In addition to the variety of concerts, fireworks, movie nights and museum days, this year’s Welcome America festival is launching a community service component.

“The Day of Service in Hunting Park is something new for Welcome America,” said Michael DelBene, Welcome America’s new president and CEO of Welcome America Inc. “I really think that volunteerism and service can be closely tied to the festival.”

The Day of Service will be hosted by Esperanza Academy and will have about 200 people to do a neighborhood cleanup.

Officials from Welcome America Inc. joined Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney earlier in the week to announce more than 50 free events that will make up the multi-day Wawa Welcome America festival.

Wally Goose, the 7-foot-tall Wawa mascot, and the Philadelphia Men’s Fellowship Choir greeted media and guests gathered Independence Visitors Center to preview the nation’s premier July 4th celebration.

This year’s Independence Day concert will feature Grammy Award-winners Meghan Trainor and Jennifer Hudson, taking the Independence Blue Cross Stage at the Wawa Welcome America for the first time.

“The Wawa Welcome America Festival continues to enhance Philadelphia’s national reputation as a must-visit destination, with show-stopping, diverse and most importantly, entertainment experiences that are open to the public,” Kenney said. “The city of Philadelphia is proud to welcome Grammy Award-winning superstars Meghan Trainor and Jennifer Hudson to our great city, as well as shine a spotlight on Philadelphia-native, Patti LaBelle along with the hundreds of talented entertainers performing leading up to July 4.”

The 2019 festival will offer free events throughout the city’s diverse neighborhoods.

“This year, we embrace time-honored traditions to celebrate the city’s diverse neighborhoods, thriving creativity and global appeal. With over 50 free, family-friendly events, we invite everyone to join the fun, and commemorate our nation’s independence,” DelBene said.

Attendees can look forward to Wawa Hoagie Day on July 2 with an 8-ton hoagie in “Salute to Our Troops” at Independence Mall and the National Constitution Center Lawn. In addition to free hoagies for all, the day will offer free admission to the National Constitution Center in honor of Wawa Hoagie Day on July 2 at noon.

In total, 22 of Philadelphia’s museums, cultural institutions, and attractions will open their doors free of charge, or, for an optional pay-what-you-wish donation, during the festival.

Philadelphia’s Historic District will be the site of the Block Party, a day-long celebration full of music, art, entertainment, history, culture and food on Sunday, June 30 from noon to 7 p.m.

Then after the concert will be one of the city’s largest fireworks displays over the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The Wawa Welcome America festival runs from June 29 to July 4, 2019. For more information, visit (215) 893-5749

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