There’s no question which city is the best place in the USA to celebrate the 4th of July — it’s Philadelphia! The holiday is, after all, based on a pretty big event that happened right here in our fair city. Tomorrow and all through the weekend, there are tons of free and cheap events to help you celebrate Independence Day RIGHT. And the best part? Many of these events are very accessible for wheelchair users or people with mobility issues! Here are just a few of the can’t-miss festivities (courtesy of UWishUNu) happening throughout Philly tomorrow — complete with accessibility info.
Celebration of Freedom Ceremony with Remarks from Vice President Joe Biden
Steps of Independence Hall, 6th and Chestnut streets.
Pay tribute to the history of our great nation at Independence Hall with an inspiring morning of music, speeches and a reading of excerpts from the Declaration of Independence. This year’s ceremony recognizes the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the 60th anniversary of the Brown v. Board Supreme Court decision. Plus, this year’s ceremony also includes remarks from Vice President Joe Biden.
Accessibility: This event takes place outside, so is quite accessible. But fair warning – it will be PACKED. Best to get there early to beat some of the crowds and secure a good spot to watch.
Independence Day Parade
Parade starts at 6th and Chestnut Streets
More than 5,000 participants will take to the streets of Historic Philadelphia for a patriotic and colorful parade featuring marching bands, floats, military members and more. Hosted by the City of Philadelphia and Wawa Welcome America, the parade is an old-timey Fourth of July tradition.
Accessibility: There are plenty of places to watch the parade from the sidewalks along this 1.2 mile route. If standing for an extended period of time is an issue, be sure to bring a chair!
Party on the Parkway
Benjamin Franklin Parkway, 20th Street to Eakins Oval
This is without a doubt the BEST part of the 4th in Philly! Head to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to celebrate America’s Birthday with a massive block party and celebration featuring live music — look out for the Questlove Stage! — family-friendly activities, games, food and so much more.
Accessibility: This is a very accessible, outdoor event. There is not a great deal of seating, so if standing for an extended period of time is difficult, you may want to consider bringing support. Accessible bathrooms are also going to be scarce, so have a game plan.
America’s Birthday Party with Betsy Ross and Termini Bros. Bakery
Independence Visitor Center, 6th and Market streets
The Independence Visitor Center is hosting a sweet celebration for America’s Birthday with Termini Brothers Bakery. Join Betsy Ross for the unveiling of the world’s largest (and tastiest) American Flag made of cupcakes, which you’ll then get to taste for free.
Accessibility: The Independence Visitor Center is fully accessible, including accessible bathrooms.
Philly 4th of July Jam
Benjamin Franklin Parkway and 21st Street
Perhaps the most hotly anticipated event, the culminating concert on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway — the Philly 4th of July Jam — brings legendary musicians to a pop-up stage in front of the Art Museum year after year. Philadelphia’s own hometown heroes The Roots are back again to curate a killer lineup and, for the second year, VH1 has partnered up with Wawa Welcome America to provide a high-definition nationwide broadcast of the Philly 4th of July Jam. The 2014 music lineup features great names like Ed Sheeran, Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Hudson, Aloe Blacc and, of course, The Roots.
Accessibility: Because this is a free event, you’ll want to get there early to secure a great spot up front. Accessible bathrooms will be scarce, so plan accordingly!
Philly 4th of July Jam’s Grand Finale Fireworks on the Parkway
Estimated to begin at 10:30 p.m.
Benjamin Franklin Parkway and 21st Street.
Following the largest free concert in the country, a spectacular fireworks show shines high above the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Presented by Wawa Welcome America, the fireworks draw crowds of tens of thousands of people and are visible all throughout Fairmount Park, the Fairmount neighborhood and the Parkway.
Accessibility: You can see this display from just about any part of Center City, so where you watch it is up to you!
These are just a few of the incredible events happening throughout the 4th of July. For a full listing, check out this post on UWishUNu. Have a fun and safe Independence Day!