Nation’s birthday celebrated by thousands on the Parkway

Dress up in red-white-and-blue, attend a parade, protest the current political and social climate, flip burgers on a backyard grill or watch fireworks to close the day. How the nation’s national holiday is spent best depends on whom you ask but in Philly, thousands traditionally head to the Ben Franklin Parkway for a great, free concert and spectacular fireworks over the Art Museum.

Jennifer Hudson and Meghan Trainor took the stage during this year’s Welcome America festival. Backed by the Philly Pops, Hudson hardly stretched her vocal cords with a rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” as well as a number of her own songs. The audience later heard Trainor perform her hit “All About That Bass” as well as a moving version of Abba’s “Dancing Queen.”

Several protesters were arrested earlier in the day after briefly blocking the parade route at Independence Mall and the weather held up and left concert-attendees dry during the entire afternoon and evening.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Help us get to 100% of our membership goal to support the reporters covering our region, the producers bringing you great local programs and the educators who teach all our children.