America's birthday in the cradle of liberty will be full of great music, community events and three free firework shows during this year's Wawa Welcome America! festival.
The eight-day family-friendly festival featuring more than 35 events starts Monday, June 27 and culminates with a full day birthday celebration on the Fourth of July.
This year, the festival will feature three fireworks shows. Two will take place over the Delaware River and the third will follow the July 4th concert on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
At least a dozen national and international music artists will take the stage at the July 4th concert including soul singer Leon Bridges and rapper Yazz the Greatest to celebrate the nation's independence. The performances will span eras and musical genres and include a special tribute to music icons Gamble & Huff that will include Philly legends the O'Jays & The Intruders.
The special concert will kick off at 5 p.m. and last for five hours, culminating with the firework finale over the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
The entire concert and firework display will be broadcast on NBC10, NBC10.com and the NBC10 app and, for the first time in the festival's history, in Spanish on Telemundo62, Telemundo62.com and the T62 app.
NBC10, Telemundo62 and our parent company, Comcast NBCUniversal, joined Wawa Welcome America this year as major sponsors.
Attendees will be able to watch seven free movies under the stars at locations across the city including Franklin Square, Xfinity Live!, Penn's Landing, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Piazza at Schmidt's and Tustin Recreation Center.
Food Network celebrity chef Robert Irvine, WMMR's Preston and Steve and Wawa associates will build a huge hoagie for the 24th annual Wawa Hoagie Day. The event will honor veterans and the USO.
The Barnes Foundation, National Constitution Center, African American Museum, Ben Franklin Museum, Rodin Museum and National Museum of Jewish American History are all offering at least one day of free attendance.
Other events include:
- Meet Your Neighbors experience, a first, on July 4th
- Independence Day Parade, featuring 4,000 marchers in Old City
- Citywide book reading simultaneously at all 54 public libraries and a book giveaway
- Celebration of Freedom Ceremony with the presentation of the Philadelphia Magis Award, a new honor to be bestowed by Mayor Jim Kenney
More than 500,000 people are expected to attend the parties, concerts and other events taking place during the festival.
NBC10, Telemundo62 and Xfinity will have full coverage of the events throughout the week.