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July 4th Events in Philadelphia’s Historic District for 2017

Special events, daily activities and extended hours during the celebration of Independence

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There’s no better place to celebrate America’s 241st birthday than in the birthplace of independence. Philadelphia’s original city is filled with special events and daily activities for the kids at can’t-miss historic attractions.

Take advantage of all that’s going on in the days leading up to Independence Day with our full list of fun activities and events below, all centered in Philadelphia’s Historic District (which runs from the Delaware River to 7th Street, and from Vine Street to Lombard Street).

Note: 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 @DelRiverWfront
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Free Museum Day at the National Constitution Center

The National Constitution Center on Independence Mall The National Constitution Center on Independence Mall
— Photo by D. Cruz for Visit Philadelphia

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The 160,000-square-foot National Constitution Center opens its doors for free on Thursday, June 29, inviting you to learn everything there is to know about the U.S. Constitution through an array of high-tech exhibits, artifacts and interactive displays. Bonus: Access to the fun American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition exhibition is also free!

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Wawa Hoagie Day on Independence Mall

A post shared by Dave Rose (@illadelphia) on

Thursday, June 29, 2017

A Wawa fan favorite, Wawa Hoagie Day returns for its 25th year of providing free hoagies for all. The event will include a performance by the USO Show Troupe and a hoagie-building competition between police and firefighters. Then, more than six tons of Wawa hoagies will then be distributed for free on the lawns of Independence Mall and the National Constitution Center.

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The Philadelphia Orchestra Concert & Fireworks on the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing

U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” Concert & Fireworks at Penn’s Landing U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” Concert & Fireworks at Penn’s Landing
The Philadelphia Orchestra is coming to Penn's Landing for a FREE waterfront performance followed by a fireworks display. — Photo courtesy M. Stanley for DRWC

Friday, June 30, 2017

The weekend before the Fourth of July gets off to a tuneful start with a free performance by the world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra along the Delaware River waterfront at Penn’s Landing. After the acclaimed musicians take their bows, all eyes will be on the skies for a spectacular free fireworks display.

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Free Museum Day at the African American Museum in Philadelphia

Explore one of the Historic District's many museums for free on Saturday, July 1. — J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Saturday, July 1, 2017

The African American Museum in Philadelphia, founded in 1976, is the first institution built by a major U.S. city to preserve, interpret and exhibit the heritage and culture of African-Americans. Explore its four art- and history-packed exhibitions for free as part of the Wawa Welcome America! Free Museum Days.

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Independence Day Celebration at the Museum of the American Revolution

Museum of the American Revolution exterior Museum of the American Revolution exterior
— Photo by J. Fusco for the Museum of the American Revolution

July 1-4, 2017

Celebrate Independence Day at Philadelphia Historic District’s newest museum, the Museum of the American Revolution, which will host a four-day series of special programming. Activities vary by day and include meet-and-greets with costumed historical interpreters such as Thomas Jefferson, an ice social with treats from Franklin Fountain and a performance by Old Barracks Fife and Drum Corps.

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Historic District Scavenger Hunt

Independence Hall Independence Hall
— Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

July 1-4, 2017

Take part in a scavenger hunt through Philadelphia’s Historic District for your chance to win a one-night stay at the Hotel Monaco Philadelphia plus a $250 American Express gift card. Participants will engage in a series of tasks like sharing photos, answering trivia questions and checking in at attractions while learning about many of America’s top historic sites. The Historic District Scavenger Hunt is free and can be accessed by downloading the free Scavify</> app on your smartphone or mobile device.

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U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” Concert & Fireworks on the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing

U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” Concert & Fireworks at Penn’s Landing U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” Concert & Fireworks at Penn’s Landing
Enjoy a rousing performance by the U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own" followed by a fireworks show. — Photo courtesy U.S. Army Band

Saturday, July 1, 2017

The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” has delighted audiences for years with its rousing and rollicking renditions of old standards, new hits and patriotic tunes. The group returns to the Delaware River waterfront this year for another highly anticipated evening performance. Also highly anticipated: the fireworks display that will follow.

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Free Museum Day at the National Liberty Museum

Monday, July 3, 2017

Discover the story of real-life heroes through the interactive exhibitions and inspirational galleries at the National Liberty Museum, where you can score free admission on July 3. The museum hosts a wealth of galleries (eight in total!), featuring more than 179 works of contemporary art and the stories of 2,000 heroes from around the globe.

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Philadelphia's Historic District Block Party

Philadelphia's Historic District Block Party Philadelphia's Historic District Block Party
Visitors and residents alike fill the streets of Philadelphia's Historic District for a giant block party with performances, food and more. — J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Monday, July 3, 2017

On July 3, visitors can party the day away at the Philadelphia’s Historic District Block Party in the city’s Historic District. The festivities will fill the streets around Independence Hall with live entertainment, food vendors and kids’ games, including wheelbarrow races, bubble blowing and more. The event space features three stages to showcase a Dixieland band, a barbershop quartet and actors reciting portions of historical speeches. Plus, the Kimmel Center will present a star-studded sneak peek at the 2017-2018 Broadway Philadelphia season featuring performances from popular shows.

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The Philly POPS! on Independence at Independence Hall

Hundreds of people pack Independence Mall for POPS on Independence. — Photo courtesy of the Philly POPS

Monday, July 3, 2017

The BYOB (bring-our-own-blanket) Philly POPS! on Independence concert has become a holiday favorite — and for good reason. The combination of the Philadelphia POPS under the baton of Michael Krajewski, lively tunes and the dramatic backdrop of Independence Hall create a perfect setting for a night of music under the stars.

More about the philly POPS! on Independence at Independence Hall

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Celebration of Freedom Ceremony

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Founding Fathers and Mothers aren’t the only ones who will get their due during the Celebration of Freedom Ceremony. This year, everyday heroes will be honored during the patriotic observances held at Independence Hall.

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6th Annual Birthday Party at the Independence Visitor Center

Independence Visitor Center Independence Visitor Center
— Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Join Betsy Ross in singing “Happy Birthday” to celebrate our nation’s 241st birthday during the annual party at the Independence Visitor Center, where a five-tier cake and 2,500 cupcakes will be on display in the shape of an American flag. Both treats will be distributed for free to those who attend.

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The United States of America Independence Day Parade

Independence Day in Philadelphia includes a parade through Philadelphia's Historic District featuring more than 6,000 participants from around the country. — R. Myers for Visit Philadelphia

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Get the party started with the The United States of America Independence Day Parade, a flag-waving, stars-and-stripes, big-city spectacle with a small-town feel. Dozens of colorful floats, marching bands, military groups and thousands of participants from around the nation form a musical, colorful cavalcade that winds through the streets of Historic Philadelphia.

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Freedom Festival Fireworks

Fireworks at Penn's Landing Fireworks at Penn's Landing
— Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Celebrate the nation’s official birthday with riverfront views during the Freedom Festival Fireworks. Taking place around 9:30 p.m., the grand show will unfold over the Delaware River waterfront. Beyond areas along the river, official viewing areas include the SugarHouse Casino and One Liberty Observation Deck. Check out our guide on where to watch the fireworks on the Delaware River waterfront for more suggestions.

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