Philly’s Celebration of Freedom ceremony brings visitors from all over the country

Marchers celebrate Fourth of July at Philadelphia’s Independence Day parade. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Marchers celebrate Fourth of July at Philadelphia’s Independence Day parade. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

There might be no better place to experience the Fourth of July than in Philadelphia, where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776.

Given the city’s historical significance, visitors from around the country gathered at Independence Hall Thursday morning for the annual Celebration of Freedom ceremony to celebrate America’s 243rd birthday. It’s an annual event that’s a part of the city’s Welcome America festivities.

Tammy Elbers came from Texas to be in Philadelphia for the occasion.

“We just came here to just absorb the history, innovation, and just the way these men stepped out and did something that was brave, and something that was scary to them, and probably very dangerous in some aspects,” she said. “But to absorb all of this is incredible.”

She was accompanied by fellow Texan Julie Hahn, who also marveled at what the Founding Fathers created.

“The minds that put this country together, just the brave things that these people did was pretty incredible.”

Dan Baker traveled to the ceremony with his children from California.

“Really it’s all about liberty and freedom for our nation, and it’s just a day of remembrance for everyone to take a step back and really think about what we have and how special that is.”

Christina Cramer and her husband traveled from Florida to celebrate. She was impressed with how many people also made the trip.

“How many people came out today was really nice, it seems like a lot of people traveled to spend their holiday here. It’s really nice, actually.”

The Celebration of Freedom ceremony featured a performance from the Philly Pops, Mayor Kenney honoring former Eagle Connor Barwin for his charity work, and legendary R&B singer Patti LaBelle reading from the Declaration of Independence.

The day wraps up along the Parkway at the Art Museum with a concert featuring Jennifer Hudson and Meaghan Trainor.

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