What to expect at Wawa Welcome America!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wawa Welcome America is here, with a wide array of fun events to mark America's 235th birthday. Almost everything's free.

The festival starts Thursday night, June 23rd, with a concert featuring Nancy Wilson at the Dell Music Center. That is a ticketed event.

Friday through Sunday, June 24th through 26th, the Penn's Landing area hosts "A Taste of Philadelphia", with your chance to sample foods from many of the city's favorite restaurants. You pay to eat but nightly entertainment is free. Friday night, its jazz bassist Gerald Veasley; Saturday the legendary Aaron Neville, followed by fireworks over the Delaware; then Sunday, a gospel artist.

Monday, June 27th the Go 4th and Learn series kicks off with a 10:00am event on Franklin Square. Wawa will be there with wooden "cows" kids can milk, risk-free. That night, up at the Piazza at Schmidt's in Northern Liberties, you can enjoy a free showing of the movie, "best In Show".

Tuesday, June 28th, the Dell Music center hosts a musical Go 4th and Learn. That night, the festival hosts the world premiere of "Transformers - Dark of the Moon", the third in the series of science fiction films shot locally. And back at the Dell Music Center, they'll be showing the film "fame" at sundown.

Wednesday, June 29th is Wawa Hoagie Day, and you'll be able to enjoy a chunk of Philly's signature sandwich at noon down at Independence Mall, 6th and Market Streets. That night, they're showing the movie "rocky" at the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It's a Welcome America tradition!

Thursday, June 30th, pack a picnic lunch and dine while you watch the Military Change of Command ceremony at Independence Mall, 6th and Market Streets. Down at Terminal A of Philadelphia International Airport, you can see a photo exhibit of the Army's legendary Tuskegee Airmen, the legendary African-American pilots of world War II. That night, enjoy the film "The Devil Wears Prada" on Rittenhouse Square.

Friday, July 1st, Mayor Nutter hosts a Fun in the Sun event, invitation only, down at Citizens Bank Park. That night, see the movie "Hairspray" in Love Park, and bring your vocal chords. That's a sing-along event.

Saturday, July 2nd, the Franklin Institute hosts a Go 4th and Learn event explaining the science of fireworks. Attendance is limited to 300 young people, the first 2090 of whom get a free book. At noon, Chinatown holds its annual block party with an open-air market, crafts for the kids, and, of course, Asian food you can buy. At 12:00 Noon and again at 6:00pm, the Super Scooper Ice Cream festival takes over Penn's Landing. Admission is $7.00, which benefits pediatric leukemia research. Your donation entitles you to all the ice cream you can eat. Also at 6:00pm on Penn's Landing, the U.S. Army Band performs. At the same time, the Air National Guard Band of the Mid-Atlantic will be playing live at Wiggins Waterfront Park in Camden. Then, after sunset, the Two Cities, Two States fireworks display will light up the sky over the Delaware River.

Sunday, July 3rd, another round of the super Scooper Ice Cream Festival on penn;s Landing from 12:00 Noon to 5:00pm.

Monday, July 4th is the big day. It begins at 10:00am with the celebration of freedom down at Independence Hall. We'll broadcast the ceremony live here on 6abc. After that, at 11:00am, the Independence Day Parade winds its way through Old City and the most historic square mile in America. At 12:30pm, Happy Birthday America brings a party to the Independence Visitors center, where Tastykake will provide birthday cake for all comers. At 1:45pm, there'll be the ceremonial tapping of the Liberty Bell at Independence National Historical Park. From 12:00 Noon to 5:00pm on Penn's Landing, the final Super Scooper Ice Cream Festival. Meanwhile, on Ben Franklin Parkway, the annual Party on the Parkway begins at 12:00 Noon with live entertainment on three stages. There'll be other activities, and food you can buy. That lasts through 7:00pm, when it's time to get ready for the grand finale. The Fourth of July Jam stars Philly's own The Roots in their third consecutive Parkway appearance. The show also stars Earth, Wind and Fire, Michael McDonald, Estelle, Sara Bareilles, and Philly's own D.J. Jazzy Jeff. After the concert...the largest free concert in America by the way, it's the big fireworks show set off over the Philadelphia Museum of Art. You'll see these events live on 6abc.

For more information about the entire festival, just visit their website, http://www.welcomeamerica.com, where you'll also have the opportunity to enter a singer-songwriter contest. Upload a video of yourself performing a song you created, and you might win a chance to join the stars on stage at the Fourth of July Jam.

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