July 4th 2012 In Philadelphia: A Bird’s Eye Guide To Wawa Welcome America, Returning June 25-July 4 With Fireworks, Concerts, Festivals, Block Parties, Movies Under The Stars And Much More

Philadelphia's 2012 July 4th celebration, kicking off next Monday, June 25, culminates with the country's largest free outdoor concert — curated and headlined by Philly's own The Roots — and fireworks display on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. (Photos by G. Widman for GPTMC)

With July 4th just 15 days away, it’s a good time to start planning your holiday.

May we suggest Philadelphia as the prime July 4th celebration location?

Wawa Welcome America will be back with 11 days of fireworks, concerts, festivals, block parties, outdoor movie screenings and delicious foodie happenings. It all kicks off next Monday, June 25.

And since July 4th lands on a Wednesday this year, you have two weekends with which to book-end the holiday, with plenty of programming happening during both.

Check out our overview guide to the Wawa Welcome America festivities, then let us know if you’re still thinking of braving the D.C. metro to the Capitol Steps or the traffic on the Atlantic City Expressway. We thought not.


There will be two free fireworks shows this year:

• Saturday, June 30 at Penn’s Landing: 9:30 p.m.
• Wednesday, July 4 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art: 10:30 p.m.


Free, live performances fill the Wawa Welcome America festival from start to finish.

• Regina Carter, Gerald Veasley and more: Friday, June 29; Saturday, June 30; Monday, July 1, Penn’s Landing (Taste of Philadelphia; see below)

2nd Annual Wawa Welcome America! Singer/Songwriter Competition: Saturday, June 30. Penn’s Landing.

• The Philly POPS: Tuesday, July 3, 8 p.m. Independence Mall.

• Fourth of July Jam featuring The Roots, Queen Latifah, Daryl Hall, Common, Joe Jonas and more: Wednesday, July 4, 7-10 p.m. Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

A Star-Spangled Night with the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own”: Saturday, July 7, 7:30 p.m. Penn’s Landing.


• Taste of Philadelphia: June 29, 5-10 p.m.; June 30, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; July 1, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Penn’s Landing.

• Super Scooper All-You-Can-Eat Ice Cream Festival: June 30, noon-5 p.m. and 6-9 p.m.; July 1, noon-5 p.m. Penn’s Landing.

• Wawa Hoagie Day: Wednesday, June 27, noon-2 p.m., Independence Visitor Center Lawn.

• Party on the Parkway: Wednesday, July 4, noon-7 p.m. Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

• Independence Day Parade: Wednesday, July 4, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Historic Philadelphia.

We’ve got information below on Wawa Walcome America’s under-the-stars movie screenings, plus tips for fireworks watching so you can start plotting your plan of attack.

Philly at the Movies

Wawa Welcome America helps you relish the summer sunshine, and stars, by including “Philly @ the Movies” outdoor screening events at great viewing spots throughout the city, from parks to concert venues. And you know how we feel about outdoor summer movies. Check out the schedule:

• The Great Gatsby: June 25, 9 p.m., Rittenhouse Square
• Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: June 26, 9 p.m., Piazza at Schmidts
• Rocky: June 27, 9 p.m. Philadelphia Museum of Art **A Philadelphia tradition!
• Why Did I Get Married?: July 2, 9 p.m., Dell Music Center
• Special Sneak Preview of The Amazing Spider-Man: July 3, 7 p.m., Rave Motion Pictures

Fireworks Viewing Tips

Both fireworks shows immediately follows a live concert. You’ll want to make sure you get there early; bring lawn chairs, a blanket, family, friends and even a picnic. Including your uwishunu beer boot.

Best places to watch on June 30; Penn’s Landing:

Philadelphia side of the Delaware River

• Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing
• Morgan’s Pier **NEW THIS YEAR
• Independence Seaport Museum
• SugarHouse Casino
• Race Street Pier
• Washington Avenue Green
• Penn Treaty Park
• Village Belle
• Hyatt Regency at Penn’s Landing
• Spirit of Philadelphia
• Ristorante La Veranda

Camden side of the Delaware River

• Adventure Aquarium
• Battleship New Jersey
• Wiggins Park

Best places to watch on July 4th; Benjamin Franklin Parkway at the Philadelphia Museum of Art:

• Lemon Hill in Fairmount Park
• Along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, which is shut down in honor of the celebration
• Boathouse Row
• Kelly Drive
• Martin Luther King Drive
• Schuylkill River Park
• Best Western Center City
• Bistro St Tropez

Stay tuned right here from now through July 4th. We’ll be updating you almost daily as Wawa Welcome America approaches, and throughout the festival, on where and what to see and do.

Check out a map of the festivities as well, below.

Wawa Welcome America!
When: June 25-July 4
Where: Locations vary
Cost: Mostly free
More info: www.welcomeamerica.com

PreviouslyJuly 4th 2012 In Philadelphia: Wawa Welcome America Returns June 25-July 4 With Questlove Back As Musical Director, Four Concerts, Four Outdoor Movie Screenings, Three Fireworks Shows And Two Weekends


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