Welcome America is back, with a July 4th concert and fireworks making their return to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for its 2022 Festival.
“On behalf of Welcome America, we are thrilled that our festival is back this year, with the July 4th concert and fireworks making their return to the Parkway. We are honored to be able to give the people of Philadelphia and visitors to the city a way to celebrate in the birthplace of America. As always, we are grateful to the City of Philadelphia and our incredible sponsors for their support as we work together to deliver this tradition to Philadelphia for its 30th year,” said Michael DelBene, President & CEO, Welcome America, Inc.
This year’s Wawa Welcome America celebration includes a city-wide Independence Day festival with free family-friendly events including a firework display, Gospel on Independence starring gospel legend and Grammy Award-winning singer Yolanda Adams, the return of the Salute to Independence Day Parade, and a July 4th concert starring Jason Derulo and Ava Max on the Parkway.
“The African American Museum in Philadelphia is starting off the festival,” said Chris Greyshens, WaWa president and CEO, during the Wawa Welcome America press conference earlier this week. “You have Juneteenth, free admission all day, and then on June 29, the National Constitution Center, free admission again. What a great way to explore whether you’re a resident or visitor and we have the return of the July 4th parade.”
For the second consecutive year, the Wawa Welcome America Festival will include programming designed to commemorate Juneteenth during its expanded 16 day celebration.
The African American Museum in Philadelphia will host a “Juneteenth Block Party: Celebrating the Legacy of Emancipation” in partnership with Wawa, Welcome America, Inc. and Visit Philadelphia. The daylong, family-friendly outdoor festival will feature a rich lineup of the region’s best and brightest creative luminaries and live performances from international and local artists. There will also be a community marketplace featuring Black-owned businesses, vendors, food trucks, and hands-on activities including art-making, and line dancing.
“And this year is the 100th anniversary of Miss America and we have our first Korean American to earn the title, Emma Broyles who will serve as the parade’s Grand Marshal. There’s a lot that’s new, here’s just a few things,” said Greyshens.
On June 24, in honor of the Police Athletic League’s 75th anniversary, Wawa volunteers will be joined by community members at the Powell Southwest Center to complete a restoration project.
Other new events include “Rebuild Philadelphia Fishtown Pool Ribbon Cutting & Block Party” and PNC presents the “Avenue of the Arts Block Party at the Kimmel Cultural Campus.” On Saturday June 25th the Avenue of the Arts will come alive with entertainment. There will be 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.
“I am so excited that Wawa Welcome America is back on the Parkway and returning for its 30th year for a festival celebrating the vibrancy and diversity of Philadelphia and everything our great city has to offer,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “I want to recognize all the sponsors and the Welcome America team who ensured that the iconic festival endured, despite the past two very challenging years. The 2022 festival presents a new opportunity to come together and celebrate our city. We invite residents and visitors alike to join in the fun and see Philadelphia come alive with all of the exciting experiences showing off our city throughout the festival.”
Free museum days are back and the tradition of July 4th fireworks will also return to the iconic Benjamin Franklin Parkway. As the fireworks light up the sky, DJ Ghost and Q102 will light up the airwaves with a DJ set fully synced to the July 4th Fireworks display. The complete fireworks spectacular will be broadcast live on NBC10 and TeleXitos, Monday, July 4 at 9:30 pm
“This 16 days of free family fun, free museums, free concerts with incredible talent, it’s coming,” said Gheysens.” Free fireworks, parades and more family fun is open and available and inclusive for everyone to enjoy. ‘And what’s so special about the 2022’s festival’, Well, it’s just good to be back in person.”
To view the full list of events and activities visit www.welcomeamerica.com