Prepare yourself for seven days of food, fun and festivities: The Welcome America! Festival is back! Starting June 27th, 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


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 a fireworks show, the outdoor 4th of July concert is billed as the largest free concert in the nation.

WHEN: The celebration officially kicks off on June 27th with Family Day at the Shops at Liberty Place and concludes with 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.


Saturday, June 27th

Family Day
The Shops at Liberty Place
1625 Walnut St
Noon – 4 p.m.

Celebrate the start of Welcome America! with Family Day in Center City. Expect arts and crafts, interactive activities and a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the first reading of “Alice in Wonderland.”

Sunday, June 28th

Community Day
Port Richmond
Noon – 4 p.m.

Head to Port Richmond for a celebration of the neighborhood through music and activities.

Monday, June 29th

Free Admission
Franklin Institute
222 N 20th St
All day

Get free access to all of the Franklin Institute’s beloved exhibits, including the Giant Heart.

Go 4th & Learn About Science
Franklin Institute
222 N 20th St
10 a.m. – noon

The first of the free educational events for kids and their parents will be held in Philly’s awesome Franklin Institute. Featuring special readings, giveaways and fun, the event also includes a free book for the first 800 kids.

Philly @ the Movies: “Big Hero 6”
Franklin Square
6th & Race Sts
8:30 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, “Big Hero 6.”

Tuesday, June 30th

Free Admission
Philadelphia History Museum
15 S 7th St
All day

Learn about Philly’s rich history – for free! After all, we ARE the nation’s first capital.

Go 4th & Learn About Philadelphia
Philadelphia History Museum
15 S 7th St
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Get your history on at the Philly History Museum, where guests will be treated to special readings, giveaways and interactive activities. Again, the first 800 kids get a free book.

Philly @ the Movies: “Annie”

Dilworth Park
Broad & Market Sts
8:30 p.m.

The revamped version of “Annie” will be screened outdoors in Dilworth Park. Feel free to sing along while you watch!

Wednesday, July 1st

Free Admission
African American Museum in Philadelphia
701 Arch St
All day

Learn about the history of African Americans in Philly with free admission all day to this Old City museum.

Go 4th & Learn About Fitness

Smith Memorial Playground
3500 Reservoir Dr
10 a.m. – Noon

Let the kids burn off some steam at this 6.5 acre playground, which includes a giant wooden slide. The first 800 children get a free book.

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 2nd

Free Admission
National Constitution Center
525 Arch St
All day

Get free access to the nation’s only museum dedicated to the U.S. Constitution.

Go Forth and Learn About History
National Constitution Center
525 Arch St
10 a.m. – Noon

Free books, games, special programming and more make for a fun day out at the NCC.

PHL Photo Exhibit: About Philadelphia
Philadelphia International Airport – Terminal A East
10 a.m.

This year’s exhibit, “Civil About Philadelphia,” spotlights photographs that tell the story of the City of Brotherly Love.

Wawa Hoagie Day
Independence Mall
Between 5th & 6th Sts on Market St
Noon – 1:30 p.m.

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!

Philadelphia Orchestra’s Neighborhood Concert

Penn’s Landing
101 S Columbus Blvd
8 p.m.

The Orchestra is back for its seventh summer at the RiverStage! Grab the fam and head over for this free concert.

Philly @ the Movies: “The Sixth Sense”
Rittenhouse Square
18th & Walnut Sts
9 p.m.

Check out the classic creepy film from M. Night Shyamalan from the comfort of one of the city’s most beautiful parks.

Friday, July 3rd

Liberty Block Party
5th & 6th Sts between Market & Chestnut Sts
1 – 8:30 p.m.

Feast on local food and drinks while you celebrate freedom in Philly. Live music and outdoor fun round out the day.

POPS! On Independence
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.

Saturday, 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. – 1 p.m.

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

America’s Birthday Party
Independence Visitor Center
6th & Market Sts
1 p.m.

A Philadelphia food icon, Termini Bros., will decorate a massive five-tier cake on-site, and 2,500 cupcakes will be arranged into the shape of the American flag. The best part? Party-goers get to chow down on the goodies for free!

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
7:30 – 11 p.m.

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


SEPTA has made some additions and adjustments to its regular schedules for the holiday weekend:

Friday, July 3

· Regional Rail Trains will operate on a Saturday schedule.
· City and Suburban Transit (including Bus, Subway and Trolley) will operate on a normal schedule

Saturday, July 4

· Regional Rail operates on a Saturday schedule, with additional late night trains at the end of the Parkway fireworks and concert celebration.
· City and Suburban Transit (including Bus, Subway and Trolley) operate on a Sunday/Holiday schedule, with additional service available before and after the concert/fireworks celebration on the Parkway.
· Many SEPTA Bus Routes will be on detour during the day due to local holiday celebrations including in Roxborough, Lawnside, Rockledge, Cheltenham and Glenside.

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