Fourth of July fun in the Delaware Valley includes fireworks, concerts, and more

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Fireworks explode over the Delaware River as seen from Penn's Landing.

(Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)

As vaccination rates rise and COVID-19 cases continue to fall, the Delaware Valley gears up for what may be one of the most celebratory Fourth of July celebrations in decades. Though the concert has moved away from the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, fireworks will again be launched above the Art Museum before an audience of revelers. In Delaware, fireworks are expected along with food, music, and festivities at Tubman Garrett Riverfront Park, starting at 2 p.m. And in New Jersey, fireworks will be displayed at Camden’s Wiggins Park, which will also host a concert with Arnetta Johnson and Sunny, along with Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. The party kicks off at 5 p.m. Here are other options for Delaware and New Jersey.

Welcome America: Fireworks and Concert

After canceling the city’s flagship summer event due to coronavirus, the Welcome America celebration is back this year, albeit with some changes. The annual concert, this year with Flo Rida and Bebe Rexha, has moved to the Mann Center. A host of other activities, spread around the city through July 4, encompass multicultural themes of liberty and justice as well as the history of the holiday.

Barnes on the Block

Live music, poetry performances, on-site demonstrations by local artists, a beer garden and food trucks will all be part of the fourth annual block party/arts fest at the Barnes. In conjunction with Mural Arts Philadelphia and Welcome America, Our America Now includes performances from noted Philly poets Trapeta Mayson and Ursula Rucker. 

  • What: Cultural party
  • Where: Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.
  • When: Friday, July 2, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.
  • How much: Free, registration includes museum admission

Go Fourth! Street Fest

Pottstown GoFourth Festival

Pottstown rolls out the red, white, and blue carpet for a daylong Fourth of July celebration downtown, including a parade that moves to the city’s Memorial Park for a concluding fireworks show. Vendors, music, a kid’s entertainment zone, and even a duck race are on the day’s schedule. Premium parking is available for a fee.

  • What: Annual holiday celebration
  • Where: Downtown Pottstown, High St.
  • When: Sunday, July 4, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. festival, fireworks start at 9 p.m.
  • How Much: Free, pay as you go

The Sound of Liberty Concert

The National Marian Anderson Historical Society is sponsoring a concert and dinner in honor of the legendary singer and Independence Day. The Marian Anderson Vocal Scholars, under the direction of Gareth Haynes, will perform the patriotic and American songbook, and a dramatic rendering of the Declaration of Independence will also be performed. A barbeque dinner is offered as well.

Wawa Hoagie Day

It’s back! The sandwich fest will be giving out hoagies to the lucky folks who don’t mind standing in line for the annual promotion. (It may be a good day to bring an umbrella, though, as rain is in the forecast.) Over 50,000 first responders and frontline workers will also get a free hoagie in the promotion that encompasses over 600 stores. In Philadelphia, the Ambassadors Jazztet of the United States Army Field Band will be on hand to provide musical accompaniment.

Museum of the American Revolution Fourth of July Events

If there’s any place you want to celebrate the Fourth of July, it’s the Museum of the American Revolution which has had a whole week of online and on-site programming geared to the day. That includes a new exhibit, “Flags and Founding Documents: 1776-Today.” The exhibit showcases rare flags and historic state constitutions to explore the conditions on which our republic was founded and show how the flag has evolved over time.

  • What: Themed museum programming
  • Where: Museum of the American Revolution, 101 S. Third St.
  • When: Through Sunday, July 4, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • How much: $13 – $19

Philly POPS on Independence

We’re not sure it’s truly the Fourth without the presence of the Philly POPS, who are as much a part of the holiday as hot dogs and fireworks. They’ll be in concert this year at the Mann, their 42nd year of performance for the holiday, with Grammy and Tony winner Joshua Henry. Along with show tunes and standards, they’ll preview the 2021-2022 season of “Lights Up! Showtime!”

  • What: Live music performance
  • Where: The Mann Center, 5201 Parkside Ave.
  • When: Saturday, July 3, 7 p.m.
  • How much: Free. With registration, parking is also free

Black Gotham Experience

(Black Gotham Experience)

Kamau Ware created the Black Gotham experience to share the untold stories of Black people in New York City during the colonial period. His multimedia company also curates live events and creates graphic novels around the same theme. He’s here in Philadelphia to host a program with invited guests including Amalgam Comics and Coffeehouse owner Ariell R. Johnson, who’ll bring a pop-up shop. Food, music, performance, and discussion are all on the bill.

  • What: Discussion, performance, and outdoor mixer
  • Where: African American Museum of Philadelphia, 701 Arch St.
  • When: Thursday, July 1, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • How much: Free, with RSVP

Historic White Chimneys 300th Anniversary Gala

(White Chimneys Here North Photography, official website)

Now used as a wedding venue, the White Chimneys Estate is also a 300-year-old historic home where Pennsylvania founder William Penn signed his first treaty with its Native American leadership. Then known as Gap in the Hills, Penn put the city on the map as people began to settle there once he returned to England. The celebration includes reenactors, a Civil War encampment, music, crafts, an equestrian demonstration, food and fireworks, along with an appearance by “William Penn.”

The Peach Festival

Live music has returned to the area as festivals have been announced at multiple venues in the tri-state. The Peach Festival, largely a jam band event, includes camping and scheduled performances by Oysterhead, The String Cheese Incident, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Warren Haynes, The Blind Boys of Alabama and more.

Keep checking with “Things To Do” as we continue to provide our picks for entertainment during the industry’s COVID-19 recovery. Please consult our coronavirus updates to keep up with the latest information regionally.

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