6:27 PM / Thursday August 6, 2020

10 Jul 2011

WAWA Welcome America! wows Philadelphia

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
July 10, 2011 Category: Local Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO: Eddie Levert.

Photo: William T. Wade Jr.


Wawa Welcome America! Festival, an Independence Day celebration hosted by the City of Philadelphia and title sponsor Wawa, Inc., concluded in style on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway with the “4th of July Jam” hosted by The Roots and a fireworks display over the Philadelphia Art Museum. More than 500,000 Philadelphians and visitors attended the concert on the Parkway. During the entire eleven days, the Festival drew more than one million celebrants to free activities and entertainment hosted for all ages throughout the city.


“Wawa Welcome America! is the United States’ premier Fourth of July celebration,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “This year, Philadelphia hosted 11 days of events for Philadelphians and visitors of all ages culminating in an unforgettable concert by Philadelphia’s own The Roots and Boyz II Men. There is no better city to celebrate America’s independence.”


City Representative Melanie Johnson, who serves as the Festival’s Executive Director, added, “Once again we proved that Philadelphia is the place to be leading up to and on the 4th of July. The fact that it’s free of charge is truly to be commended.” City Representative Johnson saluted Mayor Nutter for his ongoing commitment to elevate Philadelphia, with its already thriving historic corridor, as the leading city to host a modern Fourth of July festival.


City Representative Johnson continued. “We’re especially excited about this year’s additional music elements including our Jam finale produced by ?uestlove of Philadelphia rhythm and blues funk sensation, The Roots. This year’s concert was full of Philadelphia pride.”


Joining The Roots Monday night in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art at the 4th of July Jam were special guests Earth, Wind & Fire, Michael McDonald, Estelle, Sara Bareilles, DJ Jazzy Jeff. Surprising the enthusiastic crowd was the appearance of Boyz II Men halfway through the concert, who performed four songs while handing out long-stemmed red roses to members of the audience. Later, Eddie Levert made a surprise appearance during a tribute to Philadelphia’s iconic Gamble and Huff.


Party on the Parkway, the all-day Benjamin Franklin Parkway extravaganza leading up to the “4th of July Jam” added three entertainment stages this year: one stage for families, one stage featuring World music and one stage produced by ?uestlove highlighting professional musicians with Philadelphia roots.


There was additional programming hosted by the Festival throughout the week. Presenting sponsor Wawa hosted its signature Hoagie Day at Independence Mall serving a 4.5 ton hoagie to visitors, families and business persons.



The Go Forth & Learn Initiative, an educational story time for youth, returned with three programs for children, including one at The Franklin Institute on Saturday for working parents. Peter Nero & the Philly Pops delighted all from the stage in front of Independence Mall, and Miss America attended the official City ceremony and Parade.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News

Sun Report

Police agencies pulling out of Democratic convention

July 31, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email MILWAUKEE (AP) — More than 100 police agencies are withdrawing from agreements to...


Toronto sets lineup, Regina King to debut Muhammad Ali film

July 31, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Actor-director Werner Herzog, left, and actress-director Regina King. The Toronto International...


NAACP Kicks Off 111th Annual Convention with Arts, Culture & Entertainment Festival

August 3, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email Washington, D.C. – The NAACP will kick off its 111th Annual Convention on Monday,...


A Millennial Voice: Vital Tonics

July 31, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email By Danaé Reid To the naked eye, Natalie Bustamante looks like your ordinary,...


How self-determination is changing elderly and disability care in the age of COVID-19

July 31, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT The threat of COVID-19 in nursing homes and assisted living facilities has...

Go With The-Flo

Cuba Gooding Jr. catches the Gov. Cuomo’s ire after being photographed with his mask down at charity event

July 31, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Cuba Gooding Jr. (Photo: Denis Makarenko / Shutterstock) By Florence Anthony...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff