PHILADELPHIA, June 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Philadelphia, the city where America's independence was born, is the best place to celebrate Independence Day. During the nine-day Wawa Welcome America! Festival, June 26 through July 5, visitors will enjoy a flag-waving parade through Historic Philadelphia, three dazzling fireworks displays and three free concerts with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Peter Nero and the Philly Pops and the nation's largest free outdoor Fourth of July concert featuring The Roots and the Goo Goo Dolls.
With so much happening before, during and after Independence Day, the popular Philly Overnight® Hotel Package makes it easy for families to make it a weekend – or two. The two-night offer, available at more than 30 hotels throughout the region, includes free hotel parking and is bookable on visitphilly.com or by calling the hotel directly.
Here are just a few highlights of the celebration:
The Pre-Independence Day Party:
- Taste of Philadelphia – A favorite of foodies, Taste of Philadelphia returns for the fifth year, with more some of the city's most popular eateries serving up their specialties. Free admission; fees for food samples. June 25-27. Great Plaza at Penn's Landing, Columbus Boulevard at Chestnut Street, (215) 683-2200, welcomeamerica.com
- Waterfront Concert and Fireworks Display – After Morris Day and the Time kick it old school-style, the first of three breathtaking fireworks shows—presented by the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation and themed Heat—lights up the skies above the Delaware River. Free. June 26. Great Plaza at Penn's Landing, Columbus Boulevard at Chestnut Street, (215) 683-2200, welcomeamerica.com
- Wawa Hoagie Day and Philly @ the Movies – It's double the delight when these Philly classics team up. Grab a piece of the quarter-mile-long Wawa hoagie and enjoy live music, contests and other iconic Philly treats. Then give your best "Yo Adrian" for the Rocky look-alike contest that precedes the movie showing of the Oscar-winning film on the steps that Rocky made famous. Free. June 30. Philadelphia Museum of Art, 26th Street & the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 683-2200, welcomeamerica.com
Fourth of July Weekend Festivities:
- Liberty 360 – The newest addition to Historic Philadelphia, Liberty 360 surrounds visitors as they discover the nation's symbols of freedom with the help of narrator Benjamin Franklin. Inside the 360° theater, the groundbreaking, 12-minute indoor show uses the most modern 3-D technology of its kind to spotlight the most treasured American value—liberty. Opens July 4 Weekend. Historic Philadelphia Center, 6th & Chestnut Streets, (215) 629-4026, historicphiladelphia.org.
- Pops on Independence – To start the Independence Day weekend, freedom lovers grab their blankets and picnics and head to Independence Mall for an alfresco performance by Peter Nero and the Philly Pops. Free. July 2. Between 5th & 6th Streets and Market & Chestnut Streets, (215) 409-6700, constitutioncenter.org
- Philadelphia Orchestra, Philly Phanatic and Fireworks at Penn's Landing – The world-famous Philadelphia Orchestra kicks off its free waterside concert with the Philly Phanatic acting as guest conductor for the first number. After the music, catch dazzling fireworks display presented by the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation. Free. July 3. Great Plaza at Penn's Landing, Columbus Boulevard at Chestnut Street, (215) 683-2200, welcomeamerica.com
- Super Scooper All-You-Can-Eat Ice Cream Festival – Forget about calories. A $5 donation gets you all-you-can-eat buffet of the coolest summer treat. July 3-5. Great Plaza at Penn's Landing, Columbus Boulevard at Chestnut Street, (215) 683-2200, welcomeamerica.com
- Independence Day Parade – What's red, white and blue all over? The old-time Fourth of July parade that winds through Historic Philadelphia. Don't miss Miss America, Salute to the Military, the DC Cowboys Dance Troupe from America's Got Talent, marching bands, Asian drummers and an attempt by Marine Colonel John Folsam to break the Guinness World Record by high-fiving more than 6,000 hands along the parade route. Free. July 4. Market Street, (215) 683-2200, welcomeamerica.com
- Life, Liberty and You Concert and Fireworks – Cap off Independence Day weekend at the nation's largest free outdoor Fourth of July concert featuring The Roots, the Goo Goo Dolls and an eye-popping, jaw-dropping, light-up-the-sky fireworks display, themed Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. Free. July 4. Benjamin Franklin Parkway between 18th & 23rd Streets, (215) 683-2200, welcomeamerica.com
The City's Post-Fourth Of July Glow:
- Hot on the heels of two spectacular seasons, the Philadelphia Phillies are in town the week of July 5. On July 5, fans can enjoy all the hot dogs they want during Dollar Dog Night, and the games on July 8 and 9 feature fireworks. 1 Citizens Bank Way, (215) 463-1000, phillies.com
- Even after the last fireworks have faded, Philadelphia still isn't done. On July 8, the anniversary celebration of the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence includes a live reading and festivities at Independence Hall. After July 12, the tower of the historic building will go behind a decorative scrim for a 14-month restoration. July 8. 5th & Chestnut Streets, (215) 965-2305, nps.gov/inde
- The Egyptian pharaohs were a far cry from the American Founding Fathers, and that's a good thing. An expedition thousands of years in the making, the stunning Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt at The Franklin Institute reveals some of the secrets of the world's most legendary queen. 222 N. 20th Street, (215) 448-1200, fi.edu
- Visitors discover how the masters expressed their artistic freedom at the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Late Renoir, which includes 80 masterpieces by August Renoir along with Matisse, Picasso and others whose talents were influenced by the groundbreaking impressionist. 26th & Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 763-8100, philamuseum.org
The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases business and promotes the region's vitality.
For more information about travel to Philadelphia, visit visitphilly.com or uwishunu.com, where you can build itineraries; search event calendars; see photos and videos; view interactive maps; sign up for newsletters; listen to HearPhilly, an online radio station about what to see and do in the region; book hotel reservations and more. Or, call the Independence Visitor Center, located in Historic Philadelphia, at (800) 537-7676.
SOURCE Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation