Travel: Celebrate The Fourth Of July In Philly

When it comes to celebrating America’s 237th birthday, a great place to visit is Philadelphia, America’s birthplace, thanks to festive happenings before, during and after the Fourth of July.

Celebrate The Fourth Of July In Philly

Pre-Fourth of July Festivities:
  • Movie buffs can gather in beautiful Rittenhouse Square to watch Jenkintown native Bradley Cooper in the award-winning Philadelphia-based film Silver Linings Playbook. It’s the first screening of 2013 for the Philly @ the Movies series, bringing cinematic classics to the big screen in the open air. July 1 at 9:00 p.m.
  • Come hungry to Wawa Hoagie Day on the Independence Visitor Center lawn. It’s free hoagies for all on the lawn, where the Liberty Belles entertain the sandwich-eating crowds. Then, people can eat up a mouthwatering exhibition on the history of the hoagie at the National Constitution Center, where admission is free all day. July 2, at 12:00 noon-2:00 p.m.
  • The renowned Philadelphia Orchestra takes the RiverStage at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing for a free Neighborhood Concert, followed by a small-but-dazzling fireworks salute. July 2 at 8:05 p.m.
  • The Philly @ the Movies series continues with a viewing of the Oscar-winning film Rocky on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Before or after the show, movie-goers can snap a picture in front of the bronze statue of the boxer that sits at the bottom right of the steps—a not-to-be-missed photo opp. July 2 at 9:00 p.m.

The Fabulous Fourth:
  • The Celebration of Freedom Ceremony pays tribute to the document that started it all: the Declaration of Independence. Taking place in front of Independence Hall, the event features music, speeches and readings derived from the Declaration, and this year’s ceremony honors two more weighty birthdays: the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights movement. July 4 at 10:00-11:00 a.m.
  • Stepping off from Independence Hall, the Philadelphia Independence Day Parade features more than 5,000 participants from states across the nation, including marching bands, floats and military groups. The parade winds through the country’s most historic square mile as part of the most diverse Independence Day parade in the U.S. July 4 at 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Philly’s historic district isn’t the only happening ’hood on the Fourth. The Benjamin Franklin Parkway’s Party on the Parkway features musical entertainment on the Global Music and Questlove stages, interactive games, arts and crafts and plenty of food. July 4 at 12:00 noon-7:00 p.m.

The Independence After-Party:
  • A smorgasbord of culinary delights satisfy attendees at Taste of Philadelphia, a three-day food sampling celebration at Penn’s Landing, filled with reps from some of the city’s favorite restaurants and food trucks. Also on the menu: live music performed on two stages: the RiverStage at Penn’s Landing and the Old City Stage at Front and Chestnut Streets. Entertainment and admission to Penn’s Landing are free; the bite-sized dishes are offered at a few dollars apiece.
  • On Saturday, Taste ends with a bang as the Adventure Aquarium Waterfront Fireworks Spectacular illuminates the sky over the Delaware River. July 5 and 6 at 12:00 noon-10:00 p.m., and July 7 at 12:00 noon-3:00 p.m.

From July 1-7, Wawa Welcome America! hosts a week-long celebration filled with festive events, including the largest free concert in America starring Philly hometown heroes and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon house band The Roots. Add to that two major fireworks shows, more concerts, movie screenings and food-focused events—all of which are free—for a Fourth of July weekend that’s sure to go down in history.

To see the full lineup visit

Visitors can book their hotel stay at, where they’ll find great rates and packages. The Philly Overnight Hotel Package, one of the site’s most popular offerings, includes a two-night hotel stay and free hotel parking.

For more information about travel to Philadelphia, to build itineraries; search event calendars; see photos and videos; and much more, visit visit

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