Head of Philly’s 4th of July Explains What the Hell Happened Last Night

Welcome America CEO Jeff Guaracino in the rain at Philly's 4th of July concert and fireworks. (Photo by HughE Dillon)

Welcome America CEO Jeff Guaracino in the rain at Philly’s 4th of July concert and fireworks. | Photo by HughE Dillon

Another Fourth of July in Philadelphia means one thing: Another laundry list of complaints about the party on the Parkway. While the past couple of years were marred by inappropriate language and behavior and bad talent choices, this year’s festivities have been criticized because of weird television coverage on NBC10, lackluster fireworks that went off earlier than normal, and a concert that did not include the Roots. Here, Welcome America CEO Jeff Guaracino — a/k/a the man in charge of all of our 4th of July festivities — responds. Read more »

Philly Has Had Some Truly Terrible 4th of July Concerts


On the 4th of July, classic soul enthusiast Leon Bridges will be in Philadelphia to headline the big concert on the Ben Franklin Parkway. Bridges has rightly been called “music’s most promising new star” — not too shabby for someone who only started writing tunes about five years ago — and it’s a booking that we can definitely support. But historically, Philadelphia has had its share of 4th of July duds, outrages, and financial scandals. Here, a compendium of Philadelphia 4th of July concerts. Read more »

Hamilton’s Leslie Odom Jr. to Headline 4th of July Concert

Wawa Welcome America logo

The 4th of July concert is going to have an all-Philadelphia feel this year.

Two headliners for the annual 4th of July concert on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, which organizers call the “largest free concert in America,” are both Philadelphia natives. Leslie Odom Jr., who stars as Aaron Burr in the Broadway smash Hamilton, will perform and emcee the event. Rapper Yazz the Greatest, who plays Hakeem Lyon on Fox’s Empire, will also perform. Philadelphia Business Journal reports Bucks County native Christina Perri is a third artist on the main 4th of July bill. Read more »

And A Few More Italian Themed Fourth of July Meals In Case You Still Need Plans


Dinner at Amis this Saturday.

There’s a lot of food stuff for this holiday. Free lobster tacos? Check. Shake Shack cornucopia of goodness? On the list. Lobster bake? You betcha. Free water ice? No kidding.

So, if somehow none of that has yet made it onto your festivity plan, here are two more ideas to eat deliciousness in celebration of independence, summer, and good food.

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Philadelphia Has Officially Ruined the Fourth of July

Nicki Minaj, left, cursing her way through last year’s 4th of July Jam, and Miguel, the guy the city has chosen to entertain your family this year, as seen on his new album cover.

Nicki Minaj, left, cursing her way through last year’s 4th of July Jam, and Miguel, the guy the city has chosen to entertain your family this year, as seen on his new album cover.

On a too-humid day late in May, Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter, a Wawa bigwig, various other city officials and the media, including us, gathered in the African American Museum for an announcement about this year’s Wawa-sponsored Fourth of July concert on the Ben Franklin Parkway.

Last year’s concert, you might remember, was a star-studded devoid-of-patriotism debacle of expletives and other onstage antics not exactly befitting what should be a family event, which is what the concert was in the past with the likes of Earth Wind & Fire, Patti LaBelle, Hall & Oates and John Legend. The 2014 show was lewd and crude, thanks in part to bona fide international celebrity Nicki Minaj, who—just to give one example—stood in front of the Art Museum and rapped the phrase, “If I had a dick, I would pull it out and piss on ’em.” Read more »

Joe Biden Will Be in Philadelphia on the 4th of July

Vice President Joe Biden will be in Philadelphia Friday for the annual “Celebration of Freedom,” part of the Welcome America celebration.

This year’s ceremony, which takes place in front of Independence Hall, will additionally commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act and the 60th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education. He’ll appear with Mayor Michael Nutter and other local luminaries.

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