June 29, 2022
Wawa Welcome America — Philadelphia's annual Independence Day festival — is coming to a close this weekend with plenty of activities and events to celebrate the Fourth of July.
After a brief pandemic hiatus, Wawa Welcome America announced its two-week lineup of parties, cultural festivals, and fireworks displays as part of a larger effort to showcase the city's readiness to return to normal life.
The festival began on June 19, with Juneteenth block parties throughout the city. Welcome America has held events each day since, leading up to the holiday weekend celebrations beginning on Friday, July 1.
Here's a rundown of every Wawa Welcome America event still to come, and how to bypass the city's road closures in order to have a safe and fun Fourth of July.
People can start their holiday weekend at the Oval XP on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for "Our America Now: Expressions of Freedom." Artists from Olive Dance Theatre and We the People Stage are performing song, dance and spoken word, telling personal and historical stories about freedom. The event runs from 5 to 8 p.m.
The event was originally scheduled to take place at Cherry Street Pier on Friday, though expected crowd sizes forced Welcome America organizers to move it to a larger space. Cherry Street Pier will still host the waterfront fireworks display at 9:30 p.m. on Friday.
Several museums will be open for free admission as part of Welcome America.
• Powel House: 244 S. 3rd St. #3811 (11 a.m. until 4 p.m.)
• Faith and Liberty Discovery Center: 101 N. Independence Mall E. (10 a.m. until 5 p.m.)
• Penn Museum: 3260 South St. (10 a.m. until 5 p.m.)
• Science History Institute: 315 Chestnut St. (10 a.m. until 7 p.m.)
• Masonic Temple, Library and Museum: 1 N. Broad St. (10 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.)
• Rodin Museum: 2151 Benjamin Franklin Parkway (Pay as you wish, TK to TK)
As part of Welcome America's efforts to expand its reach of cultural festivals, a Celebration of Community and Culture is taking place at the Esperanza Arts Center from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.
The festival includes Latin food, music, vendors, and live performances inside the arts center by Argentinian pianist Emiliano Messiez and members of the Philadelphia Argentine Tango School.
After that, head over to the Great Plaza at the Delaware River Waterfront for the U.S. Army Pershing's Own Concert from 7 to 9 p.m. From 9 to 9:30 p.m., check out another fireworks display across the waterfront at Penn's Landing.
Another set of museums will be open for free admission on Saturday.
• Stenton: 4601 N. 18th St. (10 a.m. until 5 p.m.)
• National Liberty Museum: 321 Chestnut St. (10 a.m. until 5 p.m.)
On Sunday, check out live music at POPS on Independence from 7 to 9 p.m. The POPS are performing with Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter Ryan Shaw. Ahead of the concert, the Bourse Food Hall is hosting a block party beginning at 4 p.m., featuring a craft market and pay-as-you-go food and drink specials.
Two museums will be open for discounted and free admission on Sunday.
• Barnes Foundation: 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
• Philadelphia Museum of Art: 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway (Pay as you wish, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
To celebrate the Fourth of July and close out the Wawa Welcome America festival, organizers and sponsors have put together a wide variety of Independence Day events before the free concert and fireworks display on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
"After a brief rest, we are coming together on the Parkway — stronger than ever — to celebrate our nation's birthday and reconnect through the incredible power of music," said Geoff Gordon, regional president of Live Nation Northeast. "This year's amazing lineup of Jason Derulo, Ava Max, and Tori Kelly will have Philadelphia singing, dancing and celebrating."
In conjunction with Visit Philadelphia, Welcome America is hosting a Celebration of Freedom ceremony from 10 to 11 a.m. at Independence Hall. There will be a reading from the Declaration of Independence and Mayor Jim Kenney is presenting his Magis Award.
Following this, PNC will sponsor the Salute to America Independence Day Parade from 11 a.m. until 12 p.m. on East Market Street between 2nd Street and City Hall.
From 12 to 7 p.m., the Benjamin Franklin Parkway transforms into the biggest Fourth of July celebration in the city with an all-day party, leading up to Welcome America's signature concert event.
From 7 to 10 p.m., check out the Fourth of July concert featuring headliners Jason Derulo, Ava Max, and Tori Kelly. The concert is free to attend, and is immediately followed by the Wawa Welcome America Fireworks Spectacular. Both the concert and fireworks display will be televised on NBC10.
Two museums will be open for free admission on the Fourth of July.
• Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History: 101 S. Independence Mall E. (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
• Christ Church and Burial Ground: 340 N. 5th St. (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Information about road closures and bus route detours for Fourth of July weekend can be found here. You can also check out a guide on fireworks displays and Fourth of July celebrations at the Jersey Shore here.
July 1-4, 2022
All day | Free