Few places know how to celebrate the nation’s birthday better than Philadelphia, the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence. From picnics to parties to fireworks, the Fourth of July is a time to commemorate life in a free nation. History, culture, community, arts and more are all part of the summer landscape of the City of Brotherly Love.
Wawa Welcome America
20th St. and Eakins Oval
Philadelphia, PA 19130

Date: July 1-7, 2013

The Wawa Welcome America Festival is one of the nation’s largest Independence Day celebrations. From educational events for the kids to ice cream-eating competitions and live orchestra performances, the days leading up to July 4th are packed with fun events for the whole family. And Independence Day itself is full of festivities too, including the Philadelphia Independence Day Parade from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. throughout historic Philly, and the ringing of the Liberty Bell in Independence Square from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Ease on into the night by heading over to Eakins Oval and enjoying a real American-style block party complete with food, games and live music. If you still have steam, blow it off at the greatest 4th of July concert in the nation, Philly Fourth of July Jam.

Related: Top Outdoor Concerts To Look Forward To This Summer In Philadelphia

Philly 4th of July Jam
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130

Date: July 4, 2013

Considered the largest free concert in the country, the Philly 4th of July Jam will feature Philly’s The Roots with special guests such as Queen Latifah, Common, Joe Jonas and Daryl Hall, another native of Philadelphia. Also set to perform are John Mayer, Jill Scott, Demi Lovato, Ne-Yo and Grace Potter. For the price, you really can’t beat this concert. And there will be plenty of fireworks, as the Philadelphia Museum of Art lights up the skies beginning at 10:30 p.m.

Kung Fu Necktie
1250 N. Front St.
Philadelphia, PA 19122
(215) 291-4919

Date: July 4, 2013

A hip place to celebrate July 4, Kung Fu Necktie is a music venue located in the Fishtown area. It features both local and national indie bands. At 8 p.m., the New York City band Nude Beach takes to the intimate stage at KFN. Despite its name, the music of Nude Beach is not a hybrid-Beach Boys sound. In some ways, the band has combined Elvis Costello with early Johnny Cougar, a tad of Springsteen and a helping of Paul Westerberg.

Spirit of Philadelphia
401 S. Columbus Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(866) 455-3866

Date: July 6, 2013

Take the Fireworks Dinner Cruise on board the Spirit of Philadelphia, departing from Penn’s Landing. The three-hour cruise features a DJ and dancing, dinner from the Grande Dinner Buffet and a great view of the fireworks display at Penn’s Landing. The new ship offers cruises year-round on the Delaware River. It first goes north to the Benjamin Franklin Bridge then south to the old Navy Yard, where it goes under the Walt Whitman Bridge.

Fireworks & Wine
Penns Woods Winery
124 Beaver Valley Road
Chadds Ford, PA 19317
(610) 459-0808

Date: July 4, 2013

Penns Woods Winery is planning special events all day long on July 4. With special hours for the nation’s birthday celebration, the winery invites visitors to come and sit a while and sample a glass or bottle of a favorite wine from the Penns Woods Wine selection and sample local cheeses and crackers, which will be on sale at the winery. At sunset, a fireworks show will be held across the street. Pack a picnic meal and bring chairs and blankets.

Related: Best Summer Festivals And Music Tours

 Head to Philadelphia’s Best Of pages for more local tips on family fun, shopping, nightlife, food, culture and more!

Jeffrey B. Roth, has won numerous state and national news and feature-writing awards during his career. A well-known crime writer, investigative reporter and a feature writer, Roth writes for a number of magazines and newspapers. Listed in the Locus Index of SciFi and Fantasy authors, Roth is the author of a number of published short stories and poetry. His work can be found on Examiner.com.