July 4th in Philadelphia 2017 — An Hour-By-Hour Guide

How to get the most out of Independence Day in Philly

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Philadelphia, the birthplace of independence, hosts a massive celebration each year in honor of the Fourth of July. From morning till night, you’ll find festivals and events that commemorate America’s birthday taking place all across the city in 2017.

From the Celebration of Freedom Ceremony starting the morning off with patriotic tunes to the huge Party on the Parkway that goes down on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to the fireworks shows over the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Delaware River waterfront, visitors and residents alike have tons of options for celebrating this year.

Plan your Independence Day celebration with our hour-by-hour guide to July 4th in Philadelphia below.

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

July 4, 2017


Celebration of Freedom Ceremony

Celebration of Freedom and Independence Day Parade in Philadelphia's Historic District
Pay tribute to the history of our great nation at Independence Hall with a patriotic and inspiring morning of speeches and music at the Celebration of Freedom Ceremony. — R. Myers for Visit Philadelphia

July 4, 2017, 10-11 a.m.

The day’s kickoff begins at Independence Hall during a patriotic presentation. Honorees this year include Philly’s own Boyz II Men. As always, the morning includes a reading of the Declaration of Independence, followed by music and remarks.

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Free Museum Day at the National Museum of Jewish History

The National Museum of American Jewish History offers free admission throughout the day on July 4th. — M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

July 4, 2017, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

On July 4th, the National Museum of American Jewish History invites guests inside, free of admission, for a day of celebration. Tour the museum, paint your own American flag, enjoy interactive spotlight talks, make Independence Day crafts and more.

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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

July 4, 2017, 11 a.m.-noon

Thousands of participants will take to the streets of Philadelphia’s Historic District for The United States of America Independence Day Parade, a patriotic and colorful parade featuring marching bands, floats, military members and more. The parade kicks off at 5th and Chestnut streets.

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Historic Germantown Independence Day Celebration

Partake in numerous historical tours, guided storytelling and more at the Johnson Historic House — above

July 4, 2017, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Now in its 13th year, the annual Welcome America: Ring out Freedom and Independence in Germantown is a day of free events including tours of historic attractions, storytelling, reenactments, the ringing of the historic Concord School bell and more. Guided tours of Cliveden and the Johnson Historic House will be provided for free throughout the day.

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July 4th at Stenton

July 4, 2017, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Create your own ice cream, mingle with Benjamin Franklin, join in on some colonial-styled games and more at the July 4th celebration at Stenton. Live music will take place throughout the event and hot dogs will be grilled for anyone who wishes to enjoy.

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Party on the Parkway

The finale to the six-day Wawa Welcome America festival is a daylong outdoor celebration featuring city blocks of family fun on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. — R. Myers for Visit Philadelphia

July 4, 2017, Noon – 10 p.m.

All of Philadelphia comes together for one giant romp during the Party on the Parkway, bringing five blocks of free entertainment. The day features musical performances, dancing, children’s activities, food and cultural events that celebrate the city’s many neighborhoods and nationalities.

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6th Annual Birthday Party at the Independence Visitor Center

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

July 4, 2017, 1-3 p.m.

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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Wawa Welcome America July 4th Concert

The Benjamin Franklin Parkway hosts one of the largest free concerts in the country on July 4th. — J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

July 4, 2017, 7-9:30 p.m.

The Wawa Welcome America July 4th Concert takes over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway with one of the largest free outdoor concerts in the country. Headlining will be Mary J. Blige, named one of the greatest women in music by the likes of Rolling Stone and Billboard. The Parkway stage will also welcome the Philly POPS Big Band, jazz singer Tony DeSare and Broadway star Mandy Gonzalez who has performed in Hamilton, In The Heights and Wicked.

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Wawa Welcome America! July 4th Fireworks

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

July 4, 2017, 9:30-10 p.m.

Showcasing patriotism and important moments in our nation’s history, the Wawa Welcome America July 4th Fireworks will take revelers on a 241-year journey from July 4, 1776 to July 4, 2016. Accompanied by a powerful soundtrack that combines rousing musical works and powerful quotes, this fireworks display will light up the skies over the iconic Philadelphia Museum of Art for the grandest of grand finales starting at 9:30 p.m. Snag a great viewpoint with our guide to the best spots to see the fireworks display.

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Freedom Festival Fireworks

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

July 4, 2017, 9:30-10 p.m.

Celebrate the nation’s official birthday with riverfront views at the Freedom Festival Fireworks. Taking place around 9:30 p.m., a 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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