May 23, 2023 - Things to Do

The lineup for Welcome America, Philly's biggest summer party

Demi Lovato and Ludacris will be at the Welcome America festival this year. Photos: Gilbert Flores/Billboard via Getty; Joseph Okpako/WireImage via Getty.

The countdown to the Welcome America festival is on.

Why it matters: The free festival sponsored by Wawa is the city’s biggest party, drawing more than 1 million attendees and generating more than $10 million for the area, per the organizers.

What's happening: The festival will span 16 days starting with the Juneteenth Block Party and ending with the July 4 concert and fireworks on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

  • Pop star Demi Lovato and rapper Ludacris will headline the Independence Day outdoor concert, which will also feature Philly’s own Snacktime.
  • The organizers unveiled the festival’s line-up yesterday — and yes, you can expect the ever-popular hoagie day to be on that list.

What’s new this year: The festival will have wellness clinics, put on by Esperanza and the Philadelphia Eagles.

  • Plus: Hispanic Fiesta, hosted by the nonprofit Concilio since 1981, is partnering with Welcome America for the first time.

Flashback: The festival went virtual in 2020 due to the pandemic and was a hybrid event in 2021 before going back to in-person activities last year.

What to expect —

June 19: The Juneteenth Block Party is a daylong, outdoor festival at the African American Museum in Philadelphia, featuring performances, family-friendly activities, music, DJ Spinderella, and vendors.

June 22: Fitness to Fly will feature performances and food trucks, as well as two clinics for kids with exercise and dance instruction, and cheer sessions by the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders. Sensory-friendly fitness classes will also be offered.

June 24-25: Hispanic Fiesta is an annual two-day festival celebrating Hispanic culture, with food, dancing, music and fireworks on the Delaware River Waterfront.

June 28: Wawa Hoagie Day, with 7 tons of free hoagies served along Independence Mall.

June 30: The U.S. Army Field Band & Soldiers’ Chorus at the Independence Mall.

July 2: Gospel On Independence will showcase the Six Singing Sista’s Ensemble and Philly Remembers Choir at Independence Mall.

Plus: Several museums will offer free admission during the festival, including the Mütter Museum, Penn Museum and the Barnes Foundation.

How to watch: NBC10 will air live broadcasts of events and fireworks.

Go deeper: Find more events and information on the Welcome America Festival's website.


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