Counting down to Philadelphia's July 4th Parade

July 2, 2012 3:52:10 PM PDT
They are putting the final preparations on the July 4th Parade in Center City Philadelphia.

Inside a big warehouse on Penn's Landing the red, white and blue floats are ready save for a few details.

Add about five thousand participants and you will get the Wawa Welcome America Independence Day Parade.

You can expect plenty of music this year from Kathy Sledge and family to the country's oldest fife and drum band and a gospel choir.

"They will part of the morning ceremony as well as the parade and people are in for an incredible treat with this group of singers. They're just really good," said City Representative Melanie Johnson.

This year the parade honors members of the military along with police and firefighters . It starts at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, goes west on Chestnut Street, north on 9th Street and back down Market Street to Front Street.

"The parade is free, open to the public," said said parade producer Todd Marcocci. "The parade route is wide open for anyone to sit, bring their blanket, lawn chair, whatever the case may be, to watch it. The parade will last for about an hour and a half."

As for the best seat in the house, that will be on one float in particular. Johnson was a good sport and showed us where volunteer of the year 87 year old Pearl Carpel will sit and wave to the crowd.

"The royal wave," said Johnson. "She's lovely and she really deserves it, because she participates every year."

If you can't make the parade in person, you can watch the first hour on 6abc, and the parade in its entirety streaming live on