Did you know that America’s birthday is technically July 2?
That was the actual date in 1776 that the Continental Congress declared independence from Great Britain. July 4 was the date the Declaration of Independence was ratified. It means you always have an excuse to start celebrating early.
We even rounded up fireworks displays happening right after the Fourth; because we know you can’t get enough fireworks. Happy Independence Day.
The Museum of the American Revolution, 101 S. Third St., Philadelphia, will celebrate the Declaration of Independence’s legacy with special programs and activities for all ages. Add a personalized ribbon to a flag-shaped “Declarations Wall” on the museum’s outdoor plaza. Inside visitors can sign their name to a giant Declaration of Independence in the rotunda and take home a complimentary pocket-sized Declaration.
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 2 a costumed historical interpreter portraying Thomas Jefferson, the original author of the Declaration, will meet-and-greet visitors and pose for photos. At 1 p.m., you can enjoy a free slice of cake in honor of the nation’s birthday.
On July 3 from 1 to 4 p.m. the Fifes & Drums of the Old Barracks will perform patriotic tunes on the outdoor plaza. From 4 to 6 p.m. the Cross Keys Café will host an Independence Ice Cream Social, featuring boozy ice cream floats, sundaes and other treats.
Throughout the weekend, kids can try on Revolutionary-inspired clothing, design a flag, decode secret messages and practice drilling like a Revolutionary soldier in the Patriots Gallery from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. In the museum’s new discovery center, Revolution Place, the whole family can explore 18th century Philadelphia through immersive environments, interactive touchscreens, reproduction objects and special programs.
Get more information at www.amrevmuseum.org.
Wawa Welcome America 2018 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 of this year’s Wawa Welcome America is “Welcoming the World with Love.” A sample of the highlights includes free admission at a different museum or cultural institution each day, the Philly Scoop Ice Cream Festival at Reading Terminal Market 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 30, the new Pennsylvania Convention Center Community Festival noon to 5 p.m. June 30, the “On the Delaware” Music Festival at Pennypack on the Delaware Park 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. June 30, a fireworks show at 9:30 p.m. June 30 (preceded by a concert by the United States Army Band) on the Delaware River waterfront and 9:30 p.m. July 4 on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway following the concert by Pitbull, Freedom Blast at 10 a.m. July 1 at Fort Mifflin on the Delaware, the new Orangetheory Freedom Fit Fest at the steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. July 1, three concerts at Independence Hall at 7 p.m. July 1-3, a Historic District Block Party Celebrating The Bourse noon to 7 p.m. July 3, the Celebration of Freedom Ceremony at Independence Hall at 10 a.m. July 4, the Independence Day Parade from Independence Hall through Historic Philadelphia at 11 a.m. July 4, a new 4th of July Picnic in the Park at Valley Forge National Historical Park from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 4, the Let Freedom Ring Ceremony at 1 p.m. July 4 behind Independence Hall, the Party on the Parkway noon to 7 p.m. July 4 on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and the July 4th Concert on the Parkway at 7 p.m. Independence Day. The full schedule and event details can be found at www.welcomeamerica.com.
Upper Darby Township’s Independence Day celebration and fireworks display takes take place July 3 at the Upper Darby High School Memorial Stadium behind the high school — 601 N. Lansdowne Ave. in Drexel Hill. Gates open at 7 p.m. and admission is $4. The fireworks display will begin at dusk. Children under 5 are free and tickets are sold only at the gate. Parking is free. The event rain date is Friday, July 6. The celebration features performances by the band Chico’s Vibe and the Upper Darby Summer Stage Shooting Stars. Chico’s Vibe performs beginning at 7:30 p.m. The Upper Darby Shooting Stars follow at 9, with fireworks at 9:20.
The Upper Salford Red, White and Blue Parade is expected to take place at 10 a.m. July 4. The parade will line up on Potato Road at 9:15 a.m. and proceed east on Old Skippack Road to the Upper Salford Firehouse.
An Independence Day Picnic will be held 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 4 at the Rising Sun Inn, 898 Allentown Road, Franconia. 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 GoFourth Festival is set for July 4 in Memorial Park and will feature entertainment, children’s activities, a Sly Fox Beer Garden, food vendors, a hot air balloon launch, fireworks and more. A parade is set for July 4 at 10:15 a.m., beginning on High Street. Go to www.pottstowngofourth.com.
The 26th annual Freedom Fest will be held 6 to 11 p.m. July 7 in Chester County’s Nottingham Park, including a concert at 7:15 p.m. and a fireworks display at 9:30. The park is at 150 Park Road and the rain date will be July 8. Parking is $10. Visit http://chesco.org/2387/Freedom-Fest.
Quakertown 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 rain date is July 7.
Riverside Symphonia’s Concert Under the Stars will be held June 30 at Tinicum Park in Erwinna. Celebrate the Fourth of July holiday 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 Celebration is offered 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 30 at the Daniel Boone Homestead, 400 Daniel Boone Road, Birdsboro. Find out more by calling (610) 582-4900.
The Peddler’s Village Red, White & Blue BBQ Bash is set for June 30. Enjoy food, live music, family entertainment and kids activities. The village is at Routes 202 and 263, Lahaska. Call (215) 794-4000.
Bethel Township’s fireworks are scheduled for dusk on July 3, and can be viewed from Bethel Springs Elementary School off Foulk Road. Limited parking will be at the school and Bethel Community Park. The rain date is July 5. Source: www.twp.bethel.pa.us.
The 40th annual 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.
Fourth of July Fireworks at Sesame Place, 100 Sesame Road, Langhorne, get set to “Sesame Street” music at 9:25 p.m., following the 9 p.m. performance of the Neighborhood Party Night Parade, on July 3 and 4. For park admission and more information, check https://sesameplace.com/philadelphia.
Independence Day at Washington Crossing Historic Park includes the “Rebels vs. Redcoats: A Revolutionary Car Show” noon to 4 p.m. July 1 in the Lower Park, 1112 River Road, Upper Makefield. The celebration continues July 2 with a free concert by the United States Army Reserve 78th Army Band at 7 p.m., followed by a fireworks display at around 9. Both activities will be held in the field diagonal to the park’s Visitor Center and across River Road. On July 4 see living historians demonstrate their crafts, tour historic buildings and see a military encampment, all between noon and 4 p.m. A highlight of the day will be readings of the Declaration of Independence at 12:30, 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30. Admission to the event, which will be held rain or shine, is $8 for ages 12 and over, $4 for children 5-11. Refreshments will be available for purchase. Visit www.washingtoncrossingpark.org/events.
Middletown Township’s Fourth of July Parade starts with a ceremony at the Veterans Memorial Park on Veterans Highway in Levittown, then steps off at 9 a.m. July 4. The route follows Trenton Road to Twin Oaks Park. Bleachers will be set up at the Community Center at 2140 Trenton Road and at Statesman Health & Rehabilitation Center at 2629 Trenton Road. 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/4th_of_july_parade.php.
The Lower Southampton Township Independence Day Parade’s theme is “Remember Why It’s 4th of July.” It steps off at 1 p.m. July 4 in Feasterville. Two of the highlights will be the baby and bicycle competitions. Registration will take place at Wage Electric on Bustleton Pike. The parade will begin at Second Street and Bustleton Pike and move north on Route 213 Bridgetown Pike to the Lower Southampton Intermediate School and the Lower Southampton Township grounds. The rain date is July 7.
Fonthill Museum’s Old-Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration takes place noon to 4 p.m. July 4 on the castle’s grounds, East Court Street and Route 313, Doylestown. The day’s festivities include a decorated bike parade, free old-time games and live music. Admission is $5, $3 for members, free for youths 15 and under. Call (215) 348-9461 or visit www.fonthillmuseum.org.
An Independence Day Commemoration at Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, 2 Mark Bird Lane, Elverson, happens July 4 in front of the Ironmaster’s House. Bring a chair or blanket and listen to music and a reading of the Declaration of Independence and other historical documents at 2 p.m. Admission is free.
The Waltz’s Golf Farm July 4th celebration begins with live country by Drive Train at 7 p.m. July 4, then a fireworks display. The miniature golf course is at 303 W. Ridge Pike, Limerick.
The New Britain Township and New Britain and Chalfont boroughs Tri-Municipal Fourth of July Parade is scheduled for 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.
Skippack’s Fourth of July parade begins at 11 a.m. July 4 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. Source: www.skippackvillage.com.
The Independence Day Fireworks in Phoenixville take place July 4 at Friendship Field, off of Fillmore Street. The event begins at 6 p.m. with fireworks at 9. Source: www.phoenixville.org/events.php.
Tredyffrin Township’s Fourth of July 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. Source: www.tredyffrin.org/services/parks-recreation/community-events-/fourth-of-july-celebration.
July 4th at Stenton is held 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. July 4. Stenton is in the historic Logan section of Philadelphia at 4601 N. 18th St. Enjoy hot dogs and make-your-own ice cream, create an American flag-themed fan, play games and hear live music by Run of the Mill String Band. This event is free but reservations are appreciated. Visit www.stenton.org.
In Rockledge Borough there’s fireworks display set for July 3 in Cegielkowski Park, off South Sylvania Avenue. The Fourth of July Parade will proceed down Huntingdon Pike at 9 a.m. July 4.
Independence Day fireworks are planned for July 3 in Conshohocken’s Sutcliffe Park, Coldwel Lane. The gates open at 6 p.m. On July 4 the Soap Box Derby rolls down Fayette Street from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Glenside Independence Day Celebration July 4 is a three-tiered event spreads across Abington and Cheltenham Townships — in Renninger Memorial Park and Abington High School. Highlights include a Children’s Morning Program at 10 a.m., the “Grand, Glorious, Patriotic” Parade at 4 p.m. and the “America the Beautiful” Aerial Fireworks Spectacular after dark.
Narberth’s 76th annual Fourth of July Celebration includes a baby parade, and a carnival from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 4. The evening program starts at 7:30 p.m. with music by The Zing Kings, and 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. July 4, marching from Barren Hill Fire Company, 647 Germantown Pike, to Miles Park. Immediately following is a picnic with music, beverages and food in Miles Park, Germantown Pike at Joshua Road.
Upper Merion Township’s 43rd annual Fourth of July Celebration happens in Heuser Park, 694 W. Beidler Road and Geerdes Boulevard. The festivities start at 3 p.m. July 4 with a carnival food and a beer garden. At 5 p.m. The Mango Men perform live music. There will also be fireworks.
The Firecracker 5K, 1-Mile Bottle Rocket & half-mile Kids’ Sparkler Runs also features live music, yard games and inflatable attractions starting at 7 p.m. July 6 at The Market at DelVal, 2100 Lower State Road, Doylestown. Call (215) 230-7170 or visit http://themarketatdelval.com.
The Kiwanis Club of Ambler carnival at Wissahickon High School, Dager and Houston roads, Lower Gwynedd, features a Fireworks Spectacular July 6 during. The carnival runs July 3-7. Rain date for fireworks display is July 7. For more, check www.facebook.com/AmblerKiwanis.
The annual Norco Fire Company Fair runs July 2-7 at its fairgrounds on Route 724 east of Coventry Mall. Highlights of the fair are rides, games, food, business exhibitors and more. Fireworks are planned for 10:30 p.m. on July 6. For a full schedule, admission prices and more, check www.norcofireco.org.
A fireworks display (rain date July 15) is one of the highlights of Pennridge Community Day in Lenape Park, Route 152, Perkasie. The updated events schedule will be posted July 1 on www.pennridgecommunityday.org.
A reading of the Declaration of Independence by a Norristown Farm Park ranger in period clothing will perform at 2 p.m. July 1. Before the advent of radio and television, important government announcements were read to the public in a common square. There will be toasts and musket fire. The reading takes about 90 minutes. Bring a blanket or a folding chair. Meet at the pavilions. In case of rain the event will be moved to the Salt Wing, adjacent to the park office, West Germantown Pike and Barley Sheaf Drive, East Norriton. Pre-registration is preferred by calling (610) 270-0215 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Allentown Band performs a free concert program of marches and patriotic tunes at 7 p.m. July 1 in the Maurice W. Foulke Bandhsell in Souderton Community Park, Wile Avenue and Reliance Road, Souderton. Bring your own seating. In case of rain the concert will be moved indoors at Indian Crest Midddle School, 139 Harleysville Pike, Franconia Township.