PHILADELPHIA — City officials released information about road closures, safety and public transportation detours associated with the Wawa Welcome America Festival today. The six-day 2019 Wawa Welcome America Festival takes place Saturday, June 29 through Thursday, July 4 and will encompass more than 50 free, multicultural and multigenerational, patriotic events throughout Philadelphia’s diverse neighborhoods.
Attendees can explore the 2019 Welcome America story map on the City’s website to review important public safety information. The map helps members of the public find Parkway amenities such as water stations, jumbotrons, and porta-potties. It also indicates stations for medical help and lost and found. The story map, available at phila.gov/america, also includes road closure maps for the Parkway and Old City.
Areas across the city, including streets near Independence Mall and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, will be impacted by Wawa Welcome America activities. Delays should be expected. Motorists are advised to use alternate routes, avoid areas near festivities, allow for extra driving time, and proceed with caution near these events. Due to increased activity and security surrounding the Wawa Welcome America events, parking and traffic regulations will be strictly enforced. Many roads adjacent to event sites will be posted with no-parking signage for the public. All posted signage must be obeyed, as vehicles parked in posted areas will be relocated.
The following are the scheduled road closures, including set-up and deconstruction of staging/event equipment, related to all Wawa Welcome America festivities:
Sunday – June 30, 2019
Historic Philadelphia Block Party & Gospel on Independence
Event activity for the block part and gospel concert begins around Noon and runs until 8:30 p.m. on Independence Mall and surrounding streets:
- 6th Street, between Arch and Chestnut Streets, will be closed from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
- 5th Street, between Arch and Chestnut Streets, will be closed from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
- Chestnut Street, between 5th and 6th Streets, will be closed from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
- Market Street, between 5th and 6th Streets, will be closed from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Philly @ the Movies – Rocky Movie Night
Rocky-themed movie night beginning at 5:30 p.m. on the steps and apron of the Philadelphia Museum of Art:
- Westernmost travel lane of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at Eakins Oval will be closed in front of the Art Museum between Kelly Drive and MLK Drive entrance from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Eakins Oval, in front of the Art Museum, will be closed from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
- Kelly Drive inbound will be detoured onto Fairmount Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue
Monday – July 1, 2019
U.S. Army Field Band Concert
Concert and family-friendly activities beginning at 7:00 p.m. at Penn’s Landing:
- Chestnut/Market Street Viaduct, from Front and Chestnut Streets to 2nd and Market Streets, will be closed from 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Tuesday – July 2, 2019
POPS on Independence and Celebration of Freedom Ceremony Stage Construction
- Chestnut Street, between 5th and 6th Streets, will be closed from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Wawa Hoagie Day
Event begins at Noon on the lawn of the National Constitution Center:
- Arch Street, between 5th and 6th Streets, will be closed from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Kimmel Center’s Great American Party on the Plaza
Broadway and Navy Band performance beginning at 4:30 p.m. at the Kimmel Center:
- Spruce Street, between Broad and 15th Streets, will be closed from 12:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
- Westernmost travel lane of Broad Street (southbound side), between Locust and Pine Streets, will be closed from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday – July 3, 2019
PECO Go 4th & Learn with the Philadelphia Fire Department
Family-friendly event focusing on fire safety and education beginning at 9:00 a.m. at 101 N. 4th Street:
- Arch Street, between 3rd and 4th Streets, will be closed from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
POPS on Independence and Celebration of Freedom Ceremony Stage Construction
- Chestnut Street, between 5th and 6th Streets, will be closed from approximately 9:00 a.m. on July 3 through 7:00 p.m. on July 4, 2019
- 6th Street, between Market and Chestnut Streets, will be closed from approximately 9:00 a.m. on July 3 through 3:00 p.m. on July 4, 2019
Party on the Parkway Site Build
- Inner lanes of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, between 20th Street and Eakins Oval, will be closed beginning at 9:30 a.m.
- Inner westbound lanes of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will reopen between 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. for evening rush hour
- Inner lanes of Benjamin Franklin Parkway will close completely (both directions) at 6:30 p.m. through event breakdown on July 4
Thursday – July 4, 2019
Celebration of Freedom Ceremony and Salute to America Independence Day Parade
Celebration of Freedom Ceremony, Salute to America Independence Day Parade, and related Wawa Welcome America activities on Independence Mall. Activities take place throughout the day, beginning at 10:00 a.m.:
- Chestnut Street, between 5th and 6th Streets, from prior day closures will be in effect until 7:00 p.m.
- 6th Street, between Market and Chestnut Streets, from prior day closures will be in effective until 3:00 p.m.
- 3rd Street, between Arch and Walnut Streets, will be closed from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
- 4th Street, between Arch and Walnut Streets, will be closed from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
- 5th Street, between Arch and Walnut Streets, will be closed from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
- Chestnut Street, from Front Street to 7th Street, will be closed from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
- Chestnut Street, from 7th Street to 10th Street, will be closed from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
The remainder of the morning parade route will be closed at approximately 10:00 a.m. on July 4, 2019.
Parade Route: Staging in the 400 block of Chestnut Street. Proceeds west on Chestnut to 9th Street, north on 9th Street to Market Street, east on Market Street to the dispersal area on Front Street.
All streets affected by the parade will be cleaned before being re-opened to vehicular traffic.
Party on the Parkway / Wawa Welcome America July 4th Concert & Fireworks
All closures listed below are in effect from approximately 4:00 a.m. on July 4 to 5:00 a.m. on July 5 unless otherwise noted:
- Benjamin Franklin Parkway from 18th Street to Eakins Oval (all lanes)
- Eakins Oval (all lanes)
- Kelly Drive between Eakins Oval and Fairmount Avenue (Kelly Drive inbound closed at Fountain Green Drive beginning at approximately 5:00 p.m.)
- Rear of Art Museum – Anne d’Harnoncourt Drive (Media Entry at 25th Street and Kelly Drive)
- 2000-2100 Winter Street
- MLK Drive from Falls Bridge to Eakins Oval
- Spring Garden Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and 31st Street
- 23rd Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and Eakins Oval
All closures listed below are in effect from approximately 4:00 a.m. on July 4 to 2:00 a.m. on July 5 unless otherwise noted:
- 1900 Race Street
- 1800-1900 Vine Street
- I-676 Off-Ramp at 22nd Street
- I-676 On-Ramp at 22nd Street
- I-76 eastbound Off-Ramp at Spring Garden Street
- Spring Garden Tunnel
- Park Towne Place between 22nd Street and 24th Street
- 22nd Street between Winter Street and Pennsylvania Avenue (local access maintained for Park Towne residents via complex driveway on 22nd Street)
- 21st Street between Winter Street and Pennsylvania Avenue
- 20th Street between Arch Street and Pennsylvania Avenue
- 19th Street between Callowhill Street and Cherry Street
The following roads will be closed on July 4 beginning at approximately 1:00 p.m. until approximately 1:00 p.m. on July 5:
- All roads from Arch Street to Spring Garden Street, 18th Street to 22nd Street (local access maintained for residents)
- All roads from Arch Street to Fairmount Avenue, 22nd Street to Corinthian Street (local access maintained for residents)
- 16th and 17th Streets, between Arch Street and Spring Garden Street will be closed only if conditions warrant in the interest of public safety
- 1600-1700 Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be closed only if conditions warrant in the interest of public safety
Due to public safety interests relating to the fireworks show, all roads listed below will be closed from 5:00 p.m. on July 4 to approximately 1:00 a.m. on July 5, unless noted otherwise:
- Kelly Drive from Fairmount Avenue to Fountain Green Drive
- Lemon Hill Drive
- Sedgley Drive
- Waterworks Drive
- Poplar Drive
Roads will be reopened as event infrastructure is removed and sanitation operations conclude. Many roads listed above should be reopened to vehicular traffic prior to the times indicated.
WEATHER & HEAT-RELATED PRECAUTIONS
In the case of severe weather, listen for announcements and sign up to receive free ReadyPhiladelphia Wawa Welcome America event-specific emergency text alerts by texting “AMERICA” to 888-777.
A Wawa Welcome America Daily Digest will be sent to “AMERICA” enrollees that includes weather, public safety, the day’s events, and other important details direct from Wawa Welcome America or the City.
Visit phila.gov/ready and click on “Sign up for alerts” to receive additional alerts after Wawa Welcome America, such as SEPTA delays and service interruptions. Plan for a safe, informed holiday.
With potential high temperatures, there is a risk of heat-related health issues. City Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel will be on duty all day at accessible First Aid Stations and will be on patrol to monitor activities. Many heat stress or heat exhaustion issues can be avoided by taking simple precautions.
Attendees should follow all proper precautions to protect themselves and their families against the heat. All festival-goers should stay hydrated by drinking lots of water, and avoiding alcoholic beverages, caffeine, and excessive layers of clothing.
Consider the Three L’s Rule: light-colored, lightweight and loose-fitting. Wear garments made of natural fibers like cotton.
TRANSPORTATION & PUBLIC TRANSIT
Philadelphia’s mass transit system, SEPTA, offers two subway lines, regional rail service to and from the surrounding suburbs, and bus service throughout the city.
Regional rail service, the Market Frankford Line, and the Broad Street Line will operate on a Sunday schedule with additional cars added to increase rider capacity at the break of the event. Check the SEPTA website for more details.
At approximately 4:15 p.m., SEPTA will stage buses for those leaving the Parkway at the following locations (to depart upon event conclusion):
- 20th Street – West side of street facing south between Race and Cherry Streets
- 21st Street – West side of street facing south between Winter and Race Streets
Additional SEPTA changes for July 4:
- Extra trains will run on the Broad Street and Market-Frankford Lines prior to the events to help get people to the Parkway.
- Bus Detours: Due to road closures, buses that travel on or near the Parkway will be detoured starting at 5:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 4 through 1:00 a.m. on Friday, July 5. Routes detoured: 7, 9, 17, 21, 32, 33, 38, 42, 43, 44 and 48.
- Regional Rail trains will be added to the service schedule or held later than regularly scheduled on most lines for customers leaving Center City Philadelphia after the fireworks and concert on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Ticket office hours will also be extended.
Due to the numerous road closures, SEPTA CCT will have two designated rendezvous points at 2299 Arch Street and 560 N. 20th Street.
From 7:00 p.m. on July 3 through 5:00 a.m. on July 5, these locations will be used to coordinate CCT pick-up and drop-off for neighborhoods impacted by the Parkway road closures.
ADA Pick-Up and Drop-Off
ADA vehicles are encouraged to pick-up/drop-off along Pennsylvania Avenue and Spring Garden Street. However, there is no parking available at these locations.
The Philly PHLASH Downtown Bus Loop will operate a special holiday service on July 4. For updated holiday route detour and schedule information, visit ridephillyphlash.com.
Taxi & Rideshare
Designated rideshare and taxi drop-off points will be 2100-2200 Spring Garden Street and 1900-2000 Arch Street.
Paid parking lots and garages are conveniently located on or near the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Call individual facilities ahead for parking options, prices and availability, or visit the Philadelphia Parking Authority website for information on some of these parking facilities at philapark.org. In the Historic District, there are many options including the AutoPark garage underneath the Independence Visitor Center at 5th and 6th Streets, between Market and Arch Streets.
VENUE RULES AND SAFETY INFORMATION
The vicinity of the Party on the Parkway/Wawa Welcome America July 4th Concert & Fireworks (a boundary from at least 19th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and adjacent areas), will be secured and protected for a safe and fun celebration. Throughout the Wawa Welcome America festivities, the City will provide enhanced law-enforcement and emergency medical services. The City and Welcome America are coordinating with local, state and federal public safety authorities to ensure everyone can safely enjoy the Fourth of July.
Those attending the Four of July activities can do their part by making a plan regarding driving, public transit, parking, supervision of children and wearing comfortable, seasonal attire.
The Party on the Parkway/Wawa Welcome America July 4th Concert & Fireworks is open to the public and free to attend. Guests will be directed to enter the event venue at one of the following locations:
- Logan Circle (north and south sides, just west of 19th Street)
- 20th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway (north and south sides)
- 21st Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway (north and south sides)
- 23rd Street and Pennsylvania Avenue
- Spring Garden and MLK Drive (bottom of the ramp at Eakins Oval)
To ensure the safety of all event-goers, large bags and containers will be subject to search at the entry-points listed above. The following are lists of permitted and prohibited items at the Party on the Parkway/Wawa Welcome America July 4th Concert & Fireworks:
- Small personal coolers
- Pets on leashes
- Chairs and blankets
Items NOT allowed inside the venue include but are not limited to:
- Weapons and contraband of any kind (regardless of permitting, e.g. Right-to-Carry permits will not be honored and weapons will be confiscated)
- Fireworks, firecrackers or explosives (including sparklers)
- Open flame of any kind
- Illegal or illicit substances of any kind
- Flyers, handbills, posters, stickers (no solicitation allowed)
- Unauthorized commerce
- Items that would obstruct others’ view (large signs, banners, etc.)
City officials are urging the public to refrain from bringing alcohol, large coolers, open containers or cooking equipment of any kind to ensure a safe and fun festival experience for all.
Keep possessions and bags with you always and do not leave them unattended.
In emergencies or to report a suspicious person, activity or item (a backpack, package, or container), notify a police officer immediately or call 9-1-1. Do not try to open, move, cover or touch a suspicious item.
The Philadelphia Fire Department will have teams of EMS providers roaming the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Medic tents are located on the north and south side of the Parkway at 24th Street. Call 9-1-1 if you are having a medical emergency or see someone who may be in need of medical attention.
Parents or guardians should report a missing child to the nearest law enforcement officer, medic, private security representative or information booth as soon as possible.
Missing children should be reported to the nearest law enforcement officer, medic, private security representative or information booth as soon as possible. Public safety officials will coordinate the search for missing children with the full support of the Philadelphia Police Department. If the search and reunification should take more than 30 minutes, the child or parents will move to PPD 9th District Headquarters (401 N. 21st Street) to continue the search.
Be sure to take a photo of your child before arriving at the Welcome America events. If separated, this will be very helpful for those searching for your child. It’s also a good idea to have children memorize their parent’s cell phone number.
If you’ve lost a personal belonging, look for the nearest information booth where you last had the item. Wawa Welcome America staff can check if the item has been returned there or at other information booths.
Any items found after the start of the concert (7:00 p.m.) will be taken to the Welcome America operations trailer at the southeast corner of N. 22nd Street & Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
After July 4, lost items can be reclaimed by contacting the Welcome America office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 267-546-5424.
“Location markers” will be posted to easily identify a location on the Parkway and Eakins Oval (by letter and number, for example: K-1) to facilitate communicating during the activities, especially in the event of an emergency.
CULTURAL AND HISTORICAL INSTITUTIONS
For information about free events celebrating Independence Day in Independence National Historical Park and Historic Philadelphia, visit the Independence Visitor Center at 6th and Market Streets (open 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.), or online at PHLvisitorcenter.com.
The July 4th schedules for cultural institutions along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway vary; some museums will maintain normal Thursday hours for the holiday, while others are closed. For more information, visit parkwaymuseumsdistrictphiladelphia.org or the museums’ individual websites.