July 4th in Philadelphia —
An Hour-By-Hour Guide
How to get the most out of Independence Day in Philly
Philadelphia, the birthplace of independence, is celebrating the Fourth of July in 2015 in a big, big way. Festivals and events honoring America’s birthday are taking place throughout the day all across the city.
From the Celebration of Freedom Ceremony honoring the 50th anniversary of the first major LGBTQ protest in the U.S. to the huge party on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to fireworks over the Philadelphia Museum of Art, visitors and residents alike have tons of options for celebrating America's birthday.
And with July 4th happening on a Saturday, there's no better time to turn your celebration into a patriotic getaway with the Visit Philly Overnight® Hotel Package. Not only will you be able to celebrate America’s birthday in America’s birthplace, but also your car stays FREE. Click here to book your stay.
Plan your Independence Day celebration with our hour-by-hour guide to July 4th in Philadelphia below.
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|
July 4, 2015
Battleship New Jersey Fantail BBQ
Time: 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Location: Battleship New Jersey
Step aboard the Battleship New Jersey for a special July 4th, with tours — including the new City at Sea Tour — running from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Come 2 p.m., the battleship will participate in the Let Freedom Ring program when it joins thousands of monuments and national parks across the U.S. by ringing its bell 13 times to commemorate the men and women of the 13 colonies who fought for the nation's Independence.
Celebrate the Fourth of July on the Battleship New Jersey with a new tour of the ship and more.
Celebration of Freedom Ceremony
Time: 10-11 a.m.
Location: Steps of Independence Hall
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 and more.
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.
Inspiring remarks, music and a reading from the Declaration of Independence kick off the Independence Day festivities at Independence Hall.
Time: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Location: National Constitution Center
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.
The 1776 Experience at the National Constitution Center includes reenactments of life in Colonial America, including loading a cannon.
Time: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Location: Independence Mall
Participate in Colonial-era games, sign up to become a member of the Continental Army and enjoy special events during the All-American Celebration in Historic Philadelphia.
Benjamin Dockery, visiting Philadelphia with his family from Tennessee, plays hoops, a game popular amongst 18th-century children, on Independence Mall.
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.
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)
4th of July at the Powel House
Time: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Location: Powel House
Celebrate the 4th of July at the Powel House with a day-long celebration at the former home of Elizabeth and Samuel Powel, an 18th-century power couple who entertained Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and George Washington in style. More info coming soon..
Historic Germantown Independence Day Celebration
Time: 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Location: Throughout Historic Germantown
Now in its 11th year, the annual Independence Day Celebration in Historic Germantown is a day of free events including tours of historic attractions, family-friendly activities, live music, a farmer's market, the ringing of the historic Concord School bell and more. Featured activities during the day-long celebration include make-your-own ice cream at Stenton, free tours of Cliveden and Hood Cemetery and more.
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.
The day-long Party on the Parkway will be packed with blocks of delicious food, interactive fun and more. (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.
America's Birthday Party with Betsy Ross and Termini Bros. Bakery
Time: 1 p.m.
Location: Independence Visitor Center
The Independence Visitor Center is hosting a sweet celebration for America’s Birthday with Termini Brothers Bakery. A spectacular five-tier cake will be decorated at the Visitor Center prior to the celebration and leading up to the celebration at 1 p.m. The cake will be surrounded by 2,500 cupcakes configured into the shape of an American flag. When decoration of the cake is complete, Betsy Ross will conduct a brief ceremony celebrating our nation’s 239th birthday. Betsy will cut the cake and Termini Bros. Bakery staff will then give away the cupcakes to the public — for free.
Termini Bros. Bakery teams up with none other than Betsy Ross to deliver free cupcakes to America's Birthday Party attendees on July 4th. (Photo courtesy Independence Visitor Center)
National LGBT 50th Anniversary Celebration
Time: 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Location: Independence Hall
A star-studded line-up awaits at the National LGBT 50th Anniversary Celebration. Comedian Wanda Sykes will emcee the tribute to gay pioneers in a program that features performances by the Washington, New York and Philadelphia Gay choruses, Jonathan Allen and Gogo Morrow, Bishop Gene Robinson, special guest Edith Windsor and others.
Philly 4th of July Jam and Grand Finale Fireworks
Time: 7–11 p.m.
Location: Benjamin Franklin Parkway
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.
Want a great view of the show? Check our our interactive map of the top places to watch the fireworks.
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)
Getting There: Parking & Public Transit
City officials urge the public to either walk to the events or take SEPTA. Public transportation is an easy way to get in and out of Center City. SEPTA will operate additional service on July 4th to assist festival-goers. All SEPTA Regional Rail, bus, trolley, Market-Frankford and Broad Street Line services will operate on a Sunday schedule on July 4th, with additional late-night service to accommodate concert-goers.
Passengers are encouraged to purchase fares in advance. Complete service information is available on SEPTA’s website and from its Customer Service, at (215) 580-7800, or on social media @septa_social.
PHLASH trolley transportation is an inexpensive, convenient way to visit attractions in Center City ($2 per ride; $5 all-day). The PHLASH service will operate on July 4th. For holiday route detours and schedules, contact the Independence Visitor Center, (800) 537-7676 or visit PhillyPHLASH.com.
For-pay parking lots and garages conveniently are located on or near the Parkway. Call individual facilities ahead for parking options, prices and availability, or visit the Philadelphia Parking Authority website.