INDEPENDENCE MALL (WPVI) -- Thousands of people filled Independence Mall Thursday, one of many places to be on the days leading up to the 4th of July.
Action News spoke with little ones who shared their enthusiasm about the pre-holiday festivities.
Tiera Conner tells us the most exciting part about today is the music.
"The hoagies and how it's free. They're so good," said Jayden Jackson.
It's safe to say Harmony Lewis agrees.
"I got free hoagies today. I met new friends," said Harmony.
Attendees can watch the movie "National Treasure" Thursday at 9 p.m. at Penn's Landing or kick back and enjoy the sounds of the South Philadelphia String Band for the 2016 Summer Mummers Concert.
On Friday night, the world renowned Philadelphia Orchestra will wow the crowd, and several museums will have free admission going into the weekend. It's enough to impress any tourist.
"That it's really fun and awesome," said Autumn Gonzales when asked what she thinks about the City of Brotherly Love.
But while you're having fun this weekend, local law enforcement will be beefing up security to protect the tens of thousands who are expected to come out.
"We've been working very diligently with other federal agencies, other state and local law enforcement agencies," said U.S. Park Services Spokesperson Adam Duncan. "And I can say this going to be one of the safest places to be on the 4th."
And while safety is the ultimate goal, youngsters will be sure to remind you what they cane here for.
Rayel Woods says she's simply trying to, "have fun."
Days before 4th of July, festivities get underway in Philly