Top 10 Ways To Celebrate July 4th In Philadelphia

Free concerts, spectacular fireworks, outdoor movies and more...

America’s birthplace — Philadelphia! — celebrates the Fourth of July in a major way. Every year, the city gears up for Wawa Welcome America and its roster of great events not only on July 4th but also on the days leading up to the Independence Day holiday.

There are four major fireworks shows(!), free concerts from local and national acts, outdoor festivals and block parties, a parade and so much more.

For a full guide to July 4th in Philadelphia, click here.

Below, check out our guide to the top ways to celebrate July 4th in Philadelphia.

Watch a Spectacular Fireworks Show

July 4th FireworksPhoto by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia

Philadelphia is home to a dozen great fireworks shows that celebrate the nation's birthday. The biggest events are the July 4th fireworks on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway (above the Philadelphia Museum of Art!). However, beautiful shows also take place at Wiggins Park, Penn's Landing and more. Check here for the full rundown of fireworks shows in Philly this July 4th.

Watch a Spectacular Fireworks Show

When:Dates and times vary by location
Where:Various locations including the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Cost:Free

www.visitphilly.com

Celebrate at the Party on the Parkway

Musicians at Party on the Parkway in PhiladelphiaPhoto by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

On July 4th, all of Philadelphia comes together for one giant romp at the Party on the Parkway, which brings a day's worth of free entertainment to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Look forward to musical performances (including a performance by Mary J. Blige), activities like a zip line and a cycling obstacle course, food galore, two beer gardens and cultural events that celebrate the city’s many neighborhoods and nationalities. 

Celebrate at the Party on the Parkway

When:Tuesday, July 4, 12-10 p.m.
Where:Benjamin Franklin Parkway from 20th Street to Eakins Oval
Cost:Free

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Spend Time at Philadelphia's Historic District Block Party

Historic Philadelphia Block PartyPhoto by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

On July 3, visitors can party the day away at the Philadelphia's Historic District Block Party in the city's Historic District. The festivities will fill the streets around Independence Hall with live entertainment, food vendors and kids’ games, including wheelbarrow races, bubble blowing and more. The event space features three stages to showcase a Dixieland band, a barbershop quartet and actors reciting portions of historical speeches. Plus, the Kimmel Center will present a star-studded sneak peek at the 2017-2018 Broadway Philadelphia season featuring performances from popular shows.

Spend Time at Philadelphia's Historic District Block Party

When:Monday, July 3, 12-7 p.m.
Where:Independence Mall, 5th and 6th streets between Chestnut and Market streets
Cost:Free

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Score Free Admission to Top Local Museums

Eastern State PenitentiaryPhoto by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

From June 29 through July 4, Wawa Welcome America invites visitors and residents to explore a number of Philadelphia’s great museums for no cost at all. From the anthropological depths of the Penn Museum to the history-rich displays at the National Constitution Center to the breathtaking art collection at the Barnes Foundation, 11 museums citywide will host one-off free admission days in celebration of the nation’s birthday.

Score Free Admission to Top Local Museums

When:June 29-July 4, times vary per museum
Where:Various locations including the Eastern State Penitentiary
Cost:Free

www.welcomeamerica.com

Tune into a Free Outdoor Movie Screening

Wawa Welcome AmericaPhoto courtesy Wawa Welcome America

The epic Wawa Welcome America festival brings five free movie screenings to various locations around Philly this year. Check out Despicable Me 2 at The Schmidt's Commons on June 29, The Lego Batman Movie at Panati Playground on June 30, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story at Vernon Park on July 1, Rocky at the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art on July 2 and Sing at Franklin Square on July 3.

Tune into a Free Outdoor Movie Screening

When:June 29-July 3, times vary by location
Where:Various locations including the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Cost:Free

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Check out The United States of America Independence Day Parade

Independence Day ParadePhoto by R. Meyers for Visit Philadelphia

The The United States of America Independence Day Parade features dozens of floats, marching bands, dancers and more than 6,000 participants who begin at Independence Hall and wind through Philadelphia’s most historic streets.

Check out The United States of America Independence Day Parade

When:Tuesday, July 4, 11 a.m.-noon
Where:Independence Mall, Chestnut Street between 5th and 6th streets
Cost:Free

www.welcomeamerica.com

Feast on Free Hoagies and Cupcakes

One of the tastier events taking place during Wawa Welcome America!, the 25th annual Wawa Hoagie Day features a whopping six tons of hoagies that are distributed for free to visitors on the lawn outside the Independence Visitor Center and also at the lawn by the National Constitution Center. Meanwhile, on the nation's actual birthday, the Independence Visitor Center hosts a celebratory party, where you can find a five-tier cake and 2,500 cupcakes on display in the shape of an American flag. Both treats will be distributed for free to those who attend.

Feast on Free Hoagies and Cupcakes

When:Hoagie Day: Thursday, June 29, 12-2 p.m.; Birthday Party: Tuesday, July 4, 1-3 p.m.
Where:Independence Visitor Center, 599 Market Street, 1 North Independence Mall West
Cost:Free

www.welcomeamerica.com

Groove to Live Music at an Outdoor Concert

The Philly POPS! play outside of Independence Hall in PhiladelphiaPhoto by C. Bachrach the Philly POPS!

Live music fills the air surrounding the July 4th holiday as everything from a free Philadelphia Orchestra concert at Penn’s Landing (June 30) to a performance by the Philly POPS! at Independence Hall (July 4) to the blockbuster Wawa Welcome America concert featuring Mary J. Blige (July 4) unfolds in the city.

Groove to Live Music at an Outdoor Concert

When:June 29-July 4, times vary per concert
Where:Various locations including Independence Mall

www.welcomeamerica.com

Hit Up an Independence Day-Themed Beer and Drink Event

BeerPhoto by C. Smyth for Visit Philadelphia

For the 21-plus crowd, Wawa Welcome America hosts several festive, brew-filled events surrounding July 4th. First up, Philly's popular traveling beer garden Parks on Tap brings a special Independence Day edition to the courtyard of City Hall, renamed Culture on Tap, on July 29. Then, on July 1, the SugarHouse Casino hosts Red, White and Brewfest, featuring drinks, food and live music on the waterfront. On July 2, an array of locations citywide will host special Red, White and Blue Happy Hours, and, also on July 2, numerous restaurants invite you to a Stoli Red, White and Brunch, featuring morning brunch-time drink specials.

Hit Up an Independence Day-Themed Beer and Drink Event

When:June 29-July 2, times vary per event
Where:Various locations including City Hall
Cost:Pay as you go for food and drink

www.welcomeamerica.com

Enjoy Street Eats at the Night Market Philadelphia’s Food Truck Frenzy

Night Market PhiladelphiaPhoto By D. Tavani For The Food Trust

Night Market Philadelphia heads to Spruce Hill in West Philadelphia for a special Independence Day edition on Saturday, July 1, attracting thousands of folks for a four-hour, al fresco food truck soiree. Come hungry for delicious street-side eats like tacos, fried cheese curds, pizza, ice cream and more, along with beverages including local beer and spirits!

Enjoy Street Eats at the Night Market Philadelphia’s Food Truck Frenzy

When:Saturday, July 1, 6-10 p.m.
Where:40th and Walnut streets
Cost:Pay as you go for food and drink

www.welcomeamerica.com

BONUS: Stay Over in Philly

A couple on a bed at The Logan, Philadelphia's HotelPhoto by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Since July 4th is on a Tuesday, you get a chance to make an extra-long weekend out of your Independence Day festivities! Take advantage of the holiday and stay over with the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package, offering free hotel parking and a number of amazing perks, including two tickets and roller skate rentals at Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest, dining gift cards, free Indego bike share and PHLASH passes and more.

BONUS: Stay Over in Philly

When:Through September 4, 2017
Where:Various locations including The Logan, Philadelphia's Hotel
Cost:Room rates vary

www.visitphilly.com


Looking for more July 4th fun? Check out a full guide to July 4th in Philly on visitphilly.com.

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