STORY BY BRIAN BINGAMAN
@brianbingaman on Twitter
Becoming as much a July 4 crown-jewel highlight as “Wawa Welcome America!” Festival’s fireworks is the “Philly 4th of July Jam.”
The concert lineup on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will have The Roots, Miguel, and Jennifer Nettles. Philadelphia’s Roots Crew began jamming in 1987 and have been performing every weeknight on national TV as the house band on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” Singer/songwriter and producer Miguel is known for R&B hits “All I Want Is You” and “Adorn.”
Jennifer Nettles is the singer of the multi-platinum and Grammy Award-winning country duo Sugarland. Last year, Nettles released her first solo album, “That Girl,” recorded with legendary producer Rick Rubin.
The 2015 schedule features a variety of free (unless otherwise noted), family-friendly events. For a map of regional celebrations, click HERE.
Here’s what’s happening today through July 4:
•Free admission at the African American Museum in Philadelphia, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 701 Arch St.
•Go 4th & Learn About Fitness, 10 a.m. to noon, Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse, 3500 Reservoir Drive. This Go 4th & Learn program also features fitness fun at the 6.5-acre playground that includes the Ann Newman Giant Wooden Slide and more than 50 accessible pieces of play equipment.
•Philly @ The Movies: “Rocky,” 9 p.m., Philadelphia Museum of Art, 26th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
•Free admission at the National Constitution Center, 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., 525 Arch St. A special display will feature Wawa’s “commitment” to military, fire and police personnel.
•Go 4th & Learn About History, 10 a.m. to noon, National Constitution Center, 525 Arch St.
•PHL Photo exhibit “About Philadelphia: A City of Firsts,” 10 a.m., Philadelphia International Airport, Terminal A-East, 8000 Essington Ave. Note that the exhibit is open to ticketed passengers only.
•Wawa Hoagie Day, noon to 1:30 p.m., Independence Mall, Market Street between Fifth and Sixth streets. Wawa hoagies will be distributed free, and there will be a special appearance by Food Network chef Robert Irvine, and performances by “The Voice” contestants Matthew Schuler and Audra McLaughlin, as well as the USO Show Troupe.
•Philadelphia Orchestra Neighborhood Concert, 8 p.m., Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing, 101 S. Columbus Blvd.
•Philly @ The Movies: “The Sixth Sense,” 9 p.m., Rittenhouse Park, 210 W. Rittenhouse Square.
•Liberty Block Party, 1 to 8:30 p.m., Fifth and Sixth streets, between Market and Chestnut streets. The Liberty Block Party offers an opportunity to explore the city’s diverse food scene and live entertainment. Entry and entertainment are free, but bring money for food and drinks.
•POPS! On Independence, 8 p.m., steps of Independence Hall, Sixth and Chestnut streets. The Philly Pops give a free concert with conductor Michael Krajewski and soloists Capathia Jenkins and Darius de Haas. Bring your own seating.
•Celebration of Freedom Ceremony, 10 to 11 a.m., steps of Independence Hall, Sixth and Chestnut streets. The ceremony features music, remarks, a reading of excerpts from the Declaration of Independence and a naturalization ceremony for new American citizens.
•Independence Day Parade, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Historic Philadelphia. The patriotic pageantry includes Miss America 2015, marching bands, floats, military organizations and several special performance teams. Beginning at Fifth and Chestnut streets, it travels west on Chestnut to Ninth Street. It then turns right onto Ninth before heading down Market Street toward Front Street. The parade finishes by marching down Front Street to Chestnut Street.
•Let Freedom Ring Ceremony, 1 to 2 p.m., Independence National Historical Park, Sixth and Market streets. The Sons of the American Revolution program starts on Independence Square and concludes with symbolic tapping of Liberty Bell by descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence in the Liberty Bell Pavilion.
•America’s Birthday Party with Betsy Ross and Termini Brothers Bakery, 1 p.m., Independence Visitor Center, Sixth and Market streets. The bakery will have a five-tier cake and 2,500 red, white and blue cupcakes, arranged into a giant American flag. When the decorating is complete, Betsy Ross will conduct a brief ceremony to celebrate the nation’s 239th birthday, cut the cake, then the cupcakes and the entire cake are distributed free.
•Party on the Parkway, noon to 7 p.m., Benjamin Franklin Parkway, 20th Street to the Eakins Oval. The day-long Party on the Parkway features music on two stages, games, entertainment, food, the world championship of extreme pogo, and the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Road to Rio Tour.
•Philly 4th of July Jam and Grand Finale Fireworks, 7 to 11 p.m., Benjamin Franklin Parkway at Eakins Oval. Note that 6 ABC will broadcast the concert live. The show will be immediately followed by the fireworks.
To stay up to date on additions and much more, check visiting www.welcomeamerica.com or www.facebook.com/WawaWelcomeAmerica, and follow on Twitter and Instagram @July4thPhilly.