Welcome America 2011 Events Up to July 4 – Independence Day

This page covers the Welcome America 2011 Festival. If you're interested in Philadelphia events for the entirety of July 2011, just take a look at our comprehensive July 2011 Philadelphia Events Guide.

Likewise, for June 2011 events, try our equally comprehensive June 2011 Philadelphia Events Guide.

Saturday, June 25 – Penn's Landing – Taste of Philadelphia, 5 PM to 9 PM – Concert and Fireworks – 11 AM to 10 PM

Welcome America 2011 kicks off 12 full days before the Fourth of July itself. The first event is a tremendous free concert, all day and all night, at Penn's Landing on the Delaware River waterfront, with a variety of groups and musical acts. The headliner will be Aaron Neville, who will be performing at 8 PM. After Neville concludes his performance, there will be a spectacular firework show over Penn's Landing.

On the same day from 5 PM to 9 PM, there will be Taste of Philadelphia, during which you can purchase samples from many of the city's restaurants. There also will be a performance by jazz musician Gerald Veasley.

Sunday, June 26 – Penn's Landing – Taste of Philadelphia Continues From 11 AM to 7 PM, Accompanied By Gospel Choir Performances

Monday, June 27 – Franklin Square – Go 4th and Learn, History – 10 AM To Noon, Storytelling – 10 AM to 3 PM, Wawa, Interactive Dairy and History Area

Franklin Square has many family-friendly features for fun, such as a carousel and miniature golf. Located just above Old City Philadelphia, at the square block of 6th, 7th, Race, and Vine Streets, Franklin Square has now reopened for the 2011 season. Enjoy this opportunity to learn more about Philadelphia’s rich history at the Storytelling Bench, while having a great time.

Wednesday, June 29 – Independence Mall – Sixth and Market Streets – Wawa Hoagie Day with Mayor Nutter – Noon to 2 PM – Wawa Partners with the USO and Serves a Free 4.5 Ton Hoagie

Wednesday, June 29 – Philadelphia Museum of Art – Philly Night at the Movies – 9 PM – Free Screening of Rocky at the Rocky Steps

The Philadelphia Museum of Art will play host to a screening of the 1976 film Rocky, which catapulted its steps - now known universally as the Rocky Steps - to worldwide fame. You can also see the Rocky Statue at their base, while you're there, which was featured in Rocky III.

Thursday, June 30 – Independence Mall – Independence Day Picnic And Military Change of Command Ceremony – 10 AM to 4 PM

Welcome America 2011 Events On Saturday, July 2

There are a sufficiently large number of events on Saturday, that they warrant their own section...

Saturday, July 2 – Franklin Institute – Go 4th and Learn, Science – 11 AM to 1 PM – The First 300 Guests At This Ticketed Event Will Learn about the Science of Fireworks – The First 200 Guests Will Receive a Free Book. All Children Must Be Accompanied by an Adult –

The Franklin Institute - the science museum dedicated to the legacy of Philadelphia's own Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin - continues his passion for both education and technology, with this presentation on the science of fireworks.

Saturday, July 2 – Chinatown – Chinatown Block Party – 12 noon to 4 PM

Chinatown gets into the fun with a Chinatown Block Party, centered around the stunning Friendship Gate at 10th and Arch Streets, a gift from Philadelphia's sister city in China. You can experience the culture, music, and open-air market from the nation which originally invented fireworks.

Saturday, July 2 – Penn's Landing – Super Scooper All-You-Can-Eat Ice Cream Festival – 12 Noon to 5 PM; 6 PM to 9 PM – $7 Admission Fee Benefits Research To Cure Pediatric Leukemia

The Super Scooper All-You-Can-Eat Ice Cream Festival will also take place on Sunday, July 3 and Monday, July 4; on each of those days, will take place from noon to 5 PM.

Saturday, July 2 – Penn's Landing – Fireworks on the Delaware River – 6 PM to 9 PM

On the Pennsylvania side of the river, the United States Army Band – Pershing's Own – will perform at the Riverstage at the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing. On the Camden, New Jersey side of the Delaware River, you'll also be able to see the fireworks show – formally titled as the Two Cities One Waterfront Fireworks Display – from the Wiggins Waterfront Park in Camden. On that stage, the Air National Guard Band of the Mid-Atlantic will perform patriotic tunes.

Sunday, July 3 – Independence Mall – 8:30 PM – Peter Nero and the Philly Pops Perform Their 10th Anniversary Independence Concert - "POPS on Independence"

Another great event is this concert, a fixture in Welcome America Festivals for the last decade. (You won't find this event in the official Welcome America paper brochure, as the funding for the free concert wasn't secured until June 13, after their publication.) In 2010, 15,000 people attended this concert under the stars - bring a blanket, chairs, and a picnic meal.

Welcome America 2011 Events, On the Fourth Of July Itself

Monday, July 4 – Independence Hall – 10 AM to 11 AM – Celebration of Freedom – Music, Speeches, and Live Readings of Excerpts from the Declaration Of Independence

Kick off the Fourth of July, right where it all began - namely, the cradle of liberty known in 1776 as the Pennsylvania State House, but we know today as Independence Hall.

Monday, July 4 – Independence Day Parade – 11 AM to 12:30 PM – Takes Place Through Old City Philadelphia

Join the 3,500 participants, which will include representatives of all five U.S. military branches, in a patriotic parade, upon a newly-expanded route, through the magnificent streets of Old City Philadelphia. There will also be re-enactors, dressed in 18th-century garb, performing fife-and-drum music from the period. In all, it is a grand parade to celebrate American independence.

Monday, July 4 – Independence Visitor Center – 12:30 PM – Happy Birthday, America

Independence Visitor Center should always be your first stop, particularly if you haven't visited the city for a while. Philadelphia's trademark Tastykakes will be served at America's 235th birthday party.

Monday, July 4 – Liberty Bell Center, Fifth and Market Streets – 1:45 PM – Bell Tapping Ceremony, by Descendents of the Signers of the Declaration Of Independence

The Liberty Bell - the city's most famous attraction, and the nation's most treasured artifact - is the star of this event. The iconic cracked bell is symbolically tapped to commemorate the anniversary of liberty in 1776.

Monday, July 4 – Party on the Parkway – Benjamin Franklin Parkway – Noon to 7 PM

All afternoon and night, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway is closed to traffic, for a gigantic street fair and party. Modeled on the Champs-Elysee in Paris, come enjoy the flag-lined, wide boulevard that is home to Philadelphia's finest cultural attractions, with plenty of food vendors. And stake out a seat for the free concert that starts at 7 PM.

Monday, July 4 –Philly's Fourth of July Jam and Grand Finale Fireworks – Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Philadelphia Museum of Art – 7 PM to 10 PM

Of course, the Party on the Parkway is but a prelude to the main entertainment of the Fourth of July - namely, the free concert and spectacular fireworks. The concert takes place at the Art Museum, with the fireworks set off above it.

The recording artists performing include two from Philadelphia - the Roots and DJ Jazzy Jeff. Others include Earth, Wind and Fire; Sara Bareilles; Estelle; and Michael McDonald.

The Grand Finale Fireworks are truly a marvel to behold. SEPTA is running special late-night Regional Rail service to accommodate the huge crowds; we'd strongly recommend that you take SEPTA trains, rather than drive.

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