Arts & Culture

Guide To The 2014 Wawa Welcome America! Festival

June 20, 2014 7:00 AM

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(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Prepare yourself for seven days of food, fun and festivities: The Wawa Welcome America! Festival is back! Starting June 28th, the massive 4th of July fest will sweep the city, bringing with it a plethora of events for the whole fam. Here’s your guide to the annual celebration. –Chelsea Karnash

THE BASICS

WHAT: Wawa Welcome America! celebrates the birth of the good ol’ US of A in a uniquely Philly way. In addition to a week of activities and two fireworks shows, the outdoor 4th of July concert is billed as the largest free concert in the nation.

WHEN: The celebration officially kicks off on June 28th with the Liberty Block Party. Plus, Welcome America! includes a full day of festivities on the 4th of July — like the Independence Day Parade, Party on the Parkway and Philly 4th of July Jam and Fireworks display – before winding down for 2014 with three days of all-you-can-eat ice cream for a good cause.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Saturday, June 28th

Liberty Block Party
The Shops at Liberty Place
1625 Walnut St
Noon – 10 p.m.

Celebrate the start of Welcome America! with this all-day festival in Center City. Expect crafts, live entertainment and plenty of food.

Sunday, June 29th

Mural Arts Paint Day
1100 N 41st St
Noon – 4 p.m.

Get your hands dirty and create something great in one of Pres. Obama’s newly designated Promise Zones.

Monday, June 30th

Go 4th & Learn About Science: Wawa Dairy
Academy of Natural Sciences
1900 Ben Franklin Pkwy
10 a.m.

The first of the free educational events for kids and their parents will be held in Philly’s awesome Academy of Natural Sciences. Kids can hear stories and learn about the history of dairy (courtesy of Wawa), and there will be photo-ops, crafts, cow-milking lessons and more. Plus, don’t miss the chance to explore the Academy’s exhibits, including the butterfly garden and tons of dinosaur skeletons. The first 200 kids receive a free book.

Philly @ the Movies: Disney’s “Frozen”
Franklin Square
6th & Race Sts
9 p.m.

Bring the kids for carousel rides, playground time and a round of mini-golf in addition to a screening of the uber-popular children’s movie, “Frozen.”

Tuesday, July 1st

Go 4th & Learn: Fitness
Smith Memorial Playground, East Fairmount Park
10 a.m. – Noon

Let the kids get some exercise on this 6.5 acre playground located in Fairmount Park.

Philadelphia Orchestra’s Neighborhood Concert
Penn’s Landing
8 p.m.

The Orchestra is back for its seventh summer at the RiverStage! Grab the fam and head over for this free concert, featuring a post-performance fireworks salute.

Philly @ the Movies: “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”
Rittenhouse Square
18th & Walnut Sts
9 p.m.

Katniss Everdeen returns to the Hunger Games for the second time. Catch all the heart-pounding action in Philly’s beautiful Rittenhouse Square.

Wednesday, July 2nd

Go 4th & Learn About History
National Constitution Center
525 Arch St
10 a.m.

Enjoy free museum admission courtesy of Wawa Hoagie Day and a special exhibit on the history of the sandwich at this event.

PHL Photo Exhibit: Civil Rights Act in Philadelphia
Philadelphia International Airport
10 a.m.

This year’s exhibit, “Civil Rights Act in Philadelphia: 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1954,” spotlights 55 photographs that tell the story of Philly’s civil rights activism.

Wawa Hoagie Day
Independence Mall
Between 5th & 6th Sts on Market St
Noon

Sink your teeth into a 4.5-ton hoagie at the annual Wawa Hoagie Day, which honors our troops and Wawa’s partnership with the USO. Plus, there will be a hoagie-building contest that benefits local charitable organizations, and of course, hoagie-tasting!

Philly @ the Movies: “Rocky”
Philadelphia Museum of Art
2600 Ben Franklin Pkwy
9 p.m.

Watch this iconic Philly movie at the Art Museum…don’t forget to reenact Rocky’s famous run up the stairs!

Thursday, July 3rd

POPS! On Independence *Moved to the Kimmel Center due to weather*
Steps of Independence Hall
6th & Chestnut Sts
8 p.m.

The Philly POPS! celebrate America’s birthday with a free concert. Don’t forget your blankets and lawn chairs.

Friday, July 4th

Celebration of Freedom Ceremony
Steps of Independence Hall
6th & Market Sts
10 – 11 a.m.

Happy 4th! Pay tribute to America with music, readings from the Declaration of Independence and more.

Philadelphia Independence Day Parade
Throughout Historic Philly
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

More than 5,000 participants will salute the nation during this annual parade extravaganza, featuring floats, marching bands, military regiments and more.

Super Scooper All-You-Can-Eat Ice Cream Festival
Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing
Noon – 6 p.m.

Save some room for the unlimited ice cream buffet at this all-you-can-eat event to benefit the Joshua Kahan Fund to fight pediatric cancer. $7 gets you into the 17th annual feast.

Let Freedom Ring
Independence Square
5th & Market Sts
1 – 2 p.m.

Watch the annual ceremony and the ringing of the historic Liberty Bell.

Party on the Parkway

Ben Franklin Pkwy
20th St to Eakins Oval
12 – 7 p.m.

The massive, family-friendly street fair kicks off at noon, with more than six blocks of activities, games and entertainment. There are three stages, tons of music, sporting events, exhibits and interactive zones on the sched, too.

Philly 4th of July Jam & Grand Finale Fireworks
Ben Franklin Pkwy
20th and Eakins Oval
7 – 11 p.m.

The biggest free concert in the U.S. stars Philly’s own The Roots, plus Nikki Minaj and Jennifer Hudson, along with even more special guests. After the music winds down, the fabulous fireworks start up over the Art Museum.

Saturday, July 5th

Super Scooper All-You-Can-Eat Ice Cream Festival
Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing
Noon – 5 p.m.

It’s the second day of this annual all-you-can-eat ice cream event to benefit the Joshua Kahan Fund to fight pediatric cancer. Pony up $7 for access to cold treats from Ben & Jerry’s, Bassetts, Jack & Jill and more.

Sunday, July 6th

Super Scooper All-You-Can-Eat Ice Cream Festival
Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing
11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Now’s the time to stuff your face: It’s the final day of this ice cream-centered event to benefit the Joshua Kahan Fund in the fight against pediatric cancer. $7 a person will get your unlimited ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s, Bassetts, Jack & Jill and more.

DIRECTIONS

Out-of-towner? Just need some help getting there? No problem. For transportation info, visit: www.welcomeamerica.com/getting-around

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