Celebrate America’s Birthday

Philadelphia Mummers Colorful String Band - Celebrate America's Birthday

If you are looking for a fantastic party on the 4th of July, look no further than Philadelphia. Celebrate America’s Birthday where it all began! Wawa Welcome America puts on quite a show leading up to a mega party on the fourth of July. There are free concerts, free museum days, free outdoor movies, community events, and of course the ultimate fireworks display. Did I mention that it was free?

There are tons of special events leading up to the big day, and they all are found on Wawa Welcome America‘s website. My niece Kayla and I spent four days exploring Philadelphia and enjoying all the events celebrating America’s Independence Day. But, Here are favorite photos and events from the Fourth of July.

Celebration of Freedom Ceremony

Celebration of Freedom Ceremony at Independence Hall

This presentation celebrates America’s history in Philadelphia through music, speeches, and videos. This is a great way to kick off the next 12 hours to Celebrate America’s Birthday. Kayla and I took a tour in Independence Hall while this was starting. Fewer people to wait behind since they were all in front of the building.  The tour finished quickly, and we were able to watch the end of the presentation. Once this is over, head over to 5th Street to get a good spot along the parade route. 

The United States of America’s Independence Day Parade

Soldiers holding the American Flag in Philadelphia's Independence Day Parade - Celebrate America's Birthday

This is by far one of the best parades I have seen. Jammed pack with Philadelphia and American historical figures, soldiers, marching bands, clowns, fire trucks, and numerous multi-cultural talented people dancing and playing instruments throughout the parade. I was astounded by the elaborate costumes I saw. This is one parade you need your camera gear ready for anything cause it will happen.

Benjamin Franklin on a float in the Independence Day Parade in Philadelphia3rd United States Colored Troops in the Philadelphia Independence Day ParadeMattatuck drum band in the Philadelphia Independence ParadeSoldiers saluting in the Independence Day ParadeThe unbelievable support the crowd gave all the military personnel that went by brought tears to my eyes. If only we can be like this every day, so full of love and happiness we have to share it with everyone.

Of course, there were the traditional parade must-haves, like the fire trucks, mascots riding little cars, colorful floats, and the clowns. Clowns in the Philadelphia Independence Day ParadeColorful floats in the Independence Day Parade

Even the marching bands were elaborately customed up. The Philadelphia Mummers String Band put on an amazing routine as they marched on by. The Mummers are a big thing here in Philadelphia with an annual Mummers New Year’s Day parade just for them. These people love the fantasy of song, dance, and costume and spend the whole year getting ready for their day. It is a treat to see them perform here on Independence Day.Philadelphia Mummers Colorful String Band - Celebrate America's BirthdayPhiladelphia Mummers String Band

The multi-cultural part of the parade is a wonder. We spent a lot of time trying to figure out what culture was which. This is an excellent display of their talents and cultural history. Colorful Dancers in the Independence Day Parade in PhiladelphiaDancing colorful people in the Independence Day ParadeParticipants in the Philly Independence Day Parade monksParticipants in the Philly Independence Day Parade

After the parade, you can take a break. Maybe see some sights or head over to the Party on the Parkway. This runs all day from noon to 10 pm. There are food trucks, arts & crafts, entertainment on three stages, a beer tent for the adults, and many other activities for the family. Benjamin Franklin Parkway is packed with people so, be prepared to enjoy the crowds.

July 4th Concert and Fireworks

Kayla and I planned ahead with some picnic snacks to scope out our spot for the fireworks early which, we were not the only ones to think like this. You can find halfway decent spots on the side of the parkway but, you won’t have a view of the main stage for the big concert before the fireworks. I wanted to make sure I could get some good photos so; we found a great spot with limited trees in our way. The fireworks go off behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art.Waiting for Fireworks in Philadelphia 4th of July

 

Pay attention to the weather forecast. You don’t want to get caught in a surprise thunderstorm. It was quite funny to see people running all over trying to hide under trees to stay dry, it didn’t work. Kayla and I used my blanket which had a waterproof side so; we stayed fairly dry while we waited it out. And I’m glad we did, cause the fireworks were amazing! Here are some of my favorite fireworks photos of the night. If you are interested in knowing how to get great firework photos, check out my post on the Algonac Pickerel Tournament, which lists camera tips and settings for capturing fireworks. 

Watching the Wawa Welcome America Fireworks - Celebrate America's BirthdayWaWa Welcome America 4th of July Fireworks Display - Celebrate America's BirthdaySilver fireworks on the 4th of July in PhiladelphiaFirework display on 4th of July in PhiladelphiaWaWa Welcome America 4th of July Fireworks

Celebrate America’s Birthday this fourth of July with your family and loved ones. If you are in Philadelphia, enjoy one heck of a great 4th of July Independence Day party! If you know of even a bigger celebration for July 4th, let me know. I’ll put it on my future travel plans.

If you want to save this for next year, go ahead and pin it for later. 

Celebrate America’s Birthday by waving the red, white and blue!

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