PHILADELPHIA, May 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- When it comes to celebrating America's birthday, nobody rocks it like Philadelphia, America's birthplace, and 2012 will be no exception thanks to a calendar filled with festive happenings before, during and after the Fourth of July. This year's revelry includes patriotic ceremonies; a hometown-style parade that features a salute to the U.S. military; the nation's largest free outdoor Independence Day concert starring The Roots, Queen Latifah, Joe Jonas, Common and Daryl Hall; dazzling displays of pyrotechnics; historic storytelling; outdoor movies; and much more.
With the value-packed Philly Overnight® Hotel Package, visitors can join in America's birthday blowout without blowing the budget. Packages are bookable at visitphilly.com/july4th. And on the site, residents and visitors can also find out what activities are free, learn the best places to catch the fireworks, score festival updates and more.
Here's a look at how locals and visitors can get in the patriotic spirit:
Before The Fourth:
- Philly @ the Movies – Families are encouraged to BYOB (bring your own blanket) when they settle in for free outdoor showings of popular movies. Films and locations vary. June 25, 27, 28, July 2. (215) 683-2200, welcomeamerica.com
- Taste of Philadelphia – While noshing on dishes by some of the city's hottest food trucks and trendiest restaurants, hungry festival-goers can relax and enjoy live entertainment along the banks of the Delaware River. Friday's free concert features a performance by Laura Izibor, named an "Artist to Watch" by Rolling Stone. And on Saturday evening, international jazz bassist Gerald Veasley takes the stage. The evening ends with an eye-popping fireworks extravaganza. June 29-July 1. Penn's Landing, Columbus Boulevard & Chestnut Street, (215) 683-2200, welcomeamerica.com
- Super Scooper All You Can Eat Ice Cream Festival – A donation to the Joshua Kahn childhood leukemia fund provides admission to the festival tent, where ice cream enthusiasts can feast on as much ice cream and other tasty cool treats as they crave. June 30-July 1. Penn's Landing, Columbus Boulevard at Walnut Street, (215) 928-8801, delawareriverwaterfrontcorp.com
- Community Paint Day for The Roots Mural Project – There is no experience needed to join in the fun of painting The Roots Mural Project. All materials are provided—painters just need to bring their enthusiasm for this new work of art. July 3. Market Street between 5th & 6th Streets, (215) 685-0750, muralarts.org
- Pops on Independence Concert – Families pack picnic baskets for an evening of free patriotic music and other tunes performed by Peter Nero and the Philly Pops in front of Independence Hall. Thomas Jefferson is expected to make an appearance to read powerful sections of the Declaration of Independence. July 3. 5th & Market Streets, (215) 683-2200, welcomeamerica.com
The Fabulous Fourth:
- Independence Day Parade and Patriotic Ceremonies – Following patriotic ceremonies in front of Independence Hall, a high-stepping, hometown-style parade winds through Historic Philadelphia with thousands of marchers, bands, dancers and floats. July 4. 5th & Chestnut Streets, (215) 683-2200, welcomeamerica.com
- Independence Day Family Fun – After riding the historic carousel or playing a round of mini-golf, families can celebrate Independence Day with games and free activities in Franklin Square, the place Yahoo! designated as one of the "Five Coolest Playgrounds in the U.S." July 4. Race Street between 6th & 7th Streets, (215) 629-4026, historicphiladelphia.org
- July 4 Concert and Fireworks – Hometown favorites The Roots headline the nation's largest free outdoor Fourth of July concert, also featuring Queen Latifah, Joe Jonas, Common and Darryl Hall. When the music stops, fireworks light up the sky above the Philadelphia Museum of Art. July 4. 26th Street & Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 683-2200, welcomeamerica.com
After The Fourth:
- Screenings Under the Stars – Movie fans head to Penn's Landing for a free outdoor screening of Mission: Impossible. July 5. Columbus Boulevard at Walnut Street,
(215) 928-8801, delawareriverwaterfrontcorp.com
- Philly Phyzz Phest – More than 200 years after Dr. Physick invented what is known today as soda pop, revelers will gather at his historic home for an afternoon of old-fashioned games, ice cream-making, tours and other festivities. July 7. 321 S. 4th Street, (215) 760-0630, philalandmarks.org
- United States Army Band Concert and Ship Visit – Tour a U.S. military ship, enjoy a free patriotic concert by Pershing's Own, the official U.S. Army Band, and stay for a colorful fireworks display at Penn's Landing. July 7. Columbus Boulevard at Walnut Street, (215) 928-8801, delawareriverwaterfrontcorp.com
- Reading of the Declaration of Independence – Visitors gather at Independence Hall to watch as costumed figures re-enact the first time the colonists heard the Declaration of Independence read. July 8. 5th & Chestnut Streets, (215) 965-2305, nps.gov/inde
Festive Before, During & After The Fourth:
- Independence After Hours – After a three-course dinner at City Tavern, tour participants wind through Historic Philadelphia with Colonial characters and "sneak" past the night watchman at Independence Hall, where they witness the Founding Fathers in deep discussion about the Declaration of Independence. June 26-July 8; no tour July 3 or 4. Historic Philadelphia Center, 6th & Chestnut Streets, (215) 629-4026, historicphiladelphia.org
- National Constitution Center's Independence Day Weekend – Outside, Revolutionary War re-enactors set up camp and give demonstrations, and inside, festival-goers enjoy Colonial demos, arts and crafts, patriotic karaoke and more family-friendly activities. July 28-July 4. 525 Arch Street, (215) 409-6700, constitutioncenter.org
- Tippler's Tour – While sampling drinks and snacks at four modern and historical watering holes, the over-21 set learns Colonial drinking songs and toasts and the role taverns played during the Revolutionary era. June 28, July 5. Historic Philadelphia Center, 6th & Chestnut Streets, (215) 629-4026, historicphiladelphia.org
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.
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.
SOURCE Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation