Stage set for Philadelphia July 4th celebrations

CENTER CITY (WPVI) -- The city is getting ready to celebrate one of the biggest Independence Day parties in the nation.

We are counting down the hours now leading up to the Party on the Parkway, and the sounds of celebration are already underway.

The main Welcome America stage is almost set and plenty of cooling fans and fountains are flowing - accessories vital for today's temperatures.

The extreme heat and high humidity will be a concern. Everyone is urged to take precautions.

"We brought water and soda for the masses, have like 20 cases of water," said Ralph Kane, owner of the Munchy Machine food truck.

Food truck owners are armed with tons of water, some with portable air conditioners. They're expecting big crowds to buy up all kinds of other favorite fare.

"We sell buffalo chicken, cheesesteak dumplings. We're doing bacon cheddar sliders, also patachos - potato chip nachos," Kane said.

At Pound Cake Heave, it's a patriotic theme.

"Red, white, blue cakes, cupcakes and specialty cakes - vegan, sugar-free and gluten-free," said owner Pamela Thornton.

Party on the Parkway started at noon. There are five blocks full of free activities.

Then tonight on the main stage, lots of performances including the Philly Pops. Their concert Tuesday night on Independence Mall was canceled due to the weather. Pitbull is headlining before fireworks light the sky over the Art Museum.

"This is Pit Bull's Vegas stage. We've been doing that for nine days. It's a full 75 minute show, and of course we bring small businesses together to the parkway - food trucks, games, activities. Free entertainment all day long, beer gardens, wine gardens - all fun things in a family friendly area too," said Jeff Guaracino, President, CEO of Welcome America.

There are EMS tents on the north side and south side of Eakins Oval if you need help. There will also be water stations and misting tents on Eakins Oval and the parkway today to help you cool down.

Everyone is hoping for a fun and safe 4th of July celebration.


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