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June 22, 2011

Wawa Welcome America Fireworks Guide: Three Spectacular Fireworks Shows Paired With Three Amazing Concerts Over Two Weekends – June 25, July 2 & July 4

July 4th in Philadelphia features three amazing fireworks shows over 11 days of Wawa Welcome America festivites, not to mention a slew of awesome concerts. (Left: Photo by G. Widman for GPTMC; right: photo by R. Kennedy for GPTMC)

It wouldn’t be a July 4th celebration in Philadelphia without multiple sensational fireworks displays, which you get to enjoy threefold this summer.

First up this Saturday night, June 25 at Penn’s Landing; then again next Saturday, July 2 at Penn’s Landing; and the epic grand finale on Monday, July 4 above the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. To make it all the more awesome, each spectacular fireworks display will be preceded by a live concert.

First up, the legendary Aaron Neville of the Neville Brothers will perform his classic R&B and soul hits this Saturday night, June 25 at 8 p.m. at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing. Then next Saturday night, July 2 at 7:30 p.m., also at Penn’s Landing, the United States Army Band will be playing Sousa-style patriotic classics.

And then there’s the main event on July 4th: the Philly 4th of July Jam, which will take over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway July 4 from 7-10 p.m. and feature Philly’s own The Roots, plus Earth, Wind and Fire, Michael McDonald, Sara Bareilles and more.

The Fourth of July Jam begins at 7 p.m. and runs about three hours. The fireworks display begins after the concert, usually around 10:30 p.m. Giant screens and speakers will broadcast the concert all along the Parkway.

To re-cap the schedule:

ROUND 1 – Saturday, June 25

Where: The Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing
Music: The legendary singer Aaron Neville at 8 p.m.
Fireworks: ETA of 9:30 p.m.

ROUND 2 – Saturday, July 2

Where: The Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing
Music: United States Army Band at 7:30 p.m., Air National Guard Band of the Mid-Atlantic at 6 p.m. at the Wiggins Waterfront Park in Camden
Fireworks: ETA of 9:30 p.m.

ROUND 3: The Grand Finale – Monday, July 4

Where: Benjamin Franklin Parkway outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Music: The epic Fourth of July Jam starts at 7 p.m. featuring The Roots, Earth, Wind and Fire, Michael McDonald, Sara Bareilles
Fireworks: after the concert, ETA around 10:30 p.m.

Best places to watch the Fireworks above the Delaware River on Saturday, June 25:

• Penn’s Landing: The concert takes place at the Great Plaza (closest intersection Columbus Boulevard and Chestnut Streets), so the Great Plaza is one solid option. Another good spot at Penn’s Landing would be along its southern stretch, basically from Dock Street to South Street.
• The brand-new Race Street Pier.** This is going to be an amazing spot to watch but we recommend you get there early as it’s probably going to fill up fast.
Washington Avenue Green: Another new park on the Delaware River Waterfront.
• Independence Seaport Museum: Watch the fireworks from the Seaport’s balcony on Saturday June 25; tickets are just $5 after 5pm.
• Camden Waterfront

Below we have some ideas for where to watch on July 4th. And stay tuned for more updates as the festivities get closer.

Best places to watch the giant Fireworks display above the Philadelphia Museum of Art on July 4:

NOTE: The outer lanes of the Parkway will be closed to car traffic for the first time ever, so you’ll have expanded options for viewing.

• Along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, which is shut down in honor of the celebration
• Schuylkill River Park
• The ball fields at 22nd and the Parkway
• Lemon Hill in Fairmount Park
• Boathouse Row
• Kelly Drive
• Martin Luther King Drive

Stay tuned for a more detailed guide to watching the July 4th concert and fireworks.

Wawa Welcome America Fireworks & Concerts
When: June 25, July 2, July 4
Where: Penn’s Landing for June 25 and July 2, Benjamin Franklin Parkway for July 4
Cost: Free
More info: www.welcomeamerica.com

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