June 28, 2019
The Wawa Welcome America Festival returns to Philadelphia in 2019 with six days of events running from Saturday, June 29 through the Independence Day celebration on Thursday, July 4.
More than 50 free events and concerts will take place in various Philadelphia neighborhoods, culminating with the Fourth of July concert and fireworks display on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
In preparation for this year's festivities, city officials have released an extensive list of road closures, restrictions and important public transit information for Philadelphia residents and visitors.
The following road closures are scheduled in relation to all Wawa Welcome America festivities, including set-up and deconstruction.
Historic Philadelphia Block Party & Gospel on Independence
Event activity for the block part and gospel concert begins around Noon and runs until 8:30 p.m. on Independence Mall and surrounding streets:
• 6th Street, between Arch and Chestnut streets, will be closed from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
• 5th Street, between Arch and Chestnut streets, will be closed from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
• Chestnut Street, between 5th and 6th streets, will be closed from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
• Market Street, between 5th and 6th streets, will be closed from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Philly @ the Movies – Rocky Movie Night
Rocky-themed movie night beginning at 5:30 p.m. on the steps and apron of the Philadelphia Museum of Art:
• Westernmost travel lane of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at Eakins Oval will be closed in front of the Art Museum between Kelly Drive and MLK Drive entrance from noon to 5 p.m.
• Eakins Oval, in front of the Art Museum, will be closed from 5 to 10 p.m.
• Kelly Drive inbound will be detoured onto Fairmount and Pennsylvania avenues
U.S. Army Field Band Concert
Concert and family-friendly activities beginning at 7 p.m. at Penn’s Landing:
• Chestnut/Market Street Viaduct, from Front and Chestnut streets to 2nd and Market streets, will be closed from 4 to 11 p.m.
POPS on Independence and Celebration of Freedom Ceremony Stage Construction
• Chestnut Street, between 5th and 6th streets, will be closed from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Wawa Hoagie Day
Event begins at noon on the lawn of the National Constitution Center:
•Arch Street, between 5th and 6th streets, will be closed from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Kimmel Center’s Great American Party on the Plaza
Broadway and Navy Band performance beginning at 4:30 p.m. at the Kimmel Center:
• Spruce Street, between Broad and 15th streets, will be closed from noon to 8:30 p.m.
• Westernmost travel lane of Broad Street (southbound side), between Locust and Pine Streets, will be closed from 2 to 8 p.m.
PECO Go 4th & Learn with the Philadelphia Fire Department
Family-friendly event focusing on fire safety and education beginning at 9 a.m. at 101 N. 4th St.:
• Arch Street, between 3rd and 4th streets, will be closed from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.
POPS on Independence and Celebration of Freedom Ceremony Stage Construction
• Chestnut Street, between 5th and 6th streets, will be closed from about 9 a.m. on July 3 through 7 p.m. on July 4, 2019
• 6th Street, between Market and Chestnut streets, will be closed from about 9 a.m. on July 3 through 3 p.m. on July 4, 2019
Party on the Parkway Site Build
• Inner lanes of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, between 20th Street and Eakins Oval, will be closed beginning at 9:30 a.m.
• Inner westbound lanes of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will reopen between 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. for evening rush hour
• Inner lanes of Benjamin Franklin Parkway will close completely (both directions) at 6:30 p.m. through event breakdown on July 4
Celebration of Freedom Ceremony and Salute to America Independence Day Parade
Celebration of Freedom Ceremony, Salute to America Independence Day Parade, and related Wawa Welcome America activities on Independence Mall. Activities take place throughout the day, beginning at 10 a.m.:
• Chestnut Street, between 5th and 6th streets, from prior day closures will be in effect until 7 p.m.
• 6th Street, between Market and Chestnut streets, from prior day closures will be in effective until 3 p.m.
• 3rd Street, between Arch and Walnut streets, will be closed from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
• 4th Street, between Arch and Walnut streets, will be closed from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
• 5th Street, between Arch and Walnut streets, will be closed from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
• Chestnut Street, from Front Street to 7th Street, will be closed from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
•Chestnut Street, from 7th Street to 10th Street, will be closed from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The remainder of the morning parade route will be closed at about 10 a.m. on July 4, 2019.
• Parade Route: Staging in the 400 block of Chestnut Street. Proceeds west on Chestnut to 9th Street, north on 9th Street to Market Street, east on Market Street to the dispersal area on Front Street.
All streets affected by the parade will be cleaned before being re-opened to vehicular traffic.
Party on the Parkway / Wawa Welcome America July 4th Concert & Fireworks
All closures listed below are in effect from approximately 4 a.m. on July 4 to 5 a.m. on July 5 unless otherwise noted:
• Benjamin Franklin Parkway from 18th Street to Eakins Oval (all lanes)
• Eakins Oval (all lanes)
• Kelly Drive between Eakins Oval and Fairmount Avenue (Kelly Drive inbound closed at Fountain Green Drive beginning at about 5 p.m.)
• Rear of Art Museum – Anne d’Harnoncourt Drive (Media Entry at 25th Street and Kelly Drive)
• 2000-2100 Winter Street
• MLK Drive from Falls Bridge to Eakins Oval
• Spring Garden Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and 31st Street
• 23rd Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and Eakins Oval
All closures listed below are in effect from about 4 a.m. on July 4 to 2 a.m. on July 5 unless otherwise noted:
• 1900 Race Street
• 1800-1900 Vine Street
• I-676 Off-Ramp at 22nd Street
• I-676 On-Ramp at 22nd Street
• I-76 eastbound Off-Ramp at Spring Garden Street
• Spring Garden Tunnel
• Park Towne Place between 22nd Street and 24th Street
• 22nd Street between Winter Street and Pennsylvania Avenue (local access maintained for Park Towne residents via complex driveway on 22nd Street)
• 21st Street between Winter Street and Pennsylvania Avenue
• 20th Street between Arch Street and Pennsylvania Avenue
• 19th Street between Callowhill Street and Cherry Street
The following roads will be closed on July 4 from about 1 p.m. until about 1 p.m. on July 5:
• All roads from Arch Street to Spring Garden Street, 18th Street to 22nd Street (local access maintained for residents)
• All roads from Arch Street to Fairmount Avenue, 22nd Street to Corinthian Street (local access maintained for residents)
• 16th and 17th streets, between Arch and Spring Garden streets,s will be closed only if conditions warrant in the interest of public safety
• 1600-1700 Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be closed only if conditions warrant in the interest of public safety
Due to public safety interests relating to the fireworks show, all roads listed below will be closed from 5 p.m. on July 4 to about 1 a.m. on July 5, unless noted otherwise:
• Kelly Drive from Fairmount Avenue to Fountain Green Drive
• Lemon Hill Drive
• Sedgley Drive
• Waterworks Drive
• Poplar Drive
Roads will be reopened as event infrastructure is removed and sanitation operations conclude. Many roads listed above should be reopened to vehicular traffic prior to the times indicated.
On July 4, SEPTA's Regional Rail service, the Market-Frankford Line and the Broad Street Line will operate on a Sunday schedule with additional cars to increase rider capacity for the event.
At about 4:15 p.m., SEPTA will stage buses for those leaving the Parkway at the following locations (to depart upon event conclusion):
• 20th Street – West side of street facing south between Race and Cherry streets
• 21st Street – West side of street facing south between Winter and Race streets
Additional SEPTA changes for July 4:
• Extra trains will run on the Broad Street and Market-Frankford Lines prior to the events to help get people to the Parkway.
• Bus Detours: Due to road closures, buses that travel on or near the Parkway will be detoured starting at 5 a.m. on Thursday, July 4 through 1 a.m. on Friday, July 5. Routes detoured: 7, 9, 17, 21, 32, 33, 38, 42, 43, 44 and 48.
• Regional Rail trains will be added to the service schedule or held later than regularly scheduled on most lines for customers leaving Center City Philadelphia after the fireworks and concert on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Ticket office hours will also be extended.
• Due to the numerous road closures, SEPTA CCT will have two designated rendezvous points at 2299 Arch St. and 560 N. 20th St. From 7 p.m. on July 3 through 5 a.m. on July 5, these locations will be used to coordinate CCT pick-up and drop-off for neighborhoods impacted by the Parkway road closures.
• ADA vehicles are encouraged to pick-up/drop-off along Pennsylvania Avenue and Spring Garden Street. But there is no parking available at these locations.
• Designated rideshare and taxi drop-off points will be 2100-2200 Spring Garden Street and 1900-2000 Arch Street.
Paid parking lots and garages are conveniently located on or near the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. In the Historic District, there are many options including the AutoPark garage underneath the Independence Visitor Center at 5th and 6th Streets, between Market and Arch Streets.
To ensure the safety of all event-goers, large bags and containers will be subject to search at the entry-points listed above. The following are lists of permitted and prohibited items at the Party on the Parkway/Wawa Welcome America July 4th Concert & Fireworks:
Items allowed include:
• Small personal coolers
• Pets on leashes
• Chairs and blankets
Items not allowed inside the venue include but are not limited to:
• Weapons and contraband of any kind (regardless of permitting, e.g. Right-to-Carry permits will not be honored and weapons will be confiscated)
• Fireworks, firecrackers or explosives (including sparklers)
• Open flame of any kind
• Illegal or illicit substances of any kind
• Flyers, handbills, posters, stickers (no solicitation allowed)
• Unauthorized commerce
• Items that would obstruct others’ view (large signs, banners, etc.)
City officials are urging the public to refrain from bringing alcohol, large coolers, open containers or cooking equipment of any kind for safety reasons.
In emergencies or to report a suspicious person, activity or item (a backpack, package, or container), notify a police officer immediately or call 9-1-1. Do not try to open, move, cover or touch a suspicious item.
Additional information about the 2019 Wawa Welcome America Festival, including a full schedule of events, can be found at the festival's website.