Where to Celebrate July Fourth in Philadelphia

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Happy Fourth of July!

Bust out your most patriotic gear and fire up those grills: July Fourth is almost here.

And lest you forget, you’re in the best city in the country to celebrate. America was born here, after all.

The holiday falls at a little bit of an awkward time this year, as it’s smack dab in the middle of the week.


Planning for a mid-week party can be a little tricky, and it also begs the question of when to celebrate should you choose to do so on not a Wednesday. The weekend before? After? All week?

All valid questions.

As the date draws closer, be sure to look out for food and drink specials around the city. Something tells me there will be quite a few of them.

In the meantime, here are a few ways to celebrate and dates to mark on your calendars:

KleinLife: Center City will kick things off on June 29 with an Independence Day celebration from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. with all the fixin’s, including a slice of vanilla cake with sliced strawberries and blueberries. Enjoy some patriotic favorites with vocalist Mark Diamond Burwell. Be sure to wear your red, white and blue. Reserve for lunch by June 19 by calling 215-832-0539. 2100 Arch St., Philadelphia.

The 21-and-over crowd can ring in the celebration with the Red, White and Brew Fest at SugarHouse Casino’s outdoor restaurant, Fishtown Hops, on June 30 starting at 5 p.m. Enjoy a locally brewed beer while listening to the sounds of Philly’s own Chill Moody, who will give a special performance as will the Xpogo Stunt Team at various times. Fireworks to follow. For full information, check out sugarhouseentertainment.com/events/wawa-welcome-america-red-white-brew-fest or call 1-877-477-3715. 1001 N. Delaware Ave., Philadelphia.

Of course, no Fourth of July week would be complete without the fireworks extravaganza at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing. Join in the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” Concert and Fireworks at 8 p.m. on June 30, followed by fireworks at 9:30 p.m. 101 S. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia.

Head to the National Museum of American Jewish History from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 4 to soak in some colonial history. Hear a 1790 letter by George Washington written to the Jewish community in Newport, R.I., in which he declares, “to bigotry, no sanction.” Free. Call 215-923-3811 for more information or visit nmajh.org. 101 S. Independence Mall E, Philadelphia.

In perhaps an obvious choice, head to the newest museum in the area for a fitting celebration. The Museum of the American Revolution will host its multiday Independence Day Celebration from July 1 at 9:30 a.m. through July 4. Enjoy music, family-friendly activities and costumed historical interpreters, including Thomas Jefferson, who will meet and greet visitors. Kids can try on Revolutionary-inspired costumes, and all visitors can add a personalized ribbon to a flag-shaped “Declarations Wall” on the museum’s outdoor plaza. There will be various other activities going on each day; check amrevmuseum.org for more information and a complete schedule. 215-253-6731. 101 S. Third St., Philadelphia.

The National Constitution Center will host a slew of celebratory events starting June 28, when you can also enjoy free admission. On July 2, join its Finding the Founders event. The program will provide an expanded understanding of Independence Day — one that sees the holiday as both a celebration and an acknowledgment of America’s ongoing struggle to achieve the ideals expressed in the nation’s founding documents. Topics will focus on the subject of the center’s newest feature exhibit, Alexander Hamilton (there’s a million things he hasn’t done, but just you wait), and commemorate the 150th anniversary of the 14th Amendment. More events will take place throughout the week. Check constitutioncenter.org for details. 215-409-6600. 525 Arch St., Philadelphia.

Or, if you’re a Pitbull fan and found yourself partying with Mr. Worldwide himself during the free Wawa Welcome America July 4th Concert on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway starting at 7 p.m., stick around for the fireworks that will illuminate the night sky over the Philadelphia Museum of Art at 9:30 p.m. Dalé.

Photo Pop Philly, a pop-up art exhibit curated by Philly PR Girl, will be open from noon to 7 p.m. on July 4. Snap photos with pieces from local artists, and play with puppies as it’s partnering with the PSPCA and having a “Puppies and Pitbull” event in honor of Pitbull’s performance (see above). The PSPCA will be bringing in puppy pitbulls and other dogs for people to play and take pictures with, and they will also be adoptable. Don’t forget your camera. Visit photopopphilly.com for tickets and more info. 1315 Walnut St., Philadelphia.

Speaking of the Wawa celebration, look out for events and concerts all week long in celebration, starting June 28 with Wawa Hoagie Day (free hoagies!) through July 4. The Philly POPS will perform at on July 3 at 3 p.m. at Independence Hall and on July 4 at 7 p.m. on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Some performances will feature Heather Headley, the original Nala in The Lion King on Broadway, who will also perform as part of the Welcome America concert. Museum Week will last June 28 to July 4, with area museums from the Eastern State Penitentiary to the Philadelphia History Museum offering free or reduced admission. For a full schedule of events, check out welcomeamerica.com. 

mstern@jewishexponent.com; 215-832-0740

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