By Alecia Reid

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Rain and storms didn’t dampen holiday celebrations in Philadelphia on Saturday. CBS3’s Alecia Reid was at the Mann Center with The Philly POPS. She shows us how America’s birthplace is going all out for Independence Day.

It was the first concert in 16 months with The Philly POPS and people came out in droves.

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The Philly POPS

The smooth sound of Tony and Grammy-nominated artist Josh Henry pleased thousands that came out to the Mann.

“Being able to see live music again is really nice,” Jackson Fleming, of Baltimore, said.

POPS on Independence was relocated from Independence Mall due to COVID precautions.

“We love to come to this. It’s very exciting,” Marcy Dienno, of Willow Grove, said.

People have been waiting to get out.

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“I’m getting all this free stuff and I’m just loving it,” Sam Fleming, of Baltimore, said.

And what a perfect opportunity to celebrate the July 4th holiday weekend with 64 fascinating musicians.

“We haven’t done that in many many months,” music director & principal conductor David Charles Abell said. “We’ve done streams and they’ve been terrific but it’s not the same as having them in the same space.”

Welcome America hopes to return to Independence Mall for next year’s celebration. For this year, the festivities will be at the Mann, with Flo Rida performing on Sunday night.

The return of fireworks on the Fourth also signals the return of driver frustration and road closures. The Parkway shuts down for pedestrian-only access starting at 8 p.m. from 20th Street to the Art Museum. Those closures also include the Spring Garden Street Bridge and part of Kelly Drive.

Road closures go into effect at 8 a.m. Sunday around the Mann Center in West Fairmount Park. Some welcome the slight inconvenience.

“The 4th of July is the one holiday my family is able to get together so it’s exciting this year it will get to happen in a fun celebration of the country,” Tere’ssa Fleming, of Baltimore, said.

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Lots to celebrate this weekend. For a list of fireworks in the region, click here.