Philly’s Welcome America festivities to be bigger, better this year

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     With litteral fanfare, Mayor Michael Nutter announces the return of the Wawa Welcome America July 4 celebration featuring fireworks, free sandwiches and The Roots. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

    With litteral fanfare, Mayor Michael Nutter announces the return of the Wawa Welcome America July 4 celebration featuring fireworks, free sandwiches and The Roots. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

    Philadelphia’s Fourth of July celebration is bringing some familiar big-name celebrities to town. 

    And there will be some additions as well.

    The seven-day Welcome America celebration begins June 28 with a new event, the Liberty Block Party, scheduled for inside and outside Liberty Place.

    “There will be a diverse number of food options from many of Philadelphia’s restaurants and favorite food trucks, a kids’ craft corner, music from Philly’s hottest DJs along with live music performances and special guest appearances,” said Desiree Peterkin Bell, a spokeswoman for Mayor Michael Nutter.

    The mayor is hoping this year’s events will include new “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon.

    “We’re trying to get Jimmy to do one week of shows in Philadelphia around the Fourth of July here in the city,” Nutter said.

    The Roots, the house band for Fallon’s show, will play that role for the fourth annual 4th of July Jam concert and fireworks show on the Parkway.

    Other headliners include Vicci Martinez, Nicki Minaj and Jennifer Hudson.

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