PHILADELPHIA, April 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Fourth of July is always festive in Philadelphia as Wawa Welcome America! commemorates America's birthday with 11 days of fun, free and patriotic happenings. From June 24 through July 4, the city where American independence was established, celebrates with patriotic ceremonies, a parade, fireworks shows and the nation's largest free outdoor Independence Day concert featuring legendary hip-hop artists The Roots, along with special guests Earth, Wind & Fire, Michael McDonald, Estelle, Sara Bareilles, DJ Jazzy Jeff and others.
With two weekends of revelry, visitors will want to stay over. One popular deal is the two-night Philly Overnight® Hotel Package, complete with free hotel parking and available at more than 30 hotels throughout the region. Dozens of packages are bookable online at visitphilly.com or by calling the hotel.
Here's a look at how Philly is painting the town red, white and blue (events are free unless noted):
- Dozens of chefs from some of the city's most popular restaurants serve up tempting treats during the annual Taste of Philadelphia food fete. Cost for food. June 24-26. Penn's Landing, Columbus Boulevard at Walnut Street
- Philly's own internationally known bassist Gerald Veasley sets the groove at a free outdoor concert featuring hot jazz and cool river breezes. June 24. Penn's Landing, Columbus Boulevard
- Aaron Neville brings the sounds of N'Awlins to the Philly waterfront in a rocking, rhythmic concert. The concert ends with the first of three glittering fireworks shows that will take place throughout the festival. June 25. Penn's Landing, Columbus Boulevard at Walnut Street
- Ten-hut! After touring the US Naval ship docked along the Delaware River, visitors on both sides of the waterfront can swing and sway to the lively sounds of military-themed concerts. The U.S. Army Band Pershing's Own performs on Penn's Landing while across the river in Wiggins Park, the Air National Guard Band of the Mid-Atlantic entertain. July 2. Penn's Landing, Columbus Boulevard at Walnut Street; Wiggins Park, Camden
- Fireworks fans take note. Another fireworks spectacular lights up the night sky over the Delaware River waterfront with a simulcast musical soundtrack broadcast on both sides of the river. July 2. Penn's Landing, Columbus Boulevard at Walnut Street; Wiggins Park, Camden
- When the temps heat up, the Sooper-Scooper All You Can Eat Ice Cream Festival is the best way to cool down. Donation. July 2-4. Penn's Landing, Columbus Boulevard at Walnut Street
- Independence Day starts off in Independence National Historical Park with patriotic ceremonies at Independence Hall and commemorative events at The President's House: Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a New Nation memorial and ends on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway with a concert by The Roots and a blockbuster fireworks show. Throughout the day, folks can catch the patriotic spirit with a parade through Historic Philadelphia and an afternoon of free fun during the Party on the Parkway. July 4.
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