Anyone who’s been in the City of Brotherly Love for the biggest holiday of the summer will tell you that it’s an exciting and eventful place to be for the Fourth of July. Every year for more than a decade, Philly has hosted the “largest free concert in America,” the Philly 4th of July Jam, and grand finale fireworks. In more recent years, Philly started hosting what is now an annual Philly favorite, the Wawa Welcome America Series. For 10 days leading up to Independence Day, Wawa sponsors many fun, free events, festivals and concerts for guests of all ages to enjoy. The best part of all these thrilling outdoor events is that they are completely free and open to the public. I’ve highlighted a few of the most popular events from the Welcome America series that you don’t want to miss, but don’t forget to check out the website for a full list of events for the week!
Free Admission to the African American Museum
When: Wednesday, July 1, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Where: 701 Arch Street. Cost: Free!
If you’d like to immerse yourself in the rich culture of the African American influence in Philly, check out the African American Museum for free admission on Wednesday. Opened in 1976, the museum offers visitors a diverse collection of fine art, photographs, memorabilia, folk art and costumes. The Welcome America series also offers free admission to three other popular Philly museums during the week, so if you’re interested in history and science, be sure to check out the full schedule.
Philadelphia Orchestra Neighborhood Concert
When: Thursday, July 2, 8 p.m. Where: Penn’s Landing, 101 S. Columbus Boulevard. Cost: Free!
The Philadelphia Orchestra presents the eighth season of their free concert series, where they hold a performance of patriotic music as a “thank you” to the people of Philadelphia. The world-renowned ensemble performs on the scenic RiverStage at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing. Immediately following the performance, guests can enjoy an impressive fireworks salute.
Liberty Block Party
When: Friday, July 3, 1 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Where: 5th & 6th Streets between Market & Chestnut Streets. Cost: Free!
Kick off your Fourth of July weekend with a free block party in Historic Philadelphia, offering live entertainment, food and beverages. Philly is known for its unique food scene, so you don’t want to miss out on these tasty food trucks and vendors. Admission to the street festival is free, but food and drinks must be purchased.
Independence Day Parade
When: Saturday, July 4, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Where: Throughout Historic Philadelphia. Cost: Free!
The big day is finally here, and it’s time to celebrate your USA pride! What better way to do that than join in on a 1.2 mile march through the city where it all began? One of the biggest highlights of Fourth of July in Philly, the parade starts in front of Independence Hall in Old City and takes participants down Market Street towards the Delaware River. More than 6,000 people including marching bands, military groups, performance groups and even Miss America 2015 will be joining in on the celebration!
Party on the Parkway and Philly 4th of July Jam
When: Saturday, July 4, Noon – 11 p.m. Where: Benjamin Franklin Parkway near Eakins Oval. Cost: Free!
Thousands of locals and visitors alike gather on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for the biggest Fourth of July celebration in Philly, the Party on the Parkway! The event will feature blocks and blocks of live entertainment, activities, games, food and more, perfect for visitors of every age to enjoy. That night, stay on the parkway for the Philly 4th of July Jam, the annual free concert that’s been a Philly tradition for decades. The concert has been attended by huge superstars in past years including Nicki Minaj, Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, John Mayer, Ne-Yo, Kevin Hart, Sheryl Crow, The Goo Goo Dolls and more. This year, the concert will star Philly’s own The Roots with Miguel and Jennifer Nettles from the popular country band Sugarland. If you don’t feel like dealing with the heavy crowd, the concert will be aired live on local news stations and even on Vh1. Immediately following the concert, the holiday goes out with a bang with a spectacular fireworks grand finale show right over the scenic Philadelphia Museum of Art.