Fireworks cap Wawa Welcome America's big night

July 4, 2013 8:04:58 PM PDT
The biggest day of the Wawa Welcome America festival wrapped up in spectacular fashion Thursday night on the Ben Franklin Parkway.

Fireworks over the Philadelphia Museum of Art provided an awesome, colorful finale to a day and night packed with pageantry Philadelphia-style, all in celebration of American freedom.

The fireworks capped the July 4th Jam, a free, outdoor concert featuring Philadelphia's own The Roots with special guests John Mayer, Hunter Hayes, Jill Scott, Ne-Yo, Grace Potter, J. Cole, and Ben Taylor.

The concert and fireworks were seen live on 6abc, hosted by Rick Williams and Cecily Tynan, joined by Adam Joseph and Karen Rogers.

The Independence Day extravaganza began Thursday morning with a look back where it all began: on Independence Mall.

William Bell, the mayor of Birmingham, Alabama, read the Declaration of Independence.

Bell was here at the invitation of Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.

Birmingham is marking the 50th anniversary of its part in the fight for civil rights and equality.

After that, Philadelphia's Independence Day parade kicked off and made its way through Old City.

And like the great American melting pot, the parade contained a little bit of everything and everybody.

Another tradition continued at the Liberty Bell Thursday morning.

Each fourth, descendants of the signers of the Declaration of Independence come to town and participate in a ceremonial tapping of the Liberty Bell.

Mayor Nutter hosted the ceremony.

He also presented the participants with small Liberty Bell replicas to commemorate their visit.


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