Happy 50th Birthday Wawa

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Today is the 50th anniversary of the opening of the very first Wawa in Folsom, Pennsylvania. To celebrate, the stores are offering free coffee to everyone who asks for it. And over at the main Philadelphia magazine site, Dan McQuade is celebrating by rounding up 50 cool facts about Wawa through the ages–things like the origin of the name, celebrities who have Wawa tattoos, interesting observations on the hairstyles of Amish teenagers, where to buy a plush version of the Wawa mascot (yes, they have a mascot) and why you can’t buy rolling papers or porno at your local Wawa.

Seriously, it’s a great list. And the amount of history, controversy and cultish sociology he manages to cram into just 50 short entries is amazing. There is no doubt that Wawa is the greatest convenience store of all time, and the list essentially reads like 50 reasons why. Check it out at the link below.

50 Things About Wawa For Wawa’s 50th Anniversary [Philly mag]

50 Things About Wawa for Wawa’s 50th Anniversary

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AP Photo | Courtesy of Wawa Inc.

Fifty years ago today, the first Wawa opened at the corner of MacDade Blvd. and Swarthmore Ave. in Folsom, Pennsylvania. Today, you can get free coffee at any of Wawa’s locations. (Here’s a Wawa store locator.) To celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary, here are 50 things about the Philadelphia area’s favorite convenience store.

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Why Do Former Wawas Always Look Like Wawa?

former wawa

The ultimate insult: a Wawa on Mystic Island that’s been turned into a 7-Eleven. Photo via Google Street View.

It was one of the great sadnesses of my life as a native Center Cityan when the Rittenhouse Square Wawa closed. I’d done so much growing up there — bought countless packs of to-be-regretted-later cigarettes, hidden from my parents in the depths of my backpack; giggled with my friends over the Playboys and Penthouses in the very back rows of the magazine racks; stocked up on Butterscotch Krimpets and Jolly Ranchers before the daylong vigils by the fountain in the park, waiting for the boys to walk by.

And then, in 2008, it closed and became  (gasp!) a 7-Eleven. What fresh hell was this? Every day my Center City childhood disappears a bit more, crumbling into Burberry or Cole Hahn ash. But come on, people! Some things are sacred! (At least it didn’t become a Sheetz.)

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Is Philly Still a Wawa Town?

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A confession: One small matter that has kept me from feeling like a complete and true Philadelphian is that I have no loyalty — none — to Wawa.

This is not entirely my fault. When I moved to the city in 2008, it was impossible to avoid the chain’s catchy commercials urging viewers to “start your day on a roll/with a Wawa breakfast hoagie.” The tune was relentlessly cheery, relentlessly overplayed and simply relentless. I think I spent November of that year singing the jingle to myself over and over again. Wawa tried to capture my mind, and it certainly did.

It was just never around to capture my heart.

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The Biggest Seasonal Calorie Bombs at Wawa Right Now

Wawa Junior cheese hoagie

Listen, I love Wawa as much as the rest of you, but if you’re a serious Wawa-aholic, be warned: Some of your favorite seasonal eats and drinks aren’t doing your waistline any favors. While I’m not of the opinion that you should abstain all together—especially if the butternut squash and apple soup is your jam—you might want to think twice about making Wawa pitstops a daily ritual.

I took a look at Wawa’s menu to sleuth out the nutrition facts for some of its most popular items this time of year, from soups to sides to hot drinks. Here’s how it shakes out.

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