June 02, 2021
Wawa Welcome America, Philadelphia's annual Independence Day festival, will return with a lineup of in-person events for 2021.
The biggest event, the Fourth of July concert, will take place at the Mann Center for Performing Arts instead of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway this summer. It will be televised on NBC10 and streamed on the NBC10 apps and website, as well.
This year's headliners are Bebe Rexha and Flo Rida.
The 2021 concert will be free to attend, but tickets are necessary. Tickets will become available on June 19.
Last year, the concert was held virtually due to COVID-19. Jason Derulo and Cynthia Erivo were the 2020 headliners.
There were no fireworks on the Parkway last summer, but fireworks will return in 2021 on July 4 over the Philadelphia Museum of Art. UPDATE (July 1): The fireworks display will follow the concert and take place between 9:30-10 p.m. People are invited to the Parkway starting at 8 p.m.
As for other Wawa Welcome America events, the popular Wawa Hoagie Day will take place July 1. The in-person event will be held at 5th and 6th streets by Independence Mall. Free hoagies will be served at noon. Also, admission to the National Constitution Center will be free on July 1 for those in the area who wish to visit.
Another favorite, free movie nights, also is returning. "Rocky" will be screened at the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art on June 20, "Tulsa: The Fire and the Forgotten" will be screened at the drive-in at the Navy Yard on June 21 and "Pitch Perfect" will be shown at Mifflin Square Park on June 23. "Shrek" also will be screened at the drive-in on June 29 and "Hidden Figures" will be screened at Cherashore Playground on June 30.
Questlove's "Summer of Soul" will be screened at the drive-in, as well. There's an opportunity to win tickets to the event.
New for 2021, the festival is starting earlier. It will begin on June 19 and run through July 4. The expansion, in partnership with the African American Museum in Philadelphia and Visit Philadelphia, aims to provide education and awareness about Juneteenth. Admission to the AAMP will be free on both June 19 and June 20.
Other festival events can be found on the Wawa Welcome America website. There are more free concerts and free museum days, plus block parties and educational activities.