Visitors, organizers prepare for busy July 4 weekend in Philadelphia

The July 4th concert begins at 7 p.m. along the Ben Franklin Parkway and is followed by a fireworks show.

Saturday, July 2, 2022
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One look at the gas prices and many people seemed to know what they'd be doing for Fourth of July weekend.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- One look at the gas prices and many people seemed to know what they'd be doing for the Fourth of July weekend.

"Nothing," said Yvonne Robinson.

She plans to stay home on the holiday. And even many who plan to go out don't plan to travel far.

"I'm not trying to do too much driving this weekend," said Chris Gee of Manayunk.

Some residents who planned to keep their celebrations local made preparations on Friday with stops at the grocery store.

"We got ribs, burgers, chicken," said Preston Foster of Overbrook.

He admitted that his wife, Regina, would really be the one keeping an eye on the grill.

The couple has thought about participating in some of the city's festivities. If they choose to do so, there are lots of options, including the Wawa Welcome America Festival, a city-run tradition for 30 years.

"We are the largest Fourth of July celebration in America," said Michael DelBene, president and CEO of Welcome America.

The festival returns full-scale for the first time in three years.

"It is 100% family friendly and 100% free," said DelBene. "We have everything from concerts and fireworks and parades to little neighborhood events."

The festival has been going on since June 19.

It culminates this weekend with a July 4th fireworks spectacular and a concert featuring Jason Derulo, Tori Kelly and Ava Max.

Crews began building the stage for the performers on Thursday night.

This year however, it's not on the steps of the Art Museum.

"Our stage, unlike years past, has moved in front of (Eakins) Oval. So we're out here on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway," said DelBene.

Another weekend entertainment option is a long-standing tradition: the Philly Pops concert on July 3.

It happens along Independence Mall and is free to the public with a concert full of patriotic turns.

The July 4th concert begins at 7 p.m. along the Ben Franklin Parkway and is followed by a fireworks show.

There are fireworks shows Friday and Saturday night on the waterfront.

There will be designated entrances into the Welcome America Festival.

All of which will include bag searches and metal detectors.

The festival also has guidance on items that are and are not permitted. For a list of those items, a map of entry points and other helpful information, click HERE.