June 1, 2016

A Guide To The 2016 Wawa Welcome America Festival

The 2016 Wawa Welcome America! eight-day festival begins Monday, June 27 and runs through Monday, July 4. Thirty-five events, 350 performers and 100 hours of fun in Center City and in the neighborhoods will highlight America’s Independence and celebrate everything Philadelphia—from history to entertainment. This year, festival attendees will see more live music than ever before with free performances from a wide range of artists including Philadelphia’s own Tony-nominated Hamilton star and recording artist, Leslie Odom, Jr. For a complete guide to the 2016 Wawa Welcome America festival, click here:

The July 4th festivities are jam packed with fun and free events for the whole family to enjoy including eight days of free museums, three nights of jaw dropping free fireworks shows, seven free Philly @ the Movies screenings, and a citywide simultaneous book reading held at all 54 Philadelphia Free Libraries.

Enjoy eight Free Museum Days taking place throughout the city’s many historical institutions including The Barnes Foundation (courtesy of PECO), the National Constitution Center (2 free days courtesy of Wawa), the African American Museum in Philadelphia, the Ben Franklin Museum, Museum Without Walls, the National Museum of Jewish American History and the Rodin Museum.

Monday, June 27
Benjamin Franklin Museum
3rd St & Chestnut Streets | 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, June 28                   
Museum Without Walls

Wednesday, June 29             
Rodin Museum
21st St & Benjamin Franklin Parkway | 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Thursday, June 30
The National Constitution Center
Courtesy of Wawa
5th & Arch Streets | 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

 Friday, July 1
African American Museum in Philadelphia
7th & Arch Streets | 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, July 2
National Constitution Center
Celebrating our Everyday Heroes
Courtesy of Wawa
5th & Arch Streets | 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, July 3
The Barnes Museum
Courtesy of PECO
20th Street & Benjamin Franklin Parkway | 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Monday, July 4
The National Museum of Jewish American History
5th & Market Streets | 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The festival features 35 events, 350 performers and 100 hours of fun in Center City and in the neighborhoods. All festival events are free and curated to be family-friendly and inclusive.

Monday, June 27
Our Flag Unfurled Mural Dedication
Join Mural Arts, Philadelphia STYLE Magazine and Welcome America Inc., on Monday, June 27 at 2:00 p.m. at Columbus Boulevard & Spring Garden Street as they mark the official kickoff of the festival with a special dedication of Meg Saligman’s newly restored mural, Our Flag Unfurled.

Go 4th & Learn about Science: The Franklin Institute presents Science Behind Pixar
The Franklin Institute brings Pixar to life with live demonstrations and interactive activities from the Science Behind Pixar exhibit. Whether you’re a kid or a kid at heart, this event’s for you! The Franklin Institute is located at Franklin Square at 200 N. 6th Street and opened from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Philly @ the Movies
Enjoy a free movie screening under the stars at 8:30 p.m. at Franklin Square located at 200 N. 6th Street. Children and adults alike will enjoy a family-friendly, fun-filled night.

Tuesday, June 28

Philly @ the Movies: The Good Dinosaur
Join Arlo & Spot on an epic adventure in Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur at XFINITY Live! located at 11th Street & Pattison Avenue. The event begins at 5:00 p.m. Enjoy a themed kids’ menu, activities and prizes. Free popcorn and parking.

Wednesday, June 29
Go 4th & Workout Like Rocky
Train like Rocky on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art at 26th Street & Benjamin Franklin Parkway. This event takes place from 6:25 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. and is part of the November Project, a free national fitness initiative. All ages welcome!

 Go 4th & Read
Join the Free Library of Philadelphia at one of their 54 branches from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. for a citywide reading and a FREE book giveaway to the first 100 kids at each library.

Philly @ the Movies: Rocky
Philly @ the Movies continues with a free screening of “Rocky,” the iconic boxing film shot in and around Philadelphia. Movie-goers will watch this classic from the very steps that made Rocky a lifelong legend at the Philadelphia Museum of Art at 26th Street & Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Move screening begins at 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, June 30
Philadelphia International Airport Special Exhibition
Travel through Philadelphia’s Presidential Convention History from 1848 through 2016. This exhibit is taking place at Philadelphia Airport’s Terminal A – East from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m and is opened to ticketed passengers only.

Wawa Hoagie Day
The annual Wawa Hoagie Day honors our troops and expands on Wawa’s partnership with the USO. Guests will enjoy Wawa hoagies served FREE at Noon, special appearances by Food Network Chef Robert Irvine, and a performance by the USO Show Troupe.

Go 4th & Learn about Music & Culture
Get behind the scenes of one of the longest running traditions in our country – The Mummers Parade! Learn about the history and art that goes into making this Philadelphia tradition so special. The Mummers Museum is located at 2nd St & Washington Avenue and is open from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Philly @ the Movies: National Treasure
The finale of Philly @ the Movies takes place at Penn’s Landing at the Delaware River Waterfront located at 101 S. Columbus Boulevard with a free screening of National Treasure from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Watch as Ben Gates races through Philadelphia in search of the finding the legendary treasure that is secretly mapped out on the back of the Declaration of Independence. Attendees are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket.

Summer Mummer Concert
The 2016 Champions, South Philadelphia String Band, take the stage for a FREE concert at the Mummers Museum, located at 2nd St & Washington Avenue. The event takes place from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Food & drink will be available for purchase. We recommend bringing a chair or blanket. And, get your golden slippers ready to dance the night away! 

Go 4th & Learn about Fitness
Break a sweat at the 6.5 acre playground, featuring the Ann Newman Giant Wooden Slide and over 50 unique and fun activities. The event takes place at Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse located at 3500 Reservoir Drive from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Philadelphia Orchestra Neighborhood Concert & Fireworks
As part of the Neighborhood Concert Series presented by Wells Fargo, the world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra will perform on the RiverStage at the Great Plaza from 8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. followed by a spectacular fireworks display presented by Comcast NBC Universal & Pyrotecnico. The RiverStage at the Great Plaza is located at 101 S. Columbus Boulevard.

Saturday, July 2
US Army Band, Pershing’s Own” Concert & Fireworks
The United States Army Band, one of the nation’s premier musical organizations, returns to the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing at 101 S. Columbus Boulevard for an evening full of music, followed by a patriotic fireworks display presented by Comcast NBC Universal & Pyrotecnico. The concert runs from 8:00 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.

Sunday, July 3
Pay What You Wish at
Pay-What-You-Wish to visit one of the largest and most renowned museums in the country, the The Philadelphia Museum of Art located at 26th Street & Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The museum celebrates the beauty and enchantment of artistic achievements and is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Historic Philadelphia Block Party
The Historic Philadelphia Block Party will transform Independence Mall’s surrounding streets into a fun and savory block party our forefathers would approve, complete with food, music and fun for all ages. The festivities take place from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. along 5th & 6th Streets between Market & Chestnut Streets.

POPS! on Independence
Enjoy a patriotic and entertaining show at Independence Mall by Music Director Michael Krajewski and the 65-piece POPS orchestra featuring Broadway and opera stars, Allison Blackwell and Justin Hopkins. The show is taking from 8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Independence Hall located at 6th & Chestnut Streets.

Monday, July 4
Celebration of Freedom Ceremony
Join the City of Philadelphia in paying tribute to our great nation through inspiring remarks, patriotic music and a special reading of the Declaration of Independence from notable guests, including Mayor Jim Kenney and Hamilton’s Leslie Odom Jr.  The ceremony is taking from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at Independence Hall located at 6th & Chestnut Streets.

Independence Day Parade
3,000 participants, a variety of floats, historical elements, military, special units and cultural groups reflect on the words of our Constitution along the 1.2 mile parade route throughout Historic Philadelphia. The parade begins at 11:00 a.m. and ends at noon.

Party on the Parkway
Celebrate July 4th with tasty food and 10 hours of FREE fun, including the ultimate live family concert experience with The KIDZ BOP Kids: Life of the Party Tour, and performances by some of Philadelphia’s local talent. The party takes place on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 20th Street to Eakins Oval from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Wawa Welcome America July 4th Concert
The concert kicks off at 5:00 p.m. at Eakins Oval on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway with Philadelphia’s own, Leslie Odom Jr., Yazz the Greatest, Brotherly Love & more special guests followed by a high-energy celebration of the music of Gamble & Huff performed by TSOP favorites, The O’Jays, Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes, and The Intruders. The Philly POPS! returns with a full 65-piece patriotic performance with special guest performers. 

Wawa Welcome America July 4th Fireworks
Presented by Comcast NBC Universal & Pyrotecnico
The grand finale fireworks spectacular takes place at Eakins Oval on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and takes us on a journey from July 4, 1776 to today showcasing patriotism and significant movements in history through musical works and powerful quotes. The fireworks are scheduled to go off at 10:00 p.m.

Keep up with all the festivities on your mobile phone with a digital guide to the festival on the NBC10 and Telemundo62 mobile apps and live broadcast of the festival streamed on the NBC10 and Telemundo62 websites.

Join the conversation by liking Wawa Welcome America on Facebook (Facebook.com/WawaWelcomeAmerica) and following on Twitter and Instagram (@July4thPhilly) #JULY4THPHILLY. 

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