June 25 to July 4, 2012
Every year the 4th of July is a huge celebration in the city of Philadelphia. So much so, that in addition to regular 4th of July festivities like fireworks and concerts, this city hosts an 11-day festival leading up to the 4th of July. The Welcome America! Festival starts every year towards the end of June and increases the anticipation for the celebrations of Independence Day with a variety of fun-filled activities for families, foodies, and more.
Taste of PhiladelphiaOne of the most anticipated parts of the Welcome America! Festival is Taste of Philadelphia. Located in Penn's Landing , this food-based event features the opportunity to taste dishes from some of Philadelphia's top restaurants. Live music often accompanies this lively event. This is a great way to figure out what Philadelphia restaurants you would like to try during your visit.
Philly at the MoviesOne of summer's pastimes is outdoor movie screenings. This American tradition is the inspiration behind Philly at the Movies, a series of outdoor movie screenings as part of the Welcome America! Festival. Movies are a mix of classic favorites like Rocky to more modern picks like the Devil Wears Prada . This is a family-friendly event and dogs are welcome too, as long as they're on a leash.
Go 4th and LearnAnother integral part of this festival is called Go 4th and Learn. This part of the festival features the opportunity to learn about a range of topics in Philadelphia from history to art to science. There are programs that are a great fit for adults or for kids, and tickets are often required in advance due to high demand. The Go 4th and Learn program brings an educational element to the whole festival.
Live PerformancesMusic is a central element of the Welcome America! Festival. Each year the line-up of concerts changes, but there is always a mix of performances from musicians of different genres. Spread throughout the 11-day festival , live music performances set a festive atmosphere for the big celebrations on the final day of the festival, the 4th of July .
Spectacular Fireworks DisplayIn addition to a fireworks display on the 4th of July, the Welcome America! Festival also features other nights of fireworks. Depending on the calendar of each year, there are fireworks at Penn's Landing for a weekend (or even two) before the 4th of July. These fireworks displays are often followed up with a concert, such as Aaron Neville in 2011. The final fireworks display of the festival takes place on the 4th of July at the Philadelphia Museum of Art .
Independence Day ActivitiesAll of these fun festivities lead up to the big day: the 4th of July. The Independence Day Parade winds through the streets of historic Philadelphia from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and features over 3,500 marchers, dancers, and musicians. Many of these participants will be dressed in historic patriotic costumes, adding to the atmosphere of the day. The holiday gets started with the Celebration of Freedom at Independence Hall at 10 a.m. Featuring music, speeches, and a reading of sections of the Declaration of Independence, this is a very educational and patriotic event.
Another 4th of July highlight is the Party on the Parkway, a day-long festival on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway featuring games, food, and entertainment. The final cherry on top of all the festivities is the evening concert and fireworks. Every year the Fourth of July Jam features top name musicians including the Roots ; Earth, Wind, & Fire ; and Estelle . The Grand Finale fireworks finish things off every year.