Philadelphia parties on the Parkway to ring in the Fourth of July

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Thousands gather to celebrate Independence Day on the Parkway: Maggie Kent reports on Action News at 11 p.m., July 4, 2018 (WPVI)

The Parkway was all decked out in red, white and blue as people huddled in for the city's big Fourth of July celebration.

Pitbull jumped and bounced, bringing Miami heat to the Welcome America stage Thursday night.

It was one giant dance party ahead of the fireworks display.

"This is the best place to be on the Fourth of July," said Carmen Zega of New Castle, Delaware. "Everybody wants to be on the Parkway."

For some, this celebration is an annual affair.

Gina Brinkley of East wick said, "It's been something we have to do, we have to do it," said Gina Brinkley of Eastwick. "It's Philadelphia baby, can't get any better."

But long hours in extreme heat and humidity can be dangerous, and everyone is urged to take precautions.

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Philly prepares for the party on the Parkway: Ali Gorman report on Action News at 4 p.m., July 4, 2018



Philadelphia's second responders are helping police and medics stay cool. Plenty of water is also available for concertgoers.

"Keep, stay hydrated, keep water with you. You'll be fine," said Allison Lindgren of Fairmount.

Plus fountains are flowing and cooling fans are blowing.

"It feels like 300 degrees out here, but when you go in there it feels awesome," said Justin Butler of Drexel Hill.

The Welcome America celebration honors tradition as well as celebrating the future.

"Welcome America celebrates American independence. How we can come together and celebrate our independence and progress as a nation," said Serve Philadelphia Volunteer Zack Pan.

And what better way to celebrate than with a fan favorite headlining the show.

"Pitbull is the ultimate party guy, you hear him and just want to get up and dance," said Emily Littman of Fairmount. "I'm pretty pumped to see him."

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