How to celebrate July 4th in Philadelphia

How to celebrate July 4th in Philadelphia
Mitch Leff

Check out these Independence Day celebrations leading up to the big 4th of July Jam and fireworks spectacular.


Independence Day BBQ Celebration
Thursday, 6 p.m.
International House
3701 Chestnut St.
$5-1$2, 215-387-5125
I-House residents and members of the community unite for a good old-fashioned barbecue celebration, with hot dogs, hamburgers, rock ’n ‘ roll and games for the whole family.

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Free Neighborhood Concert
Thursday, 8 p.m.
Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing
211 S. Columbus Blvd.
Free, 215-893-1999
The orchestra kicks off its holiday weekend concert with the “Star Spangled Banner” and closed with the “1812 Overture.” Fireworks will burst in the sky at the end of this patriotic performance.

[email protected] Movies: ‘The Sixth Sense’
Thursday, 9 p.m.
Rittenhouse Square
210 W. Rittenhouse Square
It may not be patriotic per se, but it has a Philly connection. “The Sixth Sense” was written and directed by Philly’s own M. Night Shyamalan, and is set here. The outdoor screening is part of the Wawa Welcome America July 4 festivities.

All American Celebration
National Constitution Center
525 Arch St.
Free July 2 and 4, $8-$13 July 3 and 5
All kinds of fun, family-friendly July 4 themed events are happening at the National Constitution Center over the weekend, including theatrical performances and flag-making workshops.


Liberty Block Party
Friday, 1 to 8:30 p.m.
Fifth to Sixth streets between Market and Chestnut
The biggest block party of the summer is an excellent opportunity to get a taste of Philly’s food scene and feast your ears on live music. There’s no better place to celebrate the birth of our nation than in historic Old City, surrounding by Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.

Pops on Independence
Friday, 8 p.m.
Independence Hall
520 Chestnut St.
Free, 215-893-1999
The Philly POPS will perform an open-air concert conducted by director Michael Krajewski, featuring Broadway’s Capathia Jenkins and Darius De Haas. “God Bless America,” “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “Stars and Stripes Forever” will be among the patriotic songs played.


Celebration of Freedom Ceremony
Saturday, 10 a.m.
Sixth and Chestnut streets, on the steps of Independence Hall
Philly is celebrating freedom with music and readings of excerpts of the Declaration of Independence and some inspirational commentary. And we’ve got some big anniversaries to commemorate, including the 50th of the first organized gay rights protests in the U.S., the 50th of the Voting Rights Act, the 50th of the Immigration and Nationality Act , and the 150th of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

Independence Day Parade
Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Starting at Fifth and Chestnut streets
Join more than 6,000 people in the nation’s most historic square mile. There will be marching bands, floats, members of the military and a cameo from Miss America.

Party on the Parkway
Saturday, noon to 7 p.m.
Ben Franklin Pkwy., from 20th St. to Eakins Oval
This day-long fest spans the Parkway with music, games, entertainment and food. It’s a family-friendly July 4 blowout, leading up to the big concert in front of the Art Museum.

Philly 4th of July Jam Concert and Grand Finale Fireworks
Saturday, 7:30 to 11 p.m.
Ben Franklin Pkwy., in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Touted as the biggest free concert in the country, the evening jam features The Roots with Miguel, Jennifer Nettles, and yet-to-be-revealed special guests. It all ends with a bang as fireworks soar over the Art Museum.