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Jun 9 2008

Celebrate America's Birthday With Patriotic Events, Activities, And Festivities Throughout The Philadelphia Region

The Independence Day Party Lasts For Days In And Around Philadelphia

Whoever said less is more sure wasn’t thinking about Fourth of July in Philadelphia and The Countryside®. When it comes to celebrating America’s birthday, America’s birthplace knows that more is better. In addition to the many free events that are part of the Sunoco Welcome America! celebration, the region is jamming with dozens of events and festivals that celebrate our nation’s heritage. Here are a few more activities taking place during the nation’s birthday party:

In Historic Philadelphia:

  • Once Upon A Nation hosts three evening adventures that bring visitors face-to-face with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. Participants can meet the first president just days before his swearing-in and even do the minuet during An Evening with George Washington on Wednesday, July 2. On July 3, the night before the Declaration of Independence is signed, visitors can spend An Evening with Thomas Jefferson and speak to the author of the famous document. During An Evening With Benjamin Franklin on July 5, America’s favorite Renaissance man chats about his inventions, experiments and his role in shaping the nation. All programs start at 7:00 p.m. Free Quaker Meeting House, 5th & Arch Streets, (215) 629-4026,
  • America’s favorite seamstress rocks the Betsy Ross House during Betsy’s Independence Day Bash, featuring games, kid-friendly activities and a naturalization ceremony to swear in new citizens. July 4. 239 Arch Street, (215) 686-1252,
  • For four days, visitors can Feel the Freedom at the National Constitution Center. Kids can follow the Freedom Activity Trail, enjoy the Great American Holiday Show, meet Colonial soldiers (July 5 only) and learn about the U.S. government. July 3-6. 525 Arch Street, (215) 409-6600,
  • Costumed re-enactors recount tales of Slavery in Philadelphia during this tour of Christ Church and Burial Ground. July 1 and 3. Church, 2nd & Market Streets, Burial Ground, 5th & Arch Streets, (215) 627-2750,
  • Sailor guides will conduct tours of a U.S. Naval Destroyer that is in town for Independence Day. June 30-July 6. Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing, Columbus Boulevard at Chestnut Streets, (215) 629-3200,
  • Enjoy happy hour—Colonial-style—during the Tippler’s Tour of 18th-century and modern watering holes. July 3. Independence Living History Center, 3rd & Chestnut Streets, (215) 629-4026,
  • In 1776, folks on both sides of the independence debate had strong feelings and good reasons for them. In Turmoil & Treason: The Path to Independence, 21st-century visitors tour Independence National Historical Park and meet the 18th-century rebels and loyalists as they figure out what makes a patriot and what makes a traitor. June 28, July 3 and July 5. Independence Living History Center, 115 S. 3rd Street, (215) 629-4026,
  • Walls do talk during the Storytelling Festival at The African American Museum in Philadelphia when the galleries set the stage for tales and storytelling about Africans and African-Americans who helped shape the nation. July 5. 701 Arch Street, (215) 574-0380,

Around The Region:

  • If Norman Rockwell were around, he’d be at Fonthill’s Old Fashioned 4th of July event with turn-of-the-century games, crafts and foods. E. Court Street & Route 313, Doylestown, (215) 345-0210,
  • It is one thing to see the fireworks from the ground but when the Channel 6 Zoo Balloon Flying High For the 4th of July lifts off, spectators can soar high above the city for a dazzling mid-air look at the city’s fireworks from the Philadelphia Zoo. July 4. 3400 W. Girard Avenue, (215) 243-1100,
  • The annual Freedom Blast features 18th-century-style games, fun and a chance to meet Revolutionary War soldiers and Colonial artisans who will demonstrate their skills at Ft. Mifflin, one of the nation’s most historic forts. July 5. Ft. Mifflin & Hog Island Roads, (215) 685-4167,
  • Folks will be Ringing Out Freedom & Independence in Historic Germantown when Cliveden, the Johnson House and the Concord School House throw open their doors for tours with costumed re-enactors and a bell-ringing ceremony that includes one gong for each year of independence. July 4. 6401 Germantown Avenue, (215) 848-1777,
  • By day, visitors can find a specially marked storytelling bench at Valley Forge National Historical Park and chill out while professional storytellers regale them with little-known stories from America’s past. June 28-July 6. Come evening, Martha Washington hosts a picnic and afterwards Continental soldiers sit round a campfire at General Washington’s Headquarters telling tales about that winter of 1777 during the Valley Forge After Hours twilight programs. June 28 and July 5. 1400 N. Outerline Drive, Valley Forge, (215) 629-4026,

Visitors celebrating America’s birthday in its birthplace can take advantage of the Philly’s More Summer Fun Hotel Package, which pairs a two-night hotel stay with a $50 gift card from American Express. The package is available at more than 30 hotels and is bookable online at

For more information about these events, visit For a look at the Sunoco Welcome America! nine-day schedule, visit

Sunoco Welcome America! is a multi-day festival that celebrates America’s birthday in America’s birthplace and is produced by Welcome America, Inc.

The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases business and promotes the region’s vitality. For more information about travel to Philadelphia, visit or call the Independence Visitor Center, located in Independence National Historical Park, at (800) 537-7676.

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