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A huge fireworks display over the Philadelphia Museum of art. The Parkway is full of people and lights.

Celebrate America’s 250th Anniversary in Philadelphia

Date June 11, 2024

Celebrate America’s 250th Anniversary in Philadelphia

A huge fireworks display over the Philadelphia Museum of art. The Parkway is full of people and lights.

As America’s birthplace, Philadelphia will be the centerpiece of the United States’ 250th birthday celebration.

Few cities celebrate July 4th, like Philadelphia, but in 2026, every day will be Independence Day as the city celebrates America’s Semiquincentennial – the 250th Anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. As America’s birthplace, Philadelphia will be the centerpiece of this monumental birthday celebration. But the action doesn’t stop there. In 2026, Philadelphia will take center stage for some of the world’s greatest events.

Celebrating 250 Years Philly Style

The Semiquincentennial is the 250th anniversary of America’s Founders declaring the country’s independence, right here in Philadelphia. In 1776, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and delegates from the Thirteen Colonies signed the Declaration of Independence at Independence Hall. The document proclaimed their separation from British colonial rule. The signing is referred to as the birth of the United States and is celebrated in America each year on the Fourth of July.

Independence Hall

Philadelphia will amplify and expand its already electrifying series of summer celebrations for the semiquincentennial. The annual Wawa Welcome America festival will return, hosting city-wide programming from Juneteenth through the Fourth of July. Traditionally, the two-week festival concludes with a headlining concert on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, followed by fireworks.

America250 and the Pennsylvania Convention Center will host the National Semiquincentennial Convention. This two-day cultural festival will feature forums, panels, screenings, and special events.

The Philadelphia Historic District will host the Red, White, & Blue To-Do on July 2, 2024. This event, inspired by John Adams’s call for a day of “pomp and parade,” invites visitors to America’s most historic square mile for two days of festivities, including parades, concerts, and extended visitation hours at historic attractions. The Red, White, & Blue To-Do promises to grow each year into 2026, becoming a cherished tradition for visitors.

Philadelphia’s local institutions are planning to reinvigorate the spirit of the centennial’s 1876 World’s Fair with the Children’s World’s Fair. Scheduled from early May to mid-July 2026 in Fairmount Park, the Fair aims to engage children through diverse programming. The Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia Zoo, and the Mann Center for the Performing Arts will collaborate on programming around the arts, science, health, cuisine, and citizenship.

Exciting Sporting Events

July 4th will also be a big day for sports in Philadelphia. The city has been chosen as one of the host cities for the FIFA World Cup 2026™, and will hold six matches at Lincoln Financial Field in the summer of 2026. The schedule includes five group stage matches and one round of 16 match, which will be on the Fourth of July.

Inside of Lincoln Financial Field, the lush, green field is empty. The seats are empty. The sky above is blue with several clouds. Signage throughout the open-air stadium reads Philadelphia Welcomes FIFA & US Soccer.

Philadelphia will also host the 2026 MLB All-Star Game in the summer of 2026 at Citizens Bank Park. March Madness will return to Philadelphia when the Wells Fargo Center hosts the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men’s Basketball select 1st and 2nd round games. And just outside of Philadelphia, Aronimink Golf Club will host the 2026 PGA Championship.

New Philadelphia Museums and Exhibitions

In 2026, Philadelphia will welcome several new museums and exhibitions, each poised to enhance the city’s cultural landscape. The First Bank of the United States will transform into a museum of the American economy. Slated to open in time for 2026, the new museum — which has not been accessible by the public for a half-century — will showcase the founding of the American economy through five exhibits — land, money, slavery, trade and work.

New exhibitions will also be coming to Philadelphia-favorite museums in 2026. The Franklin Institute’s revamp will be well underway, transforming all its exhibits in honor of its 200th anniversary in 2024. The new Wondrous Space exhibit opened in 2023 and the Human Body exhibit will be open by fall of 2024. Exhibits on advanced machines and robotics, earth systems, computer science, and the built environment will debut from 2025 forward.

A group of visitors around a space rover exhibit in The Franklin Institute's Wondrous Space.

The Please Touch Museum, which occupies Memorial Hall—an art gallery built for America’s 1876 Centennial Exposition—will debut a new exhibit for the semiquincentennial entitled Discovering Democracy. The exhibit aims to introduce children to the concept of democracy and how it plays a role in their everyday lives.

Start planning a trip for you and your group to Philadelphia in 2026 today! Use our plan your trip page to start organizing your Philadelphia adventure now.