Here's how Philadelphia will celebrate America's 250th anniversary in 2026

Along with the anniversary celebrations, the city will also host the MLB All-Star Game, the FIFA World Cup and March Madness.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Plans announced for America's 250th anniversary celebration in Philadelphia
Plans announced for America's 250th anniversary celebration in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- On July 4, 2026, America will celebrate the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and that historic milestone will be centered right here in Philadelphia, the birthplace of the nation.

Governor Josh Shapiro and many other state and local officials laid out the multi-year plans on Tuesday at the Franklin Institute.

"As our nation prepares to celebrate its 250th anniversary in 2026, Philadelphia and the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will be the place to be," Gov. Shapiro said.

Events celebrating the 250th anniversary - called a semiquincentennial - begin as soon as July 2 of this year.

But that celebration isn't the only big event of the year. In 2026, Philadelphia will also host March Madness, the FIFA World Cup, the MLB All-Star Game and other high-profile events.

The lineup for 2026 includes:

TED Democracy in Philadelphia: A series of TED Talks focused on the future of democracy. The first of these talks will be held in 2024. TED CEO Jay Herratti said it will "create a platform that could shape the next 250 years of democracy globally."

Red, White, & Blue To-Do: John Adams famously declared that July 2nd should be a day of "pomp and parade." So, starting July 2, 2024, and occurring annually, the Philadelphia Historic District partners will host this patriotic celebration taking place throughout America's most historic square mile with parades, concerts and more.

The Young People's Continental Congress: In July of 2024 and 2025 Carpenters' Hall will host this youth-focused event bringing together delegates from across the country to explore the themes of democracy and to engage in civic dialogue.

250th Birthdays of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps: In October of 2025, Philadelphia will be partnering with the US Navy and Marine Corps as well as Homecoming 250 in hosting their 250th birthday celebration. More details on that event will be coming in the months ahead.

The Declaration's Journey: The Museum of the American Revolution will host this major special exhibition exploring the history and global impact of the Declaration of Independence from 1776 to today. The exhibition will run from Oct. 18, 2025 through Jan. 3, 2027.

52 Weeks of Firsts: The Philadelphia Historic District will commemorate the Philadelphia-born creativity and ingenuity that has been shared globally over the past 250 years with weekly acknowledgments starting January 2026.

NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament: March Madness comes to Philadelphia in 2026 when the city will host first and second round tournament play at the Wells Fargo Center.

ArtPhilly What Now: This city-wide arts festival will launch in May 2026 and will highlight Philadelphia's iconic arts institutions, neighborhood arts initiatives and talented artists.

FIFA World Cup 26: June - July 2026 Philadelphia will host matches at Lincoln Financial Field culminating in a knockout stage match on July 4, 2026. The World Cup FanFest will also run through July 17th giving soccer fans a great place to meet up, watch matches and celebrate victories.

Wawa Welcome America: And, with the world watching, the city will host the biggest and best July 4th celebration Philadelphia's ever seen.

2026 Major League Baseball All-Star Game: Citizens Bank Park will host this multi-day event honoring baseball's best and celebrating America's favorite past-time in the city where America was born.

Printmaking by the People - Citywide Voices of 2026: Mural Arts Philadelphia team will begin concepting in 2024, and in 2026 will present this crowd-sourced mural that will create a lasting visual legacy that honors the semiquincentennial, our shared values and desired changes.

More details about these events and more, head to