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Celebrate July 4th in Philadelphia

June 23, 2021

There is no better place to celebrate America’s birthday than in the city where it all began

From June 19 through July 4, 2021, 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.

independence hall
Independence Hall. Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

New this year, the Wawa Welcome America festival will 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 2021:

Juneteenth Celebration at the African American Museum in Philadelphia

Saturday, June 19, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

This year’s 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 family-friendly activities outside of AAMP including live performances, food trucks, arts and crafts, a marketplace featuring local vendors, and more. PECO Go 4th & Learn will also present a live performance and re-enactment outside of AAMP to share the history behind the Juneteenth holiday. Visitors can also enjoy free admission to AAMP on June 19 and June 20 as part of Wawa Welcome America’s free museum days (pre-registration is required via AAMP’s website).

The African American Museum in Philadelphia is central to the Juneteenth celebrations during Wawa Welcome America. Photo by George Widman Photography LLC for Visit Philadelphia.

Freedom-Liberty Celebrations at the African American Museum in Philadelphia

Saturday, June 26 and Saturday, July 3, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

The African American Museum in Philadelphia will also be presenting a special program featuring historical reenactors on two Saturdays 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.

Philadelphia mascots Gritty, Swoop, Phang, the Phanatic, Franklin and Mario the Drexel Dragon celebrate the opening of the Pitch at Independence Visitor Center. Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

Philadelphia Soccer 2026 “Pitch” at Independence Visitor Center

Open daily through October 31

Philadelphia Soccer 2026, the City of Philadelphia’s official FIFA World Cup 2026™ bid committee, opened a brand-new “Pitch” inside the Independence Visitor Center along Independence Mall. Fans of all ages can take part in soccer challenges and games, learn about Philadelphia’s World Cup bid process, and share their soccer memories and love of the game by adding photos, jerseys, and more to an interactive exhibit. The “Pitch” will be open through October 31.

Broad + Market: A Festival Experience by NRG

Saturday, June 19 – Sunday, July 4, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

A new experience for 2021, the north apron of City Hall and neighboring LOVE Park will be transformed into a festival space throughout the duration of Wawa Welcome America. These spaces will host different events each day, including live performances, educational and wellness activities, giveaways, and more.

Enjoy free admission to the National Liberty Museum on Friday, July 2. Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

Free Museum Days

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:

Be sure to consult each museum’s website for the latest hours, timed tickets and health and safety information.

The Philadelphia Orchestra performs at the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing. Photo by D. Bovitt.

The Philadelphia Orchestra: Let Freedom Ring

Friday, June 25, 7-10 p.m.

The Philadelphia Orchestra will take the stage at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing along the Delaware River Waterfront for an evening of patriotic and uplifting tunes.

Wawa Hoagie Day®. Photo by D. Burke for Wawa Welcome America.

Wawa Hoagie Day®

Thursday, July 1, 12-2 p.m.

The annual Wawa Hoagie Day® features tributes to local heroes, a performance by the The Ambassadors Jazztet of The United States Army Field Band, and plenty of free hoagies at 5th and 6th streets along Independence Mall. Admission to the National Constitution Center is also free on Wawa Hoagie Day®, as part of Wawa Welcome America’s free museum days.

Barnes on the Block. Photo courtesy of the Barnes Foundation.

Barnes on the Block with Mural Arts Philadelphia & Our America Now

Friday, July 2, 6-10 p.m.

The Barnes Foundation is partnering with Mural Arts Philadelphia and Wawa Welcome America’s inaugural Our America Now event to host their fourth annual Barnes on the Block on July 2. The event celebrates diverse storytellers and connects communities via a free-to-attend block party featuring food trucks, live music, a beer garden, live artist demos, live poetry, a BlackStar Film Festival film screening, and other all-ages experiences throughout the museum’s grounds and along 21st Street. Guests can also enjoy free admission to the museum (and their Soutine / de Kooning: Conversations in Paint exhibition) during the event. TIP: Register online in advance for a chance to win prizes!

Home to several Wawa Welcome America events, the Mann Center for the Performing Arts sits atop a hill in West Fairmount Park, offering stunning views of the Philadelphia skyline in the distance. Photo courtesy of the Mann Center for the Performing Arts.

Philly POPS at the Mann

Saturday, July 3, 7 p.m.

A Philadelphia tradition, POPS on Independence, returns in 2021 but this time will be hosted at the spacious Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Fairmount Park. 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. The event is free, however pre-registration is required.

Wawa Welcome America July 4th Concert

Sunday, July 4, 7 p.m.

The Wawa Welcome America festivities are capped by a free July 4th Concert, this year hosted at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Fairmount Park. The concert will be headlined by Bebe Rexha, featuring Flo Rida, and will also include performances by The Philly POPS. Beginning June 19, fans can enter for a chance to win free tickets to the concert on the Wawa Welcome America website, by attending in-person Wawa Welcome America events, or through Wawa Welcome America’s social media accounts.

4th of July fireworks light up the sky above the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia.

Wawa Welcome America July 4th Fireworks

Sunday, July 4, 9:30 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 at 9:30 p.m., following the concert at the Mann Center. 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.

Camden County will host their July 4th fireworks display over the Delaware River beginning at 9:30 p.m. as part of their Freedom Festival. To enjoy the show from Philadelphia, make a reservation at Rivers Casino, Morgan’s Pier, Cherry Street Garden. NOTE: All Delaware River Waterfront Parks (Race Street Pier, Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest, Spruce Street Harbor Park, Pier 68, Washington Avenue Pier, Cherry Street Pier, and the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing) will close at 5 p.m. on Independence Day.

Other Events

Additional activities include the the Chill Moody Experience at Penn’s Landing on June 26 featuring up-and-coming local musicians, Gospel on Independence on June 27, the PECO Go 4th & Learn series of interactive and educational pop-up experiences, and a series of film screenings presented by the Philadelphia Film Society (including a showing of Rocky on the iconic eastern steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art on June 20).

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.

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