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The Philly Family Guide to the 2022 Wawa Welcome America Festival

From fireworks displays to free museum days, there's something for every member of the family to enjoy during this year's Wawa Welcome America Festival!

As the birthplace of Independence, Philadelphia is expected to deliver quality entertainment every year around the 4th of July — and 2022 is no exception. This year, the Wawa Welcome America Festival is back and better than ever, with two weeks of free activities for all ages. Whether you’re in the mood to learn about the history of Philly or see a star-studded concert, Wawa has you covered with a lineup of 20+ family friendly events from June 19 until July 4, 2022. Keep scrolling to see what’s in store for this year’s Wawa Welcome America Festival in Philadelphia.

Concerts & Fireworks

Let’s face it, Independence Day simply wouldn’t be the same without fireworks — and nothing goes better with fireworks than some live performances. Here are some opportunities for you and the family to enjoy music, celebrate the history of the 4th of July, and catch a fireworks display:

Our America Now: Expressions of Freedom & Waterfront Fireworks 

July 1, 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Cherry Street Pier & Race Street Pier – N Christopher Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia

Photo by J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA® / EDITORIAL USE APPROVED; ©VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

Set along Philadelphia’s iconic waterfront, this immersive experience brings to life pivotal moments of Indigenous, Black, LatinX, Asian, Immigrant, LGBTQ community rights, and women’s history and tells the stories of influential individuals through diverse voices. Artists from Olive Dance Theatre and We The People Stage will use spoken word, dance, and song to portray personal and historical stories rooted in passionate expressions of freedom. Guests will be invited to be part of the performance by joining the storytelling stage hosted by Emmy-Award Winning content creator Thomas C. Knox. This event features DJs, food trucks, live artistic performances, and interactive activities, with a grand fireworks finale!

Pershing’s Own Concert & Waterfront Fireworks 

July 2, 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Great Plaza at Delaware River Waterfront – 101 S Christopher Columbus Boulevard

Photo by J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA® / EDITORIAL USE APPROVED; ©VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

Patriotic, all-star concert by the US Army’s Pershing’s Own followed by a thrilling fireworks display over the Delaware River Waterfront.

The U.S. Army Field Band & Soldiers’ Chorus on Independence Mall

June 24, 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Independence National Historical Park – 5th & Market Streets, Philadelphia

Pre-Party Outside Bourse Food Hall: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Performance: 7:00 pm

The U.S. Army Field Band & Soldiers’ Chorus presents “America the Beautiful,” a celebration of all there is to love about our nation. Take in unparalleled natural landscapes and meet the warm and welcoming people on a musical and visual journey across our country. Attendees are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket. Beginning at 5 PM, on 5th Street, outside of The Bourse Food Hall, guests can enjoy entertainment, food, and fun before the start of the show.

Gospel on Independence

June 26, 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm 

Independence National Historical Park – 5th & Market Streets, Philadelphia

Photo by J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA® / EDITORIAL USE APPROVED; ©VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

Pre-Party Outside Bourse Food Hall: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Performance: 7:00 pm

Enjoy a moving and uplifting performance starring gospel legend Yolanda Yvette Adams, alongside the Welcome America Mass Choir under the direction of Austin Woodland and Zak Williams, showcasing talented singers from across the city with a special performance by The Talented Tenors. This year’s performance, hosted by WDAS Patty Jackson, is an Ode to Freedom, celebrating the 200th Anniversary of Harriet Tubman. Limited seating available on a first-come first-serve basis. Guests are encouraged to bring their own chairs and/or blankets. Beginning at 5 PM, enjoy tasty food selections from The Bourse Food Hall and a performance by Rev. R2 and Da’ Crew on 5th Street between Market and Chestnut Streets.

“Summer Solstice” White Party 

June 30, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

African American Museum in Philadelphia – 701 Arch Street, Philadelphia

AAMP’s Summer Solstice will welcome international recording artist and Philadelphia icon, Barbara Sheree, as host for a night of live music, performance, and improv. The night will feature the region’s best musical talent and will include a full band and a live DJ playing your favorite classics. Food and wine will be served.

POPS on Independence

July 3, 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Independence National Historical Park – 5th & Market Streets, Philadelphia

Photo by J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA® / EDITORIAL USE APPROVED; ©VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

Pre-Party Outside Bourse Food Hall: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Performance: 7:00 pm

The Philly POPS return to Independence National Historical Park in their 43-year tradition with POPS on Independence. Music Director David Charles Abell conducts the Philly POPS trademark celebration with a full orchestra. This year’s concert is presented with a soulful twist featuring frequent collaborator and Broadway star Ryan Shaw. Attendees are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket. Beginning at 5 PM, on 5th Street outside The Bourse Food Hall, guests are invited for entertainment, food, and fun before the start of the show.

July 4th Concert and Fireworks 

July 4, 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Benjamin Franklin Parkway (enter at Logan Square), Philadelphia

Photo by J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA® / EDITORIAL USE APPROVED; ©VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

The festival culminates with a star-studded concert back on the Parkway, featuring performances by award-winning singer/songwriter Jason Derulo and multiple-platinum selling popstar Ava Max, followed by a breathtaking fireworks display. While fireworks light up the sky, DJ Ghost and Q102 will light up the airwaves with a DJ set fully synced to 4th of July Fireworks display live on the Parkway and broadcast on NBC10.

Festivals, Parades, & Block Parties

Get ready to enjoy some delectable local cuisine and put your dancing shoes on, because it’s time to celebrate another year of freedom! Below are some can’t-miss family festivals, parades, and block parties taking place in Philly from June 19-July 4:

AAMP Juneteenth Block Party: Celebrating the Legacy of Emancipation

June 19, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

African American Museum in Philadelphia – 701 Arch Street, Philadelphia

Dominique Nichole for VISIT PHILADELPHIA / VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

Celebrate the history, culture, and legacy of Juneteenth with the African American Museum of Philadelphia at its Juneteenth Block Party. In partnership with Wawa and Welcome America, AAMP will host a daylong, family-friendly outdoor festival that features a rich lineup of the region’s best and brightest creative luminaries. Guests will enjoy live performances from international and local artists, a community marketplace featuring Black-owned businesses, vendors, community partners, and food trucks, and hands-on activities including art-making, line dancing, and more! Courtesy of Wawa, AAMP will also offer FREE admission to the Museum with online registration.

Rebuild Philadelphia Fishtown Pool Ribbon Cutting & Block Party

June 21, 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Fishtown Recreation Center – 1235 E Palmer Street, Philadelphia

Come celebrate the grand opening of the newly renovated Fishtown Pool and Sprayground. In partnership with Rebuild Philadelphia and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, Welcome America invites neighbors near and far to enjoy live entertainment, games, giveaways, food trucks and more!

PNC Presents: Avenue of the Arts Block Party

June 25, 11:00 am – 7:00 pm

Kimmel Center Cultural Campus – 300 South Broad Street, Philadelphia

The Avenue of the Arts comes to life with entertainment, art, food and more! Enjoy live performances from local and world-renowned artists, including three-time Emmy Award-winning Bill Jolly, Rated Art, and Zo, featuring lead singer Gina Castanzo from NBC’s The Voice. Kids and kids-at-heart can slide down the 120-foot slide or zip across Broad Street on the 300-foot zip-line – both FREE of charge! Sip a cocktail at the Garces Beer Garden and grab a bite to eat from one of the many local food trucks or nearby restaurants. Get crafty with Mural Arts Philadelphia and participate in creating unique chalk art, then shop local vendors and snag free giveaways from festival sponsors. Head inside the Kimmel Cultural Campus for high-powered entertainment on the PNC Arts Alive Stage and exclusive experiences, such as performances by cast members from Moulin Rouge! The Musical and other popular titles on the Broadway Series and an interactive dance workshop led by Teaching Artists from Disney Theatrical Group. Audience members will learn warm-ups and choreography set to music from The Lion King on Tour and Broadway!

Salute to America Independence Day Parade 

July 4, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm 

East Market Street (between 2nd Street and City Hall), Philadelphia

R. Myers / EDITORIAL USE APPROVED; ©VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

The parade returns with a new route and dynamic elements from nine states that are sure to create a flurry of patriotism and red, white and blue. With Miss America 2022, Emma Broyles, as the grand marshal, guests will enjoy lavish floats, United States Military units, marching bands, cultural groups, dance performances, historical characters, and much more!

Party on the Parkway

July 4, 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Benjamin Franklin Parkway (enter at Logan Square), Philadelphia

Photo by J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA® / EDITORIAL USE APPROVED; ©VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

The Party on the Parkway is back and the entertainment is non-stop! Get ready to be wowed with three performance stages – Pennsylvania Lottery Groove Stage, The Chill Moody Music Stage and the Rumba 106.1 Dance Party. Enjoy a day-long party jam packed with entertainment, games, food trucks, giveaways and more! Kids can enjoy activities and fun at the PECO Kids Zone, along with a book giveaway courtesy of Books in Homes USA. And, before the concert begins, be sure to check in with Pennsylvania Turnpike for a chance to win access to the front section of the July 4th Concert via the E-ZPass Fast Pass!

Community Events & Ceremonies

Independence Day gives us the opportunity to appreciate all we have and work to achieve even more for ourselves and our neighbors. Below, you’ll find events that encourage volunteering, giving back to those who have helped us, and improving our local communities.

Einstein Healthcare Network Community Day 

June 22, 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Cherashore Playground – 851 W Olney Avenue, Philadelphia

Come together with friends and family for an afternoon of fun at Cherashore Playground, hosted by Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, now part of Jefferson Health. Guests will enjoy free-to-play game trucks from House of Gamez, entertainment, food giveaways, local vendors, and learn about healthcare services and job opportunities at Einstein.

Wawa Community Brightening Day in Honor of Police Athletic League’s 75th Anniversary: Neighborhood First Look & Open House

June 24, 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm

Southwest PAL Center – 5900 Elmwood Avenue, Philadelphia

Join Wawa for an official ribbon cutting and exciting unveiling of the refreshed Southwest PAL Center, beautifully transformed into a safe and welcoming facility thanks to associate volunteers who devoted a day of cleaning, gardening, painting and more! The surrounding community is invited to enjoy refreshments from Wawa and hear firsthand how the center represents a true legacy of the Wawa Welcome America Festival and the lasting impact on our community!

Red, White & Blueprint Help Plan Philly’s Celebration of the Nation’s 250th in 2026

June 28, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm 

Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse – 3500 Reservoir Drive, Philadelphia

Hosted by PHILADELPHIA250, this free and family-friendly event invites the people of Philadelphia – especially its youngest residents – to help shape the programs and experiences that will serve as our city’s legacy for the 250th and help build a stronger, more resilient city for all. PHILADELPHIA250 will be unveiling the semi-finalists for its Leave a Legacy grant program, a public call for community-sourced projects that will strengthen Philadelphia’s neighborhoods in 2026 and beyond. The event will feature live music, kid-friendly activities, 250th idea collection and more.

Wawa Hoagie Day

June 29, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Independence Mall, Philadelphia

C. Smyth / EDITORIAL USE APPROVED; ©VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

Join Wawa for historic Hoagie Day Tributes to our Local Heroes, featuring 7-tons of FREE Wawa Hoagies served at Noon along the Independence Mall, and a performance by the Six String Soldiers of The United States Army Field Band. And, over 960 stores chainwide will celebrate Hoagie Day® in their local communities by building and donating more than 30,000 hoagies to local first responders and community heroes serving their neighborhoods – all in one day!

Celebration of Freedom Ceremony

July 4, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm 

Independence Hall – 6th Street (between Chestnut and Walnut Streets), Philadelphia

R. Myers / EDITORIAL USE APPROVED; ©VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

Televised at 6:00 pm

Kick off Philadelphia’s premier celebration of July 4th where it all began – Independence Hall – with a patriotic ceremony celebrating those who make Philadelphia, the region and our country a better place. The ceremony is televised on NBC10 and features special guests, a reading of the Declaration of Independence, Mayor Jim Kenney’s Magis Award presentation, the reveal of the Wawa Foundation Hero Award winner and Freedom Mortgage’s Celebrate Freedom Award. Produced in partnership with the Office of the City Representative.

Sports & Fitness

After two years of uncertainty, it’s more important to take care of our physical and mental health now more than ever. The activities below allow you and your family to stay active, have fun, learn something new about yourselves, and prioritize your well-being.

PECO Go 4th & Learn: Sports, STEM, Music and More

June 22, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Penn Park – 31st & Lower Walnut Streets, Philadelphia

Photo by C. Smyth for VISIT PHILADELPHIA® / EDITORIAL USE APPROVED; ©VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

Enjoy a morning filled with sports fitness and educational programming that intersect the arts and sciences. Play soccer with the Philadelphia Union or join the Franklin Institute in a science experiment. Kids can drum to the beat with the West Powelton Steppers and Sixers Stixers, or chill out and listen to a pop-up story with the Free Library of Philadelphia and score a free book courtesy of Books in Homes USA. Plant some herbs from Burpee Gardening with Penn Food and Wellness Collaborative, and learn about pollinators with the Philadelphia Insectarium & Butterfly Pavilion. Kids will get a taste of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s summer long art kids program with a hands-on art project, and much more!

Motivation Monday Presented by Independence Blue Cross

June 27, 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Eakins Oval – 24th Street & Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia

Independence Blue Cross, our Official Health and Wellness Partner, presents a new, signature wellness event. The evening offers our community fun and engaging ways to come together and practice positive mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Guests can participate in fitness classes, explore local wellness offerings, and have the chance to enter-to-win exciting prizes.

Arts & Culture

Philadelphia is one of the biggest hubs of art and culture in the country. This year’s festival gives Philly residents the opportunity to celebrate where their family came from, learn more about cultures they’re not familiar with, and indulge in all of the beautiful artistic pieces that were created by their neighbors.

Celebration of Community & Culture

June 22, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Esperanza Arts Center – 4261 N 5th Street, Philadelphia

Immerse yourself in the rich and vibrant Latin cultures found across our city. Enjoy a festive block party style atmosphere complete with Latin food, music, and vendors, before heading inside the Esperanza Arts Center for performances by Argentianian pianist Emiliano Messiez and his quartet, and performances, plus dance lessons with members of the Philadelphia Argentine Tango School.

Girls.Like.nicethings

June 23, 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm

East Market’s Chestnut Walk – 1100 Market Street, Philadelphia

Come out for a night celebrating women in music and the arts. Show off your style and enjoy food, drinks and high energy performances from a selection of Philly’s most talented women. Produced in partnership with nicethingsMUSIC and East Market.

Philly @ the Movies: Rocky

June 23, 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art – 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia

Photo by P. Meyer for VISIT PHILADELPHIA® / EDITORIAL USE APPROVED; ©VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

Bring your chair or blanket to the famous art museum steps and enjoy a fan-favorite film for a Philly-centric night under the stars.

PECO Go 4th & Learn: A Cultural Journey 

June 28, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Franklin Square – 200 North 6th Street, Philadelphia

Follow the sound of ancient Chinese instruments through Franklin Square’s rendition of the Friendship Gate and discover dynamic performances, face painters, storytellers and more! Budding engineers and artists learn about lantern-making and block printing with the Asian Arts Initiative and future gurus sharpen their concentration in a tai chi class. All the while tiny travelers frolic around the Franklin Square Fountain and larger-than-life lanterns as they dream of their future adventures amid the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival grounds. Children can also enjoy a free book giveaway courtesy of Books in Homes USA.

Museums, History, & Learning

With the kids being out of school for the summer, it can be hard to find ways to keep them both educated and entertained. Below are some chances for kids (& adults!) to learn about the history of the holiday and discover more about the city they call home.

PECO Go 4th & Learn: A Great Debate

June 30, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm 

Independence National Historical Park – 5th & Market Streets, Philadelphia

Photo by C. Smyth for VISIT PHILADELPHIA® / EDITORIAL USE APPROVED; ©VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

Leap into history and listen in on a debate for the ages. Young historians and discerning debaters are encouraged to play a role in discussing how the stories of the past influence the present, on the very grounds our country was founded. History will come to life, as children of all ages, gain different points of view while learning about the early days of our nation at Independence National Historical Park. Children can also enjoy a free book giveaway courtesy of Books in Homes USA.

Free Museum Days

On Free Museum Days, visitors can browse exhibits from some of their favorite Philly museums at no cost to them. The Free Museum Days lineup is as follows:

Sunday, June 19

10:00 am – 5:00 pm

The African American Museum in Philadelphia – Courtesy of Wawa

Monday, June 20

10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Historic Rittenhouse Town

Tuesday, June 21

9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Museum of Illusions Philadelphia

9:30 am – 4:30 pm

Wagner Free Institute of Science

Wednesday, June 22

11:00 am – 5:00 pm

Shofuso Japanese Cultural Center

6:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site

Thursday, June 23

10:00 am – 6:00 pm 

Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum

10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Friday, June 24

10:00 am – 5:00 pm 

Masonic Temple, Library, & Museum

10:00 am – 8:30 pm

Rodin Museum

Saturday, June 25

10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Arch Street Meeting House

12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Johnson House Historic Site

1:00 pm – 5:00 pm 

Paul Robeson House & Museum

Sunday, June 26

12:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Neon Museum of Philadelphia

Monday, June 27

10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion

Tuesday, June 28

10:00 am – 5:00 pm

The Mütter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia

Wednesday, June 29

The National Constitution Center – Courtesy of Wawa

Thursday, June 30

9:00 am – 4:00 pm

John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum

10:00 am – 4:00 pm 

American Swedish Historical Museum

12:00 pm – 4:00 pm 

Wyck Historic House, Garden, and Farm

Friday, July 1

10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Penn Museum

10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Faith & Liberty Discovery Center

10:00 am – 8:30 pm

Rodin Museum

11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Powell House

Saturday, July 2

10:00 am – 5:00 pm

National Liberty Museum

10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Stenton

Sunday, July 3

10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Philadelphia Museum of Art

10:00 am – 5:00 pm

The Barnes Foundation

Monday, July 4

10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History

11:00 am – 5:00 pm 

Christ Church and Burial Ground

We hope that you and your family enjoy every minute of this year’s Wawa Welcome America Festival! Be safe, stay cool, and (most importantly) have fun😎 For an updated list of more family-friendly events happening in Philadelphia this summer, check out our Philadelphia Family Calendar.

FEATURED IMAGE: Photo by J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA® / EDITORIAL USE APPROVED; ©VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

Writer for Philadelphia Family. Email tips to lani@familyfocus.org.

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