This Fourth of July, You’ve Got Options

Two simultaneous fireworks displays aim to split the crowd on Tuesday.

Mary J. Blige and Boyz II Men play on the Parkway on July 4. (Visit Philadelphia/Rich Myers)

Some people just hate crowds. And some people have to stay home to keep the dogs from losing their minds, and then posting about it of Facebook. For everybody else, maybe you want to venture out and watch the fireworks this year. If so, you have a decision to make.

Option #1
Wawa Welcome America Concert/Fireworks @ Benjamin Franklin Parkway
This is the obvious choice, the time-honored tradition: First the big concert then the big fireworks display over the Art Museum.
The Entertainment: Still no Roots, but the lineup’s impressive — Mary J. Blige, Boyz II Men, Mandy Gonzalez (from Hamilton), The Philly POPS, Tony DeSare and Luis Figueroa. Also: foodtrucks, beer gardens, some dude with a jackass getting in trouble maybe.
Sightlines: Well-organized people already have their tickets to be near the stage, or their gameplan for getting to the Parkway early to stake out a spot. You’ll have to work around them and stake out a patch of ground for yourself. The concert will be simulcast via lots of screens along the Parkway. Try to find a tree-less clearing. Better yet, do you know anybody with a roofdeck or balcony pointing in the right direction?
Crowds: Massive. The long trudge home is part of the deal.
Concert: 7-9:30 p.m.
Fireworks: 9:30-ish

Option #2
Freedom Festival Fireworks @ Delaware River Waterfront
Continuing a recently established tradition, Camden’s having its big Fourth of July party in Wiggins Park, and setting off its fireworks over the Delaware.
Entertainment: In Wiggins Park you can see WAR and The Cherry Poppin’ Daddies starting at 6:30 p.m. On the Philly side? BYO.
Sightlines: Penn’s Landing and lots of point South of the Ben Franklin Bridge should offer decent views. Know anybody in Society Hill Towers?
Crowds: Not as huge as on the Parkway, but still lots of people. Also may call for some trudging.
Fireworks: 9:30-ish

See Also: The Phillies will be doing their fireworks thing after the games on Thursday and Friday.