Happy Fourth of July! On this day, spectacular fireworks displays will color the skies of Philadelphia, the city where America's independence was born.
The Founding Fathers declared America's independence in Philadelphia back in 1776. To this date, Philadelphia remains one of the best places to celebrate that independence on July Fourth, offering history, fireworks and fun events leading up to and on Independence Day.
The final round of fireworks of the 11-day Wawa Welcome America! Festival will spark on the Delaware River, starting at around 10:30 p.m.
Wawa Welcome America is Philadelphia's 4th of July celebration, as America's birthplace. 2011 marks the second year of this event sponsored by Wawa, Inc.
Philly's Fourth of July Jam and Grand Finale Fireworks will be held on Benjamin Franklin Parkway (20th and Eakins Oval) from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Four-time Grammy award-winning band The Roots will headline the Jam, which will also feature Michael McDonald, Estelle, Earth Wind & Fire, Sara Bareilles, DJ Jazzy Jeff and more.
Additionally, bring your appetite for Party on the parkway on Benjamin Franklin Parkway between 18th & 23rd Streets, with music, dancing, cultural activities, arts and crafts and live entertainment. It will kick off at noon, and pass the torch to the jam at around 6 p.m.
According to uwishunu.com, there will be three music stages, a Multicultural Arts Pavilion with Latin Music Workshops and Chinese make-and-take arts and crafts, the MHP Liberty Strongman Classic featuring feats of strength involving concrete cyclinders and the like, and the Go 4th & Learn Kid's Fun Zone featuring inflatable obstacle courses and moon bounces, face painting and crafts.
Best places to watch the fireworks:
For the first time, the outer lanes of the parkway will be closed to car traffic, giving you much expanded options for viewing. If you get to the Parkway early, you'll be able to grab a great location for watching the concert and the fireworks.
According to uwishunu.com, these are the best spots;
- Benjamin Franklin Parkway: You can stake out a spot anywhere along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway from Logan Circle to Eakin's Oval. The entire street is shut down in honor of the celebration. Tip: try to grab a spot at thebaseball fields at 22nd and the Parkway.
- Martin Luther King Drive: This is another great place, right across the the Schuylkill River from gorgeously lit Boathouse Row. Anyone driving in from the suburbs will find it convenient to settle in along here for the evening.
- Schuylkill River Park: There's lots of grass along the banks for comfortable viewing, with a beautiful view of the Art Museum. It's a super convenient spot for Center City residents, since it's accessible via the Walnut Street Bridge, Race Street crossing and other connectors.
- Lemon Hill in Fairmount Park: There's a a gorgeous mansion, and lots of space to set up your lawnchairs. One advantage of this site is the elevation. Bring a BBQ!
- Kelly Drive: There are many places along the river with great views of the display, includingBoathouse Rowand the open field at the intersection of Kelly Drive and Sedgley Drive.
- Best Western Center City: Conveniently located right on the parkway, this hotel is the closest hotel to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and affords prime views of the events if you know anyone staying there and can watch from inside (or outdoor pooldeck, anyone?) or just want to situate yourself close to the action.