Fourth of July Party on the Parkway, UB40, Pat Benatar, ‘Visions’ at the Barnes, Frankie Beverly and Maze in this week’s ‘Things To Do’

July 4–7: Party on the Parkway in Philly, Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo in N.J. and UB40 in Delaware are among the weekend’s highlights.

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Fireworks explode in the background behind a gargoyle atop of the central portico of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Fireworks explode in the background behind a gargoyle atop of the central portico of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. (Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)

Philadelphia takes center stage as the nation lights up to celebrate the Fourth of July. The Party on the Parkway starring Ne-Yo and Kesha kicks off at 4 p.m. with a pre-show featuring DJ Diamond Kutz and Snacktime, surely the hardest-working band in tri-state show business. While much of the city’s venues conceded to the Fourth festivities this weekend, musicians are in town to add to the celebration. Willie Nelson, Justin Timberlake, Pat Benatar with Neil Giraldo and UB40 are in the tri-state this holiday weekend.

Special Events | New Jersey | Delaware | Arts & Culture | Kids | Comedy | Music

Special Events

Fourth of July Roundup

  • Where: Multiple venues
  • When: Thursday, July 4
  • How much: Various prices

The world comes to Philadelphia to celebrate the Fourth of July, and for good reason. Not only is it the birthplace of America, but there’s also that big, annual Party on the Parkway. This year, R&B crooner Ne-Yo and pop/dance star Kesha headline. But first, there’s a parade starting at 11 a.m. from 2nd and Market to City Hall.  The Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History hosts Family Day, also starting at 11 a.m. If you’d like a picnic with a concert thrown in (or is it a concert with a picnic thrown in?) Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic at Freedom Mortgage Pavilion in Camden includes his friends Bob Dylan, Maren Morris, Mavis Staples and Robert Plant with Alison Krauss. In Bucks County, Styler Orchard hosts a Fourth of July Celebration with family-friendly activities, including a parade and a performance by Men of Harmony. And if you celebrate the holiday just to see the skies light up, here are some of the best places to watch fireworks around the city.

NE-YO performs at the 2023 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on Sunday, May 7, 2023, at the Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)

New Jersey

Pop Divas

  • Where: Ovation Hall, 500 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, N.J.
  • When: Thursday, July 4, 8 p.m.
  • How much: $29

There are many singers, but only a few achieve the select distinction of diva. Those vocalists are celebrated at Pop Divas, which gives these talented ladies the respect they deserve. Expect to hear the songs from Whitney, Mariah, Janet, Celine, Gaga, Britney and Taylor (no last names needed), backed by an 8-piece orchestra.

Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo: Funtastic Tour 2024

Pat Benatar’s run of hits in the ‘80s set the tone for the pop/rock female artists to come — everyone from Alanis Morrisette to Avril Lavigne and Hayley Williams of Paramore. But there’s only one who has achieved what Benatar has: seven platinum and multiplatinum albums, four Grammys and a place in the Rock Roll Hall of Fame. She and her husband and longtime musical collaborator Neil Giraldo are on the Funtastic 2024 tour that stops in AC this weekend.

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Pat Benatar
Neil Giraldo, left, and Pat Benatar perform during a tribute to Icon award winner Pink at the iHeartRadio Music Awards on Monday, March 27, 2023, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)


UB40: Red Red Wine Tour

The reggae band UB40 has been together for over four decades, thus their latest album is appropriately titled “UB45.” They are touring this year with four of the five original surviving members, along with most of the brass section they’ve had for years and a relatively new lead singer. The band heads to Delaware on their summer tour of the U.S.

Arts & Culture

‘Jaws’ screening

  • Where: Philadephia Film Center, 1412 Chestnut St.
  • When: Friday, July 5, 7 p.m., Saturday, July 6, noon
  • How much: $11.50 – $15.50

No matter who you are, when you hear the theme song from “Jaws” you probably feel a sense of dread. That’s what John Williams intended. The theme and the film have been part of the public consciousness ever since its release in 1975, and beach season has never been the same. If you want to revisit it on the big screen, what better time than when shark attacks are highest? The Philadelphia Film Society thought it was a good idea.

Objection! An Unscripted Courtroom Comedy

  • Where: The Adrienne Theater, 2030 Sansom St.
  • When: Friday, July 5 – Sunday, July 28
  • How much: $25

Improvisational theater is always fun, and Objection! An Unscripted Courtroom Comedy is no expectation. The audience determines the drama as long as they stick to the theme of determining what should be a crime, but isn’t. You can imagine the multiple scenarios that might ensue, but you don’t have to, you can see them enacted on stage.


In a groundbreaking partnership with SCI Phoenix, Mural Arts Philadelphia and the Barnes Foundation have provided incarcerated men with an outlet for their artwork. The men work with the Guild program, a paid apprenticeship for justice-impacted young people to create public and private pieces. Those pieces are part of “Visions,” a new exhibit opening at the Barnes Foundation this week.

image of artwork at the Barnes
Chanel “Noodles” Mitchell. Yam: Great Grandma Gannie’s Lineage, 2024. (Image courtesy of the artist)

First Friday Movies Under the Stars and Stripes

  • Where: Betsy Ross House, 239 Arch St. 
  • When: Friday, July 5, 7:45 p.m., screenings on selected First Fridays through Oct. 4
  • How much: $8

The Betsy Ross House is not just one of Philadelphia’s historical institutions, it’s a gathering place that hosts events. First Friday Movie Nights takes place throughout the summer with a focus on cult classic sci-fi films. This week’s choice — 1957’s “The Brain From Planet Arous.” 

Betsy Ross House
Betsy Ross House (6abc)


Family Festival: Creature Features

Family time is great, but it can be expensive, so if you’re a parent whenever you have the chance to save some money, you will. So pack up the kids and head to the Family Festival: Creature Features. Since it’s First Sunday at the Philadelphia Art Museum, admission is pay-as-you-wish. The event is part of the museum’s Art Kids Summer series, which provides activities around a common theme. Kids can design their own scary creatures and learn more about them through science and storytelling.


George Wallace featuring Marsha Warfield

  • Where: Helium Comedy Club, 2031 Sansom St.
  • When: Friday, July 5, Saturday, July 6, 7 p.m., 9:30 p.m.
  • How much: $42.88 and up

Veteran comedians George Wallace and Marsha Warfield are combining their prodigious talents for a joint comedy tour. Wallace is known for his numerous radio, film and TV appearances, a lengthy Vegas residency, and a decades-long friendship with former roommate Jerry Seinfeld. Warfield, who played Roz Russell on “Night Court” is also an accomplished stand-up performer, and was semi-retired until rejoining the comedy circuit with Wallace. They’re bringing the laughs to Helium for four shows this weekend.


Frankie Beverly and Maze

A few weeks ago, Maze frontman Frankie Beverly had a Philadelphia street named after him, acknowledging his musical contributions as a Germantown native. He returns to the city this weekend on what he says will be his final tour. He’ll be at the Dell performing all of the band’s hits and their classic anthem “Before I Let Go.”

FILE – Frankie Beverly performs at the Essence Festival at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, July 7, 2019, in New Orleans. Beverly will be performing at the 30th Essence Festival of Culture, Fourth of July weekend, 2024, in New Orleans. (Photo by Donald Traill/Invision/AP, File)

Justin Timberlake: Forget Tomorrow World Tour

The world tour has made it to Philadelphia. J.T. has been making the wrong kinds of headlines lately, but has regrouped and is back on his “suit and tie” ish. He and his band The Tennesse Kids are on the Forget Tomorrow World Tour in Hershey, Pa., in support of his latest release “Everything I Thought It Was,” which came out earlier this year.

‘Purple Rain’ 40th Anniversary Tribute to Prince Plus Special Guest Tribute to Morris Day

It’s been forty years since Prince graced the music world with the movie and soundtrack to “Purple Rain.” So that means it’s time to celebrate. At the ‘Purple Rain’ 40th Anniversary Tribute to Prince Plus Special Guest Tribute to Morris Day  Prince ‘fam’ can do just that as Cymone Luckett (no relation to Andre, IYKYK) takes on the daunting task of recreating the Minneapolis icon’s most enduring work.

FILE – Prince performs at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., on Feb. 18, 1985. Apple Music announced on Wednesday, May 22, 2024, their 10 greatest albums of all time and Prince and the Revolution’s 1984 “Purple Rain” came in fourth on the list. (AP Photo/Liu Heung Shing, File)

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