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June 25, 2015

30 ways to celebrate July 4th around Philadelphia

The region is filled with things to do this Independence Day

Events Holidays
fireworks J. Fusco/Visit Philadelphia™

Fireworks mark the end of Philadelphia's Fourth of July celebration.

As the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence, the home of the Liberty Bell and host of the biggest free concert in the country, the Philadelphia area may be the best place to celebrate the Fourth of July. Check out the list below for history-themed parties, outdoor barbecues, fireworks and more.

11th Annual Mercer County Freedom Festival

Gear up for Independence Day with a car show, children's activities, carnival rides and more. Local food vendors, a beer and wine garden, live music and crafts round out the day. Don't miss the fireworks on Saturday at 9:30 p.m.

Friday, June 26 through Sunday, June 28
Hours vary | Free admission
Mercer County Park
1638 Old Trenton Rd., West Windsor, NJ
(609) 989-6530

Free Admission to Local Museums

Thanks to Wawa, select museums will offer free admission leading to July 4th. Head to the Franklin Institute Monday, June 29; the Philadelphia History Museum Tuesday, June 30; The African American Museum in Philadelphia Wednesday, July 1; and the National Constitution Center Thursday, July 2 for free fun.

Go 4th & Learn

Wawa is hosting themed educational readings and book giveaways for children during the week. 

June 29: 10 a.m.-noon, The Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th St.
June 30: 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Philadelphia History Museum, 15 S. 7th St.
July 1: 10 a.m.-noon, The Smith Memorial Playground, 3500 Reservoir Dr.
July 2: 10 a.m.-noon, National Constitution Center, 525 Arch St.

Philly @ the Movies

Free movie screenings will be held throughout the city. 

Monday, June 29: "Big Hero 6" at 8:30 p.m., Franklin Square, 222 N. 20th St.
Tuesday, June 30: "Annie" at 8:30 p.m., Dilworth Park, 1 S. 15th St.
Wednesday, July 1: "Rocky" at 9 p.m., Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.
Thursday, July 2: "The Sixth Sense" at 9 p.m., Rittenhouse Square, 210 W. Rittenhouse Sq.

50th Anniversary of the LGBT Civil Rights Movement

In honor of the Annual Reminder demonstrations that took place July 4, 1965, at Independence Hall, kicking off the LGBT civil rights movement, a slew of activities will take place. Look out for special exhibits, discussion panels, parties throughout the Gayborhood and a block party.

Thursday, July 2 through Sunday, July 5
Dates and locations vary

The All-American Celebration at the National Constitution Center

The Constitution Center will have a full weekend of programming, including a special hoagie exhibit for Wawa Hoagie Day, a Revolutionary War Encampment, flag ceremonies, demonstrations, crafts and more. 

Thursday, July 2 through Sunday, July 5
Thursday and Friday 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday Noon-5 p.m. (Admission is free Thursday and Saturday)
National Constitution Center
525 Arch St.
(215) 409-6600

July 4th Weekend Sidewalk Sale

Over 150 brands at the Philadelphia Premium Outlets will have a special weekend-long sale of its merchandise. There will be live music and shopping hours will be extended.

Thursday, July 2 through Sunday, July 5
Hours vary | Free admission
Philadelphia Premium Outlets
18 West Lightcap Rd., 
Limerick, PA
(610) 495-9000

Wawa Hoagie Day

Score free Wawa Hoagies and see Food Network's chef Robert Irvine, local "The Voice" contestants Matthew Schuler and Audra McLaughlin and the USO Show Troupe in support of our men and women in uniform. 

Thursday, July 2
Noon-1:30 p.m. | Free admission
Independence Mall
Market Street between 5th and 6th Streets

Independence Day BBQ Celebration

International House Philadelphia residents and community members will mingle over classic barbecue food, American rock n' roll and history. 

Thursday, July 2
6 p.m. | $5-12
International House Philadelphia, Front Patio
3701 Chestnut St.
(215) 387-5125

Philadelphia Orchestra Neighborhood Concert

The Philadelphia Orchestra will play a totally free concert at the Great Plaza RiverStage. A showing of fireworks will follow.

Thursday, July 2
8 p.m. | Free admission
Penn's Landing Great Plaza
101 S. Columbus Blvd.

Space Jams: Team U.S.A. Edition

This night of late 80s and early 90s jams is throwing it back to 1994 in commemoration of the Dream Team II, the U.S. men's national basketball team which won an International Basketball Association championship. Wear red, white and blue and score free Narragansett while supplies last.

Thursday, July 2
10 p.m.-2 a.m. | $3
The Barbary
951 Frankford Ave.

Independence Day Regatta

The Schuylkill Navy of Philadelphia hosts this annual three-day event on the Schuylkill River. This international regatta has been running since 1880. The grandstands will be located by the Columbia Railroad Bridge.

Friday, July 3 through Sunday, July 5
Hours vary | Free for spectators
Schuylkill River at Kelly Drive
By Columbia Railroad Bridge

Sesame Place Fourth of July BBQ and Fireworks

The characters of Sesame Street will attend a few special meals over the holiday weekend featuring classic barbecue foods. Each night after the Neighborhood Birthday Party Night Parade fireworks will go off the set to Sesame Street music.

Friday, July 3 and Saturday, July 4
Fireworks 9:25-9:35 p.m. | Free with park admission
BBQ 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. | $18-29 with park admission
Sesame Place
100 Sesame Rd., Langhorne PA
(866) 464-3566

Grateful Dead's 50th Anniversary Celebration

As the Grateful Dead turns 50, they'll celebrate with three nights of live shows in Chicago, Illinois. Ardmore Music Hall will live stream all three nights, and tribute band Splintered Sunlight will perform live. 

Friday, July 3 through Sunday, July 5
8 p.m. | $15 in advance, $20 for one day, $35 for three nights
Ardmore Music Hall
23 E, Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, PA
(610) 649-8389

Liberty Block Party

Live entertainment will take over the streets of Independence Mall, including some of Philly's best food and drink vendors. Entry and entertainment are free, but refreshments will be available for purchase.

Friday, July 3
1-8:30 p.m. | Free admission
Independence Mall
5th & 6th Streets between Market and Chestnut

Happy Birthday America! Concert Under the Stars

Light classical, pop and patriotic music will be played under the stars and along the Delaware by the Riverside Symphonia. Bring a family picnic and enjoy the show. 

Friday, July 3
6 p.m. | $10 for students, $20 for adults in advance, $25 at the door
Tinicum Park
963 River Rd., Upper Black Eddy, PA 
(609) 397-7300 

POPS! On Independence 

A free concert by The Philly POPS! will take place on the steps of Independence Hall. Seating is first come, first served at this popular event -- make sure to bring a chair or a blanket!

Friday, July 3
8 p.m. | Free admission
Independence Hall
6th & Chestnut Streets

The Philadelphia Independence Day Parade. (G. Widman/Visit Philadelphia)

35th Annual Revolutionary Run

Race through Washington Crossing Historic Park in a one-mile fun run, a 5K or a 10K road race. Register by Monday, June 30 to participate.

Saturday, July 4
8 a.m. | $18-30
Washington Crossing Historic Park
112 River Rd., Washington Crossing, PA

Celebration of Freedom Ceremony

Music, inspiring remarks, a naturalization ceremony and readings of the Declaration of Independence will get visitors and residents fired up for the holiday.

Saturday, July 4
10-11 a.m. | Free admission
Independence Hall
6th & Chestnut Streets

Independence Day Celebration

Head to the historic site of Washington Crossing to see living historians create old-fashioned crafts, check out a war encampment and tour historic buildings. Refreshments will be available for purchase.

Saturday, July 4
10 a.m.-4 p.m. | $4-8
Washington Crossing Historic Park
112 River Rd., Washington Crossing, PA
(215) 493-4076

Independence Day Parade

Over 6,000 participants will march through historic Philadelphia from Independence Hall down Market Street toward the Delaware River all decked out in red, white and blue. Miss America Kira Kazantsev will be there, too. 

Saturday, July 4
11 a.m.-1 p.m. | Free admission
Independence Hall
6th & Chestnut Streets

July 4th Community Picnic in the Park

Enjoy a cookout, meet some Founding Fathers, make a tricorn had and more at this revolutionary day of fun. Rangers and trolleys will lead tours through the park and kids can "join" the Continental Army.

Saturday, July 4
11 a.m.-3 p.m. | Free admission
Valley Forge Visitor Center
1400 N. Outer Line Dr., King of Prussia, PA
(610) 783-1013

Skippack 4th of July Parade and Fireworks

This small town parade will travel right through the quaint Skippack Village. A barbecue will take place at Parc Bistro at 3 p.m. and afterwards fireworks will take place at Palmer Park near Skippack Elementary School.

Saturday, July 4
11 a.m.-10 p.m. | Free admission
Skippack Village
Route 73 and W. Skippack Pike

Party on the Parkway

The Parkway becomes one giant block party full of live entertainment, food vendors, shopping and games. 

Saturday, July 4
Noon-7 p.m. | Free admission
Benjamin Franklin Parkway
20th St. to Eakins Oval

Fonthill's Old-Fashioned 4th of July

The old Henry Mercer estate will be filled with outdoor activities like watermelon-eating contests, sack races, 19th century baseball and a Children's Decorated Bike Parade. Bring your own picnic or purchase food from select vendors. 

Saturday, July 4
Noon-4 p.m. | $1-4
Fonthill Castle
East Court St. & Route 313, Doylestown, PA
(215) 348-9461

America's Birthday Party

Termini Bros. will provide 2,500 red, white and blue cupcakes and a five-tier cake to celebrate the country's 239th birthday. Betsy Ross will hand out the sweet treats for free to the public.

Saturday, July 4
1 p.m. | Free admission
Independence Visitor Center
6th & Market Streets

Let Freedom Ring

The Sons of the American Revolution lead this ceremony, which includes a ceremonial tapping of the Liberty Bell by descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Saturday, July 4
1-2 p.m. | Free admission
Independence National Historic Park
6th & Market Streets

Philly 4th of July Jam

Hear The Roots, Miguel, Jennifer Nettles, MKTO and Zella Day perform at the country's largest free concert. An epic fireworks display will go on afterward.

Saturday, July 4
7:30-11 p.m. | Free admission
Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Eakins Oval

The Signing Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Freedom

In this new play by Creatures of the Night, Ben Franklin and John Adams can't seem to finish the Declaration of Independence. So, naturally, Franklin travels through time to ask advice of Jimi Hendrix, Marilyn Monroe and more. 

Saturday, July 4
8:30-9:30 p.m. | Free admission
Tattooed Mom
530 South St.
(215) 238-9880

Independence Day in Phoenixville

Find a seat (or bring your own) at Reservoir Park and Friendship Field and get ready for a fireworks show to finish out the holiday.

Saturday, July 4
8:30 p.m. | Free admission
Friendship Field
Fillmore St. and Franklin Ave., Phoenixville, PA