By Kelly Neilson
There’s no better place to celebrate Independence Day than in our nation’s birthplace, Philadelphia. Through its annual Wawa Welcome America festival, the city is full of week-long family-friendly patriotic events leading up to a concert and fireworks on the Parkway. You’ll be able to explore the constitution, participate in fun crafts and activities or just enjoy a cold brew and food (free wawa hoagies, anyone?) For the best 2017 Independence Day events happening in Philadelphia, read on.
An All American Celebration
National Constitution Center
525 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Date: June 29, 2017 through July 4, 2017
June 29 through July 4, the National Constitution Center will be celebrating the fourth with patriotic activities, demonstrations and music. Visitors will enjoy free hoagies and museum admission on June 29 (Wawa hoagie day), colonial-era arts and crafts and musical performers. Guests will learn the history of the star-spangled banner, flag etiquette and participate in the folding of a 20×30-foot American flag. A revolutionary war encampment will take place on the front lawn.
Independence Day Parade
Chestnut Street between 5th and 6th Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Date: July 4, 2017 at 4 p.m. at 11 a.m.
The annual Philadelphia Independence Day Parade is back this year to celebrate our nations independence where it all started – Independence Mall. The parade, which will commence July 4 from 11 a.m. until noon, features military groups, marching bands, floats and performance groups marching through historic Philadelphia. After the parade, enjoy free entertainment and history lessons for all ages in Independence Mall.
Date: July 4, 2017 at 5 p.m.
For two nights, the Delaware River will showcase patriotic fireworks displayed to popular music from tri-state area artists. You can view the fireworks from one of the sponsored viewing areas: the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing, Moshulu and One Liberty Observation Deck. Or, you can head to the Independence Seaport Museum to enjoy the fireworks, live music, snacks and refreshments in a private viewing area. You’ll also have access to the museum.
Fonthill’s Old-Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration
East Court Street and Route 313
Doylestown, PA 18901
Date: July 4, 2017 at 12 p.m.
Henry Mercer’s estate in Doylestown is perfect for celebrating the fourth with your kids. Children will enjoy dressing their bikes in festive-attire and then riding down Fonthill’s tree-lined driveway. Prizes are given in various age categories. Guests will also enjoy a pie-baking contest, watermelon eating contests, tug-o-war, town ball and other games and activities. Vendors will offer patriotic treats, but you can also enjoy a picnic on the lawn.
Wawa Welcome America July 4th Concert
2451 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130
Date: July 4, 2017 at 7 p.m.
The Fourth of July festivities conclude every year with a big party on the parkway featuring vendors, music and fireworks. This year, the musical acts include Mary J. Blige, Boyz II Men, the Philly POPs big band, Mandy Gonzalez from the Broadway-hit Hamilton and jazz-singer Tony DeSare. Following the free concert, a remarkable fireworks show will be displayed over the Art Museum. From noon until the concert start at 7 p.m., a non-stop party will take place on the parkway with music, games, pet-fun and more.