There’s no better place to celebrate America’s birthday than in the city where it all began
From June 29 through July 4, the Wawa Welcome America festival honors our nation’s independence with over 50 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 fireworks, fireworks and more fireworks! Philadelphia’s Fourth of July fireworks have been ranked most spectacular in America by MSN.
Top things to do in Philadelphia on July 4:
The United States Army Field Band & Waterfront Fireworks
Join in patriotic all-star concerts with the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” and the United States Army Field Band, followed by a stunning fireworks show over the Delaware River at Great Plaza on Penn’s Landing, June 29 and July 1. The July 1 performances features a parachute drop by the Golden Knights.
Tip: Catch great views of the Delaware River fireworks display on the deck of the Independence Seaport Museum on June 29. The Battleship New Jersey hosts viewing parties on its deck June 28, July 1 and July 4 along with music, food and entertainment. Adventure Aquarium hosts an Independence Day Splash with extended hours until 9 p.m. to enjoy the fireworks on the Camden riverfront.
All-American Celebration at the National Constitution Center
The National Constitution Center hosts patriotic festivities with special events, live performances and more June 29 through July 4 including flag etiquette and flag folding workshops, arts and craft activities, and interactive shows. Extended museum hours, 9:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 2, and Wednesday, July 3.
Independence Day activities at the Museum of the American Revolution
Sign a giant Declaration of Independence, meet Thomas Jefferson and enjoy a free slice of cake for America’s birthday at the Museum of the American Revolution. Declare how you would carrying forward the American Revolution by adding a personalized ribbon to a flag-shaped “Declarations Wall” on the Museum’s outdoor plaza from Saturday, June 29 – Sunday, July 7. Representatives from Philadelphia’s The Fabric Workshop also will be onsite to teach visitors historic techniques of flag making July 2-4. See the limited-run exhibit A New Constellation: A Collection of Historic 13-Star Flags.
Philadelphia’s Historic District Block Party
Philadelphia’s Historic District Block Party is a day-long festival with free family fun on Independence Mall. Activities include games, pop-up performances, live entertainment and food on 5th and 6th streets between Market and Chestnut streets, June 30.
Wawa Hoagie Day
The 27th annual Wawa Hoagie Day honors American soldiers and features an 8-ton hoagie salute, free Wawa hoagies, a performance by the U.S. Army Field Band and a hoagie building competition between police and firefighters on the lawn of the National Constitution Center, July 2.
POPS on Independence
A Philadelphia tradition, POPS on Independence, returns to Independence Hall with a performance of favorite tunes and patriotic songs by the internationally-renowned Philly POPS Orchestra, the largest standalone pops orchestra in the United States, July 3.
Salute to America Independence Day Parade
The Salute to America Independence Day Parade brings the inspiring words of the preamble to the Constitution, “We the People,” to life with over 4,000 participants. Winding its way from Independence Hall through the most historic square mile in the U.S., the parade showcases the contributions and talents of diverse groups with colorful floats, marching bands and proud military units, July 4.
Tip: Watch the parade from the National Museum of American Jewish History’s 5th floor terrace. The museum is open and free on July 4, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. with family-friendly activities.
Betsy’s Independence Day Bash
Stop by and grab a free cupcake at Betsy’s Independence Day Bash with activities for children, the Children’s Naturalization Ceremony with 13 children from around the world taking the oath of citizenship. See the new exhibit Stitching the Story Together: Betsy Ross and the American Flag.
Party on the Parkway
Party on the Parkway is a day-long party filled with festivities for all ages with diverse food offerings and entertainment on several stages. Enjoy activities and games, or cruise above the Parkway on the zip-line, July 4.
Wawa Welcome America July 4th Concert & Fireworks
Wawa Welcome America July 4th Concert & Fireworks is a star-studded evening featuring performances by Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter, Meghan Trainor, and appearing with the POPS BIG Band, two-time Grammy Award-winning artist and Academy Award-winning actress, Jennifer Hudson. The celebration closes with an unforgettable fireworks display at 9:30 p.m. For the first time, this finale fireworks spectacular will be choreographed to a custom patriotic soundtrack arranged and performed live by the U.S. Army Field Band.
Additional activities include Free Museum Days, Circus Midway at FringeArts, Gospel on Independence, and the Celebration of Freedom Ceremony. Watch the movie Rocky on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art with CHASE Presents: Philly @ the Movies.
For history buffs, head to Fort Mifflin on the Delaware for the annual Freedom Blast!, June 30, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., highlighting the long history of the 50-acre fort that supported the American Revolution, with activities for the whole family including a flag raising ceremony, guided tours, hands-on living history activities, weapon and cannon demonstrations, and more in South Philadelphia.
Celebrate July 4th aboard the Spirit of Philadelphia with breathtaking views of the city’s skyline, buffet, music, games and more.
Enjoy many more events happening at Philadelphia’s Delaware River waterfront.
Cover photo by E. Newton for Live Nation.