The words of the Declaration of Independence, signed July 4, 1776 in Philadelphia, have inspired more than 100 similar declarations of human rights and self-government around the world. Communities in the region ready to celebrate America’s big day, here’s a sampling of events:
From July 1-4 the Museum of the American Revolution, 101 S. Third St., Philadelphia, will celebrate with music, family-friendly activities and costumed historical interpreters, including Declaration author Thomas Jefferson, who will meet-and-greet visitors noon to 3 p.m. July 1.
On July 1 the Museum’s Cross Keys Café will host an Independence Ice Cream Social” from 5 to 7 p.m.
At 1 p.m. July 2, the date that Continental Congress declared independence from Great Britain, visitors can enjoy birthday cake celebrating the country’s 241st birthday. On July 3 the Old Barracks Fife and Drum Corps will perform on the museum’s outdoor plaza from noon to 3 p.m.
Throughout the weekend, sign your name to a giant Declaration of Independence in the museum’s rotunda and take home a complimentary pocket Declaration as a souvenir. You can also receive a miniature version of Washington’s Standard flag, which marked the commander-in-chief’s headquarters during the Revolutionary War.
In the museum’s Patriots Gallery from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, kids can try on Revolutionary-inspired clothing, design a flag and make a sash like the one worn by Gen. George Washington to take home.
After exploring the exhibits — including ones dedicated to the Declaration of Independence — visitors can ponder the question “Would I have joined the mob to pull down the statue of King George in 1776?” Cast their vote to see where you stand among other visitors.
Get more information at www.amrevmuseum.org.
The 2017 Wawa Welcome America continues through July 4, celebrating American history, education and Philadelphia with free, patriotic events throughout the city, and concluding with 12 hours of commemorations and celebrations on the Fourth of July. The theme for the 25th anniversary Welcome America is “Everyone is a History Maker.” Every day of the festival, a Philadelphia museum opens its doors for free.
Highlights at a glance include:
A free concert by the Philadelphia Orchestra at 8 p.m. at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing, followed by a fireworks show at 9:30. Official fireworks viewing areas include SugarHouse Casino and One Liberty Observation Deck.
SugarHouse Casino’s Red, White & Brew Fest from 5 to 9 p.m. will feature food, drinks, and entertainment by Mo Lowda and the Humble. The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” Concert is followed by fireworks at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing at 9:30.
Philadelphia’s Historic District Block Party from noon to 7 p.m. on Independence Mall will feature three performance stages for artists to showcase their freedom of expression: the arts, music and speech. The block party will be followed by a performance by The Philly POPS at 7 p.m. in front of Independence Hall.
The Celebration of Freedom Ceremony kicks off at Independence Hall at 10 a.m. Philadelphia’s music icons Boyz II Men will be honored for their achievements in music and philanthropy.
The United States of America’s Independence Day Parade is held through Historic Philadelphia at 11 a.m. and wraps up at Penn’s Landing.
A party at the Independence Visitor Center, hosted by Betsy Ross and Termini Bros. Bakery, features a five-tier cake and 2,500 cupcakes displayed in the shape of an American flag. It begins at 1 p.m.
Enjoy five blocks of entertainment, food and more with Party on the Parkway noon to 10 p.m. Families can enjoy an interactive kid’s area featuring the Strider Bikes obstacle course, a zipline, games and make-and-take arts and crafts. Animal lovers can bring their furry friends to enjoy the Amtrak Pet Friendly area. The 21+ crowd can kick back and relax in two beer gardens, and all can enjoy the music from the Philly Groove stage. The Party on the Parkway also features the Kidz Bop Kids.
Starting at 7 p.m. is the free Wawa Welcome America July 4th Concert and Fireworks starring Mary J. Blige and The Philly POPS Big Band with jazz singer Tony DeSare and Mandy Gonzalez from the Tony Award-winning hit musicals “Hamilton,” “In the Heights” and “Wicked” on the stage in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
There will be a fireworks show simultaneously launching at 9:30 p.m. with the Benjamin Franklin Parkway display. That’s the Freedom Festival Fireworks at Wiggins Park over the Delaware River Waterfront.
The Upper Salford Red, White and Blue Parade will take place at 10 a.m. July 4. The parade will line up on Potato Road at 9:15 a.m. and proceed down Old Skippack Road to the Upper Salford Firehouse, where refreshments will be available.
The Rising Sun Inn, 898 Allentown Road, Franconia, hosts an Independence Day Picnic 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 4. There will be a buffalo hot dog eating contest, quoits tournament and a chili cookoff. There will also be food and drink specials. Visit www.risingsuninn.net or call (215) 721-6350.
The Pottstown Go Fourth Festival celebrates the arts and features a parade organized by the Pottstown Rotary Club. This new event will be held July 3 and 4 in Memorial Park and will feature carnival rides, art and craft vendors, a Sly Fox Beer Garden, a food tent, live entertainment, tethered hot air balloon rides by The United States Hot Air Balloon Team and a laser light show by Mobius8 & Fyre.
A parade is set for July 4, starting at Adams Street and proceeding along High Street to Manatawny Street. The 26th annual Duck Race fundraising event for more than 20 local charities will float down Manatawny Creek at 4 p.m. July 4.
The seventh annual Independence Day Celebration is on for July 1-4 at SteelStacks, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem. The weekend features Levitt Pavilion performances by blues act Sugar Ray and the Bluetones July 1 and doo-wop legends The Coasters on July 2.
At 12:30 p.m. July 1 at the Levitt Pavilion, kids can cool off at the Peas and Qs Sprinkler Party, featuring free ice pops, backyard games and a Blueberry Pie Eating Contest. Plus, on July 1 and 4 from 3 to 7 p.m., children’s arts and crafts are available.
At 3 p.m. July 2, the first 100 children to arrive can decorate and build their own kite at the Pocono Kite Symphony’s free Kids Kite Building Workshop at the Air Products Town Square.
On Independence Day at 7:30 p.m. will be a Levitt Pavilion concert by the Allentown Band. Following the performance, enjoy the city’s fireworks show high above SteelStacks.
Nottingham County Park is the site of Chester County’s Freedom Fest on July 1, with a fireworks display at approximately 9:30 (rain date July 2). The park is at 150 Park Road. Parking is $10. The gates open at 6 p.m. Visit http://chesco.org/2387/Freedom-Fest.
Quakertown Borough’s Community Day on July 4 begins with a pancake breakfast at 8 a.m. and concludes with a fireworks display at 9:30 p.m., all at Memorial Park, off West Mill Street, Quakertown.
The Riverside Symphonia presents a Concert Under the Stars July 1 at Tinicum Park in Erwinna. Celebrate the Fourth of July holiday weekend with an evening of light classical, popular and patriotic music followed by a grand fireworks finale under the stars along the banks of the Delaware River. Advance tickets are $20, $25 at the gate. Student tickets are $10 for ages 7-18 and free to children under 6. Visit www.riversidesymphonia.org or call (609) 397-7300.
An Independence Day program is offered 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 1 at the Daniel Boone Homestead, 400 Daniel Boone Road, Birdsboro. Find out more by calling (610) 582-4900.
Picnic at the Peddler’s Village Red, White & Blue BBQ Bash noon to 5 p.m. July 2. Enjoy food, live music, family entertainment and kids activities. The village is at Routes 202 and 263, Lahaska. Call (215) 794-4000.
At 8:30 p.m. July 2 a fireworks display can be viewed from Bethel Springs Elementary School off Foulk Road. Parking will be at the school and Bethel Community Park.
Fireworks at Ridley Park Lake are scheduled for 9 p.m. July 1. Source: www.ridleyparkborough.org.
Children can show off their patriotic pride on the Fourth of July at the West Goshen Decorated Bicycle Parade. Email email@example.com or call (610) 696-5266.
A Good Neighbor Day Celebration at Kerr Park in Downingtown is set for July 4. A Run for Life with 5K, 10K and 15K options, a 5K Freedom Walk at 8 a.m., food, craft exhibitors and a fireworks show are among the day’s events. The park is at 1 Park Lane, Downingtown. See more at www.goodneighborday.com.
A fireworks display will occur in Springfield Township at dusk July 1 at Springfield Township High School. The display concludes the Rotary Carnival. Visit www.springfieldrotary.org/wordpress.
Sesame Place, 100 Sesame Road, Langhorne, celebrates on July 3 and 4 with fireworks at 9:25 p.m., following the 9 p.m. performance of the Neighborhood Party Night Parade. For park admission and more information, check https://sesameplace.com/en/langhorne.
The public is invited to celebrate Independence Day at Washington Crossing Historic Park July 2-4. At 6 p.m. July 2 will be an Old-Fashioned Community Picnic. Bring your own dinner, picnic supplies and lawn games. Prizes will be awarded for Most Creative Picnic Display, Most Delectable Menu, and Best in Show. Sign up at http://www.washingtoncrossingpark.org/events. At 8 p.m. Broad Street Brass will hold a free concert featuring patriotic music and other selections. The event concludes with a free fireworks show at 9.
Enjoy a full day of free outdoor activities on July 3. At 10 a.m. families are invited to try out geocaching, a treasure hunt using GPS devices. Registration is required for this free activity. Meet in front of the Visitor Center. Kids 4-12 are invited to participate in a Wildlife Olympics starting at 1 p.m. Meet in the large field diagonal from the visitor center and across River Road. The day will wrap up with a free family bike ride along the Delaware Canal Towpath starting at 3 p.m.. Meet at the General Sullivan pavilion behind the Thompson-Neely House and Farmstead, located in the Upper Park.
On July 4 see living historians demonstrate their crafts, tour the historic buildings and see a military encampment from noon to 4 p.m. Readings of the Declaration of Independence start at 12:30, 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m.
Admission is $8, $4 for children 5-11 and free for those under 5. Refreshments will be available for purchase.
Also, a Fourth of July tradition returns to the Washington Crossing Open Air Theatre stage with “Stars ‘n Stripes” a salute to America. Set for three performances, “Stars ‘n Stripes” will be staged on Friday, June 30, Saturday, July 1 and Sunday, July 2, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for children (ages 12 and under) and $12 for seniors (ages 65 and older.) Tickets can always be purchased at the Open Air Theatre Box Office one half-hour prior to the performance. Group discounts are available. The Washington Crossing Open Air Theatre is located inside Washington Crossing State Park at 455 Washington Crossing-Pennington Road in Titusville, New Jersey. Box Office phone is (267) 885-9857.
Middletown Township’s Fourth of July Parade steps off at 9 a.m. July 4 at the Veterans Memorial Park on Veterans Highway in Levittown. Families are invited to decorate bikes, wagons and strollers and walk the 1.5-mile parade route. Dress in patriotic outfits or costumes or dress up your pets and march in the parade. Families who want a shorter walk can join the parade at the halfway point at the Raymond P. Mongillo Sr. Community Center at 2140 Trenton Road. Visit www.middletownbucks.org/community/parks_and_recreation.
Southampton Days runs July 3-8 at 1255 Second St. Then July 4 marks Southampton Day with events kicking off at 8:30 a.m. with a baby parade, followed by the Southampton Day Parade from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. A flag raising ceremony is set for 11:30 a.m. Festivities continue in the evening beginning at 6 p.m. Highlights include rides, concerts, children’s games, bingo and more. Admission is $3, children 3 and under are admitted free. For a complete schedule, check www.southamptondays.com/july-4th-parade.html.
Fonthill Museum’s Old-Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration takes place on the castle’s grounds, East Court Street and Route 313, Doylestown, from noon to 4 p.m. July 4. The day’s festivities kick off with the Children’s Decorated Bike Parade at 12:30 p.m. After the parade, try your hand at games like tug-of-war, a watermelon eating contest, town ball (19th century baseball), cakewalk (musical chairs), sack races, stilt walking, bucket brigade relays and wheelbarrow races. Other activities include face painting, crafts and storyteller Robin Moore. Performers include the Del Val Saxophone Quartet, the Galena Brass and the Bucks County Country Gentleman. Admission to tour the castle is $3, $2 for seniors, $1 for children,and free for members. Guests are welcome to picnic on the grounds or purchase food from one of the on-site vendors. Gate admission will be $5 and free for children 15 and under. Call (215) 348-9461 or visit www.fonthillmuseum.org.
Glenolden Borough’s 4th of July Parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. on July 4. The parade will step off from the Wells Fargo Bank parking lot at the corner of Mac Dade Boulevard and Ashland Avenue. All parade participants should meet at the lot at 9:30 a.m. Patriotic ceremonies will follow at the end of the parade in Glenolden Park at the corner of Llanwellyn and Knowles avenues. There will be music, food and games in the park following the ceremonies until 3 p.m. All of these activities are weather permitting. Rain date will be July 9. Anyone wishing to volunteer to help at these activities may contact Ed at (610) 496-0764.
Bring a chair and listen to music and a reading of the Declaration of Independence and other historical documents at 2 p.m. July 4 in front of the Ironmaster’s House at Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, 2 Mark Bird Lane, Elverson. Admission is free.
Waltz Golf Farm at 303 W. Ridge Pike, Limerick, is the site of an annual fireworks display. Fireworks begin at dusk.
New Britain Township and New Britain and Chalfont boroughs hold their Tri-Municipal Fourth of July Parade at 9:30 a.m. July 4. It begins at the Town Center Shopping Center, Route 202, New Britain Borough, and ends at North Branch Park, 207 Park Ave., New Britain Township.
On July 4, a parade begins at 11 a.m. and travels down Route 73 through the heart of Skippack Village. The Independence Day tradition also involves a barbecue at Parc Bistro at 3 p.m., and fireworks at dusk in Palmer Park, near Skippack Elementary School, with parking areas off of Heckler Road and Creamery Road. Source: www.bestofskippack.com.
The annual Fourth of July celebration takes place at Friendship Field, Fillmore Street. Event begins at 6 with fireworks at 9 p.m. The rain date is July 9. Source: www.phoenixville.org/events.php
Phoenixville’s July 4th fireworks will take place at Friendship Field off of Fillmore Street and Franklin Avenue. The public is invited to arrive at 6 p.m. and food and beverages will be available. Fireworks are set to begin between 9 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. Fireworks are being organized by D & M Ltd. Parking will be available at Reservior Park, Franklin Commons, or the Santa Anna Club and at the Bethel Baptist Church on Fairview Street.
Tredyffrin Township’s 4th of July 4 Celebration is set to be held at Wilson Farm Park, 500 Lee Road. Performing will be the Chester County Concert Band with the music beginning at 7:15 p.m. Fireworks will follow at dusk.
The July 4 Fireworks will be held at Radnor High School July 4 (rain date July 8). Gates will open at 6:30 p.m., and the show will begin at dusk. Tickets will be available at the following locations: Wayne Sporting Goods, Radnor Township Building, D’Amicantonio Shoes, Dayton Lock Co., Braxton’s Animal Works, Santander Bank (Wayne branch) and Bryn Mawr Trust Company (Wayne branch). Tickets will also be sold at the gate on the day of the event. Gate donations are $5 for children under 13, $10 for teens and adults and $20 for a group car. Visit www.radnorscholarshipfund.com.
From 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. July 4 Stenton will host its annual July 4th Celebration in the historic Logan section of Philadelphia at 4601 N. 18th St., Philadelphia. Enjoy hot dogs and make-your-own ice cream; create an American flag-themed fan; mingle with Benjamin Franklin; play colonial games and hear live music by Run of the Mill String Band. This event is free but reservations are appreciated by calling (215) 329-7312 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.freedomsbackyard.com for more information.
The Rockledge Borough annual Fourth of July Parade will proceed down Huntingdon Pike at 9 a.m. July 4. For more information call (215) 379-8572.
The Celebration 5K Run will be held at 8:30 a.m. July 4. The fee is $25. Registration on the day of the race begins at 7 a.m. and ends at 8:15 a.m. Awards are planned for the top male and female overall finisher, top male and female finisher from East Norriton, West Norriton and Norristown, plus first, second and third place awards for male and females in nine different age groups. Norristown’s Fourth of July Parade steps off at 10 a.m. at Airy and DeKalb streets, followed by a concert, children’s activities, food trucks and a beer garden. Fireworks are set for 9 p.m.
The Media Recreation Board invites everyone in the community to join them for their annual Independence Day Celebration on July 4 from 10 a.m. to noon. It is a day of food, fun and entertainment, with a live performance by Silly Joe. There will be a water slide and games for the kids, as well as a bike decorating contest. For more information, contact the recreation office at (610) 566-5210, ext. 255.
Conshohocken spreads its Independence Day party over two days, July 3-4. Fireworks light up the sky above Sutcliffe Park, Coldwel Lane, on July 3 at 9 p.m. On July 4, the 51st Soap Box Derby rolls down Fayette Street from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Each year, Valley Forge National Historical Park throws a community picnic with food, games, crafts, performances, tours and artillery demonstrations. Check it out 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 4 at 1400 Outer Line Drive, Upper Merion.
A July 4 three-tiered event spreads across Abington and Cheltenham Townships — in Renninger Memorial Park and Abington High School — includes a “We Love America” Children’s Morning Program at 10 a.m., the 114th annual “Grand, Glorious, Patriotic” Parade at 4 p.m. and the America the Beautiful Aerial Fireworks Spectacular at 9 p.m.
Narberth’s Independence Day tradition includes a parade and carnival at Narberth Park, 100 Conway Ave., followed a firework show. More details are at www.narberthfourthofjuly.com/july-4th-celebration.html.
Whitemarsh Township’s Independence Day starts with a parade at 10 a.m., marching from Barren Hill Fire Company, 647 Germantown Pike, to Miles Park. Immediately following is a picnic with music, beverages and hot dogs in Miles Park, Germantown Pike at Joshua Road.
At 3 p.m. July 4 in Upper Merion’s Heuser Park, 694 W. Beidler Road and Geerdes Boulevard, a party features rides, food, games and a beer garden. At 5 p.m. The Mango Men begin a set of summer-themed hits. There will also be fireworks.
The first Firecracker 5K, 1-Mile Bottle Rocket & half-mile Kids’ Sparkler Runs also features yard games and inflatable attractions starting at 7 p.m. July 5 at The Market at DelVal, 2100 Lower State Road, Doylestown. Call (215) 230-7170 or visit http://themarketatdelval.com.
Fireworks are on tap July 7 during The Kiwanis Club of Ambler’s annual carnival at Wissahickon High School, Dager and Houston roads, Lower Gwynedd. The carnival runs July 4-8. Rain date for fireworks display is July 8. For more, check www.facebook.com/AmblerKiwanis.
The annual Norco Fire Company Fair runs July 3-8 at its fairgrounds on Route 724 east of Coventry Mall. Highlights of the fair are amusements, food, business exhibitors and more. Fireworks are planned for 10:30 p.m. on July 8. For a full schedule, admission prices and more, check www.norcofireco.org.
A fireworks display (rain date July 16) is one of the highlights Pennridge Community Day, which begins at noon July 9 in Lenape Park, Route 152, Perkasie. Events include canoe races, a baby parade, a watermelon eating contest, music and more. Check out www.pennridgecommunityday.org.
The Leedom Fourth of July parade will begin at 10 a.m. July 4. The rain date is July 8. Bikes, cars and marchers should line up at 9 at Leedom Elementary School, 620 E. Chester Pike, Ridley Township. Floats need to register at email@example.com or by contacting Carli McCrea at (484) 683-5560 prior to the parade. No registration is necessary for bikes, cars and marchers. The parade will step off onto Chester Pike and end at Leedom Community Center where other festive activities will take place at a Family Fun Picnic 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Complimentary food will include hot dogs, chips, pretzels, juice and water. Games at the Family Fun Picnic will include a water balloon toss, three legged races, potato sack races and a moon bounce for the little ones.
Fort Mifflin celebrates Independence Day with Freedom Blast 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 2 at a site that defended Philadelphia against the greatest bombardment of the American Revolution. Participate in the Flag Raising Ceremony, then stay for guided tours, blacksmithing and heritage craft demonstrations, hands-on living history activities, uniform, weapon and cannon demonstrations. Join the army (circa 1777) and learn to drill with a wooden musket. Admission is “pay what you wish.” Fort Mifflin on the Delaware is at Fort Mifflin and Hog Island roads, Philadelphia. Visit www.fortmifflin.us or call (215) 685-4167.