There is no better place to celebrate America’s birthday than in the city where it all began
From June 19 through July 4, 2022, the Wawa Welcome America festival honors our nation’s independence with 16 days of free multicultural and multigenerational family-friendly special activities and events including free concerts, free museum days, community events, free outdoor movie screenings, block parties and plenty of fireworks. Philadelphia’s Fourth of July fireworks have been ranked most spectacular in America by MSN.
The Wawa Welcome America festival will also include events commemorating Juneteenth, exploring history of freedom and liberty in the United States and the ties between two of the nation’s most significant holidays.
Top events during Wawa Welcome America 2022:
Sunday, June 19, 2022, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
The Wawa Welcome America festival will begin on June 19 and will highlight the connection between the Juneteenth and the July 4th holidays with events hosted in partnership with the African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP). Enjoy a Juneteenth Block Party at AAMP with family-friendly activities including food trucks, arts and crafts, a marketplace featuring local vendors, and more. Talib Kweli and Lady Alma are also set to perform live at the event. Visitors can also enjoy free admission to AAMP on June 19 as part of Wawa Welcome America’s Museum Days (pre-registration is required via AAMP’s website).
Sunday, June 19, 2022, 4-9 p.m.
The Barnes Foundation is partnering with Mural Arts Philadelphia to host its annual Barnes on the Block, presented by PNC Arts Alive on June 19, 2022. The event will celebrate Juneteenth, Father’s Day, and the opening of the Barnes Foundation’s summer exhibition, Isaac Julien: Once Again… (Statues Never Die), on view June 19 – September 4, 2022. The event will also celebrate diverse storytellers and connect communities via a free-to-attend block party featuring food trucks, live music, a beer garden, live artist demos, live poetry, and other all-ages experiences throughout the museum’s grounds. To learn more, click here.
Tuesday, June 21, 2022, 3-7 p.m.
Philadelphia Parks & Recreation is celebrating the opening of the city’s dozens of public swimming pools for the summer, including the ribbon cutting of the brand-new Francis Lederer Pool at Fishtown Recreation Center. The renovation project was made possible by a $4 million dollar investment from Mayor Jim Kenney’s Administration’s Rebuild Philadelphia Program to restore public spaces. Residents are invited to take an inaugural jump in the pool from 3-7 p.m. on June 21, 2022. The celebration will continue with entertainment, games, food trucks, and giveaways.
Thursday, June 23, 2022, 7 p.m.
Enjoy a screening of a Philadelphia favorite, Rocky, while sitting on the iconic Philadelphia Art Museum steps – also known as the “Rocky Steps” because of an inspiring scene in the classic film. Guests are invited to bring blankets or chairs and make themselves comfortable as they watch Rocky under the stars. Catch the showing of the classic underdog film at 7 p.m. on Thursday June 23, 2022.
Friday June 24, 2022, 7 p.m.
Coming to Independence Mall on Friday, June 24, 2022, The U.S. Army Field Band & Chorus presents “America the Beautiful.” Honor the veterans who answered the call to serve and defend our great nation. Go on a musical and visual journey with the Army Field Band & Chorus while enjoying patriotic tunes out in the fresh air.
Saturday, June 25, 2022, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Join in the fun as Philadelphia’s Avenue of the Arts comes to life on Saturday June 25, 2022. Guests can enjoy entertainment, art, food, and live performances from local and world-renowned artists on Broad Street between Spruce and Lombard. Don’t miss out on the chance to zip across Broad Street on a 300-foot zip-line or slide down a 120-foot slide. Local food trucks and restaurants will be offering cocktails and small bites. Mural Arts Philadelphia will also be on hand to encourage your inner artist to create unique chalk art. Then, cool off inside of the Kimmel Cultural Campus, where you’ll be greeted by exclusive experiences, watch performances by the cast members of Moulin Rouge! The Musical and other popular Broadway Series titles, or take part in an interactive dance workshop led by Teaching Artists from Disney Theatrical Group. Audience members will get the chance to learn warm-ups and choreography set to music from Disney’s The Lion King on Tour and Broadway.
Sunday, June 26, 2022 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
The African American Museum in Philadelphia will also be presenting a special program featuring historical reenactors during Wawa Welcome America. Beginning at nearby Franklin Square and then moving to the museum’s front plaza, these programs will feature historical reenactors interpreting important speeches from notable African American figures throughout U.S. history. Following the program, guests can take part in a creative workshop led by artist and educator Jihan Thomas.
Wednesday June 29, 2022, 12-3 p.m.
The annual Wawa Hoagie Day® features tributes to local heroes, a performance by the Six String Soldiers of The United States Army String Band, and plenty of free hoagies at 5th and 6th streets along Independence Mall. Over 960 stores chainwide will celebrate Wawa Hoagie Day® by building and donating more than 30,000 hoagies to local first responders and community heroes serving their neighborhoods.
PECO Go 4th & Learn Series is back, encouraging children to continue learning in fun and interactive ways. Whether it’s visiting a historical site, tending to a garden, playing an instrument, or staying active while playing a sport, this series is geared for kids particularly between 6 – 12 years old. Three PECO Go 4th & Learn events will be held during the Wawa Welcome America festival, each one with its own theme. Attendees will also enjoy a book giveaway at each Go 4th & Learn location courtesy of Books in Homes USA.
PECO Go 4th & Learn: Sports, STEM, Music and More – Wednesday, June 22, 2022, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. at Penn Park at University of Pennsylvania
PECO Go 4th & Learn: A Cultural Journey – Tuesday, June 28, 2022, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. at Franklin Square
PECO Go 4th & Learn: A Great Debate – Thursday, June 30, 2022, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Independence National Historical Park
Friday, July 1, 2022, 6-10 p.m.
Head to Cherry Street Pier and Race Street Pier along the Delaware River waterfront on Thursday, July 1, 2022 for an immersive experience featuring performances of spoken word, dance, and song. Our America Now: Expressions of Freedom will bring to life pivotal moments of Indigenous, Black, Hispanic, Asian, Immigrant, LGBTQIA rights, and women’s history. Artists will tell the stories of influential people, and share personal and historical stories, all rooted in passionate expressions of freedom. Guests will get to enjoy food trucks, live artistic performances, and interactive activities, all leading up to a grand fireworks finale.
Sunday, July 3, 2022, 7-9 p.m.
A Philadelphia tradition, POPS on Independence, returns to Independence Mall in 2022. Enjoy a performance of favorite tunes and patriotic songs by the internationally-renowned Philly POPS Orchestra, the largest standalone pops orchestra in the United States. This special performance is part of The Philly POPS Salute Series, which honors our nation’s traditions, values, and commitment to service. The event is free, however pre-registration is required.
Monday, July 4, 2022, 12-7 p.m.
Hundreds of people will flood the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for a day-long celebration from 12-7 p.m. on July 4, 2022. Jam-packed with entertainment, games, activities, food trucks, giveaways, and more, the Party on the Parkway is the place to be to celebrate the 4th of July.
Monday, July 4, 2022, 7 p.m.
The Wawa Welcome America festivities are capped by a free July 4th Concert on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The concert’s star-studded lineup includes Ava Max, Jason Derulo, and Tori Kelly, and will also include performances by The Philly POPS.
Monday, July 4, 2022 9:45-10 p.m.
Wawa Welcome America will conclude with a spectacular fireworks display above the Philadelphia Museum of Art along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on July 4, 2022 at 9:45 p.m., following the concert on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Visitors who wish to watch the dazzling display in-person can begin to arrive at Eakins Oval and along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 8 p.m. The fireworks show will also be presented live on local news station NBC 10, as well as NBC 10’s website and mobile app.
Once again, Wawa Welcome America is presenting free or pay what you wish admission to a number of local museums throughout the festival. Enjoy complimentary access to the museums below on the dates listed:
African American Museum in Philadelphia – Sunday, June 19, 2022 courtesy of Wawa
Historic Rittenhouse Town – Monday June 20, 2022
Betsy Ross House – Tuesday June 21, 2022
Elfreth’s Alley Museum – Tuesday June 21, 2022
Fireman’s Hall Museum – Tuesday June 21, 2022
Museum of Illusions Philadelphia – Tuesday June 21, 2022 *pre-registration required
The Wagner Free Institute of Science of Philadelphia – Tuesday June 21, 2022
Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site – Wednesday June 22, 2022 *pre-registration required
Shofuso Japanese Cultural Center – Wednesday June 22, 2022 (Pay What You Wish Admission) *pre-registration required
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) – Thursday, June 23, 2022 *pre-registration required
Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum – Thursday, June 23, 2022
“POOL: A Social History of Segregation” – Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center – Friday, June 24, 2022
Masonic Temple, Library and Museum – Friday, June 24, 2022 and Friday, July 1, 2022 *tours only, first-come, first-serve at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m.
Rodin Museum – Friday, June 24, 2022 and Friday, July 1, 2022 (Pay What You Wish Admission)
Arch Street Meeting House – Saturday, June 25, 2022
Paul Robeson House & Museum – Saturday, June 25, 2022 (Pay What You Wish Admission) *pre-registration required
Neon Museum of Philadelphia – Sunday, June 26, 2022 (Pay What You Wish Admission)
Philadelphia Insectarium & Butterfly Pavilion – Monday, June 27, 2022 (Pay What You Wish Admission)
Free Library of Philadelphia Rare Book Department – Tuesday, June 28, 2022
The Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia – Tuesday, June 28, 2022 (Pay What You Wish Admission)
National Constitution Center – Wednesday June 29, 2022 courtesy of Wawa
American Swedish Historical Museum – Thursday, June 30, 2022
John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum – Thursday, June 30, 2022
Wyck Historic House, Garden, and Farm – Thursday, June 30, 2022
Faith and Liberty Discovery Center – Friday, July 1, 2022
Penn Museum – Friday, July 1, 2022 *pre-registration required
Powel House – Friday, July 1, 2022
National Liberty Museum – Saturday, July 2, 2022
Stenton – Saturday, July 2, 2022
The Barnes Foundation – Sunday, July 3, 2022 *pre-registration required
Philadelphia Museum of Art – Sunday, July 3, 2022 (Pay What You Wish Admission)
Christ Church and Burial Ground – Monday, July 4, 2022
Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History – Monday, July 4, 2022
Additional activities include the Girls.Like.nicethings Event on Thursday, June 23, 2022 featuring up-and-coming local musicians, Gospel on Independence on Sunday, June 26, 2022, and a Celebration of Community & Culture @ Esperanza Arts Center, a festive block party with Latin food, music, and vendors showcasing the rich and vibrant Latin cultures found throughout Philadelphia on Saturday, July 2, 2022.
For a full lineup of Wawa Welcome America events and for more information, click here.
For more summer activities and events in Philadelphia, click here.