia

One of the highlights of Philadelphia's July 4th celebration is the Independence Day Parade, an inspiring, 1.2 mile march through Historic Philadelphia featuring more than 6,000 participants from around the country. This year, spectators can expect a visit from Miss America 2015, various marching bands playing patriotic favorites, military groups and performance teams. The parade winds its way through the streets of Historic Philadelphia, starting in front of Independence Hall before parading down Market Street towards the Delaware River.

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Independence Day in Philadelphia begins with a parade through Historic Philadelphia featuring more than 6,000 participants from around the country. (Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia)

Let Freedom Ring Ceremony

Time: 1 p.m.–2 p.m.
Location: Independence National Historical Park, 6th and Market Streets

Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence and Pennsylvania Society’s Sons of the Revolution take part in this special event in the shadow of Independence Hall. The morning celebration concludes with symbolic tapping of the Liberty Bell at 2 p.m.

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National LGBT 50th Anniversary Ceremony

Date: Saturday, July 4

Time:2:15-3:15 p.m. Location: Independence Hall, 5th and Chestnut Streets

Mark the 50th anniversary of the first gay rights protest with a moving series of patriotic performances, speeches, videos and special appearances during the commemorative ceremony and re-enactment of the important events that took place in front of Independence Hall on July 4, 1965.

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Party on the Parkway

Time: Noon–7 p.m.
Location: Benjamin Franklin Parkway, 20th Street to Eakins Oval

Thousands pack Philadelphia's scenic Benjamin Franklin Parkway for a FREE, day-long festival of food, live entertainment and family friendly fun on July 4th. The Party on the Parkway features blocks of exciting activities, games, entertainment and more. Don't miss Pogopalooza, the world championship of extreme pogo, the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Road to Rio Tour or live music at the festival's Global Music and Questlove Stages.

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Thousands pack the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for a FREE, day-long party featuring food, live music, family fun and more. (Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia)

Philly 4th of July Jam and Grand Finale Fireworks

Time: 7–11 p.m.
Location: Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Benjamin Franklin Parkway at Eakins Oval

The "Largest Free Concert in America", the Wawa Welcome America! Philly 4th of July Jam is one of the most anticipated events of the year. Held on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the FREE concert features some of the largest musical acts in the country including Philly's own The Roots. The 2015 Philly 4th of July Jam stars The Roots, with special guests Miguel and Jennifer Nettles. Keep an eye out for more special guest announcements as made available. Can't make it to the Parkway? The festivities will be covered live locally by 6ABC and online.

Immediately following the concert, July 4th comes to an explosive end with an incredible fireworks finale over the Philadelphia Museum of Art sponsored by Discovery's Shark Week.

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Philadelphia's spectacular July 4th celebration comes to a close with a massive fireworks display over the Philadelphia Museum of Art. (Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia)

See It All In A PHLASH

One of the best (and family-friendly) ways to get around during the week of July 4th, the PHLASH an easy and affordable way to travel to 22 of the city’s most popular attractions including Penn’s Landing, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Reading Terminal Market and the Philadelphia Zoo. The unmistakeable purple bus makes stops every 15 minutes with rides starting at $2 per person or $5 for an all-day pass. Plus, kids under 4 ride FREE.

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The PHLASH bus is the most convenient and affordable way to get around to 22 of the city’s most popular attractions (Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia)



Past Events



Saturday, June 27, 2015

Family Day at the Shops at Liberty Place

Time: Noon-4 p.m.
Location: The Shops at Liberty Place, 1625 Chestnut Street

Wawa Welcome America! kicks off with a family-friendly afternoon at the Shops at Liberty Place. During Family Day, visitors of all ages can enjoy various activities in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the first reading of Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland, take part in arts and crafts and much more during the free event.

Tall Ships Philadelphia Camden

Dates: Through June 28

Don't miss your chance to experience the largest sailing event in North America as 13 majestic tall ships and the world's largest rubber duck come to port on the Delaware River Waterfront. Visitors can tour the ships, including the L’Hermione, a replica of the French naval ship that brought General Lafayette to America to help fight the British, enjoy live entertainment, hands-on activities, games and food and more.

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Wawa Welcome America! Community Day

Time: Noon-4 p.m.
Location: Samuel Recreation Center, 3539 Gaul St.

This year, the Wawa Welcome America! will be hosting a Community Day in one of Philadelphia's vibrant neighborhoods. Enjoy an afternoon of activities and music for residents and visitors to Philadelphia's Port Richmond neighborhood.

Tall Ships Fireworks Show at Penn’s Landing

PLEASE NOTE: The free concert and fireworks show at Penn's Landing on Saturday, June 27 has been postponed due to weather. The fireworks show has been RESCHEDULED for SUNDAY, JUNE 28 at approximately 9:30 p.m.

For additional updates please follow @TallShipsPC, @DelRiverWfront and @penns_landing on Twitter.

Date:Sunday, June 28, 2015
Concert: 8 p.m. Fireworks: Approximately 9:30 p.m.

In celebration of the Tall Ships Festival and Philadelphia's week-long Independence Day celebration, the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation is hosting a patriotic concert followed by a massive, FREE fireworks show on Sunday, June 28. Head to Penn's Landing and look to the sky for a spectacular fireworks display in honor of the Tall Ships Festival featuring more than four tons of colorful explosives from around the world.

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Penn's Landing is hosting a free concert and fireworks show in honor of the Tall Ships Festival on Sunday, June 28. (Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia)



Monday, June 29, 2015

FREE Admission to the Franklin Institute

Time: 9:30 a.m.5 p.m.
Location: Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th St.

Wander through a giant heart, discover the mysteries of Your Brain and enjoy interactive educational fun at the Franklin Institute for FREE courtesy of Wawa. Admission to the region's premier science museum will be free throughout the day and includes a show at the Fels Planetarium.

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Enjoy free admission to the Franklin Institute on June 29 during the week-long Wawa Welcome America! (Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia)

Go 4th & Learn About Science: Franklin Institute

Time: 10 a.m.–Noon
Location:Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th St.

Head to the Franklin Institute, which will be open and free to the public all-day-long, for a behind the scenes exhibition on the evolution of Wawa Dairy Farms and convenience stores.Part of the Go 4th & Learn series during Wawa Welcome America!, the day also includes readings, book giveaways and educational fun! The first 800 children to arrive at the museum will receive a free book courtesy of Duffy Books in Homes USA.

Philly @ The Movies: Big Hero 6

Time: 8:30 p.m.
Location: Franklin Square, 200 N. 6th Street

Philly @ The Movies, a series of free, outdoor film screenings during Wawa Welcome America!, kicks-off with Disney's Big Hero 6. Children and adults will enjoy the action-packed animated adventure as shown outside at Franklin Square, one of Philadelphia's original public squares.



Tuesday, June 30, 2015

FREE Admission to the Philadelphia History Museum

Time: 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Location: Philadelphia History Museum, 15 S. 7th Street

Discover 330 years of intriguing city stories and artifacts at the Philadelphia History Museum at Atwater Kent. Part of Wawa Welcome American! and in partnership with PECO, the museum will be offering FREE admission to all visitors on Tuesday, June 30.

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Go 4th & Learn About Philadelphia

Time:10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Location:Philadelphia History Museum, 15 S. 7th Street

Families visiting the Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent can participate in Go 4th & Learn, featuring readings, giveaways and educational fun from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The first 800 kids will receive a free book courtesy of Duffy Books in Homes USA.

Philly @ The Movies: Annie

Time: 8:30 p.m.
Location: Dilworth Park, 1 S. 15th Street

The newly renvoated Dilworth Park will host a FREE outdoor screening of the recent adaptation of Annie, the timeless tale of a precocious orphan girl with a big personality and heart of gold, starring Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz.

The renovated Dilworth Park at City Hall will be hosting a free, outdoor screening of Annie during Wawa Welcome America! (Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia)



Wednesday, July 1, 2015

FREE Admission to the African American Museum in Philadelphia

Time: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Location: African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch Street

During Wawa Welcome America!, visitors can spend the day at the African American Museum in Philadelphia and experience the richness and vibrancy of African American heritage and culture. In partnership with PECO, museum's galleries of educational history and fascinating art will be FREE and open to the public on July 1.

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Go 4th & Learn About Fitness at Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse

Time: 10 a.m.–Noon
Location: Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse, 3500 Reservoir Drive

Gear up for a morning of fun and fitness at the Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse as part of the Go 4th and Learn series during Wawa Welcome America! Let the kids run around at the 6.5 acre playground in Fairmount Park that includes the Ann Newman Giant Wooden Slide and more than 50 pieces of play equipment. The first 800 kids to arrive will receive a free book courtesy of Duffy Books in Homes USA.

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Philly @ The Movies: Rocky

Time: 9 p.m.
Location: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 26th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Grab a seat on the iconic steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and watch the Italian Stallion's famous run during a FREE screening of the Philadelphia-based classic Rocky during Philly @ The Movies.

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Cheer on the Italian Stallion during a free screening of Rocky on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. (Photo courtesy Wawa Welcome America!)


Thursday, July 2, 2015

FREE Admission to the National Constitution Center

Time: 9:30 a.m.–8 p.m.
Location: National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street

Enjoy a day of FREE admission to the National Constitution Center, including the new exhibition Speaking Out for Equality: The Constitution, Gay Rights, and the Supreme Court, courtesy of Wawa. Explore hundreds of interactive exhibits, the inspirational Freedom Rising and a special display highlighting Wawa's commitment to military, fire and police.

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Go 4th & Learn About History

Time: 10 a.m.–Noon
Location: National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street

Go 4th & Learn during Wawa Welcome America! continues at the National Constitution Center with a morning of special events and educational activities. The first 800 kids will receive a free book courtesy of Duffy Books in Homes USA.

Wawa Hoagie Day

Time: Noon–1:30 p.m.
Location: Independence Mall, Market Street Between 5th and 6th Streets

Your lunch plans are covered on July 2 as the 23rd annual Wawa Hoagie Day returns to Independence National Historical Park. Any and all visitors can feast on FREE Wawa hoagies 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 NBC’s The Voice contestants Matthew Schuler and Audra McLaughlin along with the USO Show Troupe.

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Wawa will once again provide free hoagies to all visitors in front of the Independence Visitor Center during the 23rd annual Wawa Hoagie Day. (Photo courtesy Wawa Welcome America!)

Philadelphia Orchestra Neighborhood Concert & Fireworks

Time: 8:00 p.m.
Location: Great Plaza @ Penn’s Landing, 101 S. Columbus Blvd.

Now in its 8th year, the world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra will perform a FREE Neighborhood Concert on the RiverStage at the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing. Following the orchestral show, enjoy a land-side fireworks display on the Delaware River Waterfront.

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The Philadelphia Orchestra is coming to Penn's Landing for a FREE waterfront performance followed by a land-side fireworks display on July 2, 2015. (Photo courtesy the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation)

Philly @ The Movies: The Sixth Sense

Time: 9 p.m.
Location: Rittenhouse Park, 210 W. Rittenhouse Square

Spend a spooky evening in Rittenhouse Square during the final FREE screening as part of the Philly @ The Movies series. M. Night Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense, filmed in parts of Philadelphia, is a classic supernatural thriller staring Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment and few ghostly co-stars.



Friday, July 3, 2015

1776 Experience Revolutionary War Encampment

Time: July 3-4, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Location:National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street

Experience the life of an American Revolutionary War soldier as you enter a recreated historic military encampment on the lawn of the National Constitution Center. Practice mustering with the troops, visit the wounded in a medical tent, look for a new sword at the blacksmith shop or go hands-on with carpentry and leatherwork as you experience the soldier’s life.

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Liberty Block Party

Time: 1 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
Location: 5th and 6th Streets Between Market and Chestnut Streets

Begin celebrating July 4th a day early during the Liberty Block Party in Historic Philadelphia, a FREE street festival featuring fantastic food, live entertainment and more.

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Signers’ Day Celebration

Time: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Location:Christ Church, 2nd and Market streets

Amid concerts and festivals, take a moment to remember the men who signed the Declaration of Independence during the Signer's Day Celebration at Christ Church and Burial Ground featuring family-fun, a visit from Founding Father Benjamin Franklin and an opportunity to sign a copy of the Declaration of Independence .

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POPS! On Independence

Time: 8 p.m.
Location: Steps of Independence Hall, 6th and Chestnut Streets

The Philly Pops! return to celebrate America’s birthday with POPS! On Independence, a FREE, patriotic concert in front of Independence Hall. Bring a picnic and a lawn chair for one of the most popular Independence Day traditions in Philadelphia featuring inspiring classics from Conductor Michael Krajewski and soloists Capathia Jenkins and Darius de Haas will take part in this year’s show.

more on Pops! on Independence


 

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