Floats at this year’s Wawa Welcome America! Parade will have unique looks, focusing on historic moments in time like the 40th anniversary of the Gay News and a bi-centennial float for the African Methodist Episcopal church.
Parade goers can also look out for Miss America on the Wawa Military Alliance float which is dedicated to people who have worked at Wawa and served in the Military. An NBC10 float will have a 78th army band as well as our on-air personalities and a XOXO Philly Float will bring the message of visit Philly to life.
Todd Marcocci, parade producer and artistic director, revealed some fireworks and parade secrets to look out for during this weekend’s Wawa Welcome America Festival.
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Marcocci and his team worked year round to plan, audition, and gather groups from all around the country to create a procession that reflects a monumental day in the nation’s history.
An expected 4,000 people will gather at 5th and Chestnut streets to take part in the historic story of the Declaration of Independence.
“The parade marchers have the opportunity to pass through the footprints of our forefathers as brave patriots did 240 years ago on the actual holiday itself,” Marcocci said. “The groups that come from far away are overwhelmed because they get to march right in front of the Independence Day Museum where it all started.”
The Wawa Welcome America Fireworks will be coupled with musical soundtracks to enhance the experience.
On July 1 the fireworks are in honor of the Philadelphia Orchestra. The fireworks will be paired with a soundtrack that includes a piece from every conductor over the years from the Philadelphia orchestra. July 2 Fireworks will highlight the different artists in Philadelphia with the help of DJ Jerry Blavat who helped create the soundtrack .
Finally, July 4th will honor the history of the Declaration of Independence. It will include recordings of Martin Luther King Jr., The Star Spangled Banner sung by Jennifer Houston, quotes from President Obama about Selma and Seneca Falls, words from the late Maya Angelou and end with a salute to armed forces with a rendition of "God Bless America."
“Fireworks used to be created without any purpose. Now, the music pushes the energy of the fireworks into the sky. There are three different shows with three different moods. This is art,” Marcocci said.