PHILADELPHIA – City officials released information about road closures, safety and public transportation associated with the Wawa Welcome America July Fourth Concert and Fireworks today. The 2021 Wawa Welcome America Festival, which began on Saturday, June 19 and goes through Sunday, July 4, encompasses 16 days of free multicultural and multigenerational, diverse, and inclusive events.
After last year’s virtual celebration, the legendary July Fourth Concert returns in-person starring Bebe Rexha, featuring Flo Rida, and a special performance by Philly’s own, Cam Anthony, alongside the Philly POPS. Instead of the traditional location on the Ben Franklin Parkway, this year the concert will take place on the Independence Blue Cross Stage at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts.
General admission lawn access will be available for in-person guests and the concert will be broadcast live on NBC10 and TeleXitos.
Though the concert will take place at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, the fireworks will return to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The July Fourth Concert will be followed by a large, public firework display over the iconic Benjamin Franklin Parkway courtesy of Wawa beginning at 9:30 p.m. Guests are invited to gather on the Parkway beginning at 8 p.m. The fireworks will be curated to a patriotic soundtrack aired on The Breeze 106.1 FM. The Wawa Welcome America Fireworks Spectacular presented by Wawa will be broadcast live on NBC10 and TeleXitos.
Weather and Heat-related Precautions
Stay connected to important information from the City, like weather and event-related details. Text “AMERICA” to 888-777 to receive free Welcome America alerts from the Office of Emergency Management.
With potential high temperatures, there is a risk of heat-related health issues. The Mann Center for the Performing Arts will have an EMT and ambulance on site, located at Guest Services or the top of the hill. 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.
COVID-19 Safety Considerations
It is important to remember that people who got their final dose of COVID-19 vaccine at least two weeks prior to attending large events like Welcome America, are considered fully vaccinated.
People who are not vaccinated or are not fully vaccinated are still strongly recommended to wear masks indoors and outdoors when around others. Parents are strongly encouraged to ask their children under the age of twelve to wear masks in any setting.
Health Department-run vaccine clinics are offering second shots for those who need them, as are most pharmacies in the city as well as our partners at Einstein, and Penn. To find the nearest vaccine clinic for your first or second dose, click here or call 311.
For information on the Mann’s health and safety protocols, visit manncenter.org/planyourvisit.
Due to the nature of this year’s festivities being in a smaller location and with fewer attendees, there will be significantly less road closures and impact than previous years. Below are the street closures for the 2021 Wawa Welcome America events:
Thursday, June 17, 2021 – Sunday, July 4, 2021
Broad + Market: A Festival Experience Powered by NRG: Daily event activity for the entertainment and art experience at the City Hall Courtyard will affect the following street:
- South side lane of City Hall on South Penn Square
Thursday, July 1, 2021
Wawa Hoagie Day: Event begins at Noon at Independence Hall and will affect the following streets:
- Lane closure on the East side of 6th street between Race and Arch Streets from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Chestnut Street between 6th and 7th Streets from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- 6th Street between Market and Walnut Streets from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- 5th Street between Market and Chestnut Streets from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Ludlow Street between 4th and 5th Streets from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Ranstead Street between 4th and 5th Streets from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Black Gotham Experience: Event activity at the African American Museum in Philadelphia will begin at 6 p.m. and affect the following streets:
- Lane closure on the West side of 7th street parking lane between Arch and Appletree Streets from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.
- Lane closure on the North side of Arch street parking lane between 7th and 8th Streets from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Friday, July 2, 2021
Our America Now: Our America Now activity begins at 10 a.m. and will affect the following streets:
- Street Closure on Ben Franklin Parkway outbound lane between 20th and 21st Street from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- 21st Street between Ben Franklin Parkway and Pennsylvania Avenue from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- Intersection Closure on Intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and 21st Street from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- Street Closure on 20th Street between Ben Franklin Parkway and Pennsylvania Avenue from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m.
- Wood Street between 19th and 20th Streets from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Saturday, July 3, 2021
Celebration of Freedom: Street closure will affect 6th Street between Chestnut and Walnut Streets from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Sunday, July 4, 2021
Celebration of Freedom: Street closure will affect 6th Street between Chestnut and Walnut Streets from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
July Fourth Concert and Fireworks: The July Fourth Concert and Fireworks display will affect the following streets:
- North Georges Hill Drive between South Georges Hill Drive and Wynnefield Avenue from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
- Montgomery and Avenue of the Republic in front of The Mann Center for the Performing Arts during fireworks
- Ben Franklin Parkway inner and outer lanes from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
- 20th Street between Arch Street and Ben Franklin Parkway from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
- 21st Street at Pennsylvania Avenue from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
- 22nd Street between Arch Street and Ben Franklin Parkway from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
- Spring Garden Street at 22nd Street from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
- Art Museum Tunnel from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
- I76E Ramp at Spring Garden Street from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
- 31st Street at Spring Garden Bridge from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
- Kelly Drive between Fairmount Avenue and Midvale Avenue from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. (Kelly Drive will be detoured from Strawberry Mansion to Fountain Green from 4 a.m. to 5 p.m. for a regatta).
- Parkway closures may begin earlier in the evening, depending on crowd size.
- The Philadelphia Museum of Art is open as normal and offering Pay What You Wish admission all day. Please check the museum website for more information on tickets and directions.
- The Philadelphia Parking Authority will not be enforcing meters, kiosks, or residential parking time limits on Sunday, July 4 and Monday, July 5. Safety regulations, however, will remain in effect. Enforcement of all parking regulations will resume on Tuesday, July 6.
Transportation and Public Transit
The Mann is located in Fairmount Park and is easily accessible by public transportation, car, rideshare, or bike.
The Mann encourages patrons to arrive early, as traffic conditions vary for all performances. Please check local traffic reports before traveling to the Mann.
The Mann is easily accessible via SEPTA thanks to the SEPTA Mann Center Loop. The Mann Loop bus departs from 19th and Locust and has eight to 12 stops on the way to the Mann. Return buses depart from the Crawford Circle drop-off at the Mann 30 minutes after shows.
Riders pay for The Mann Loop the same way they would for any other SEPTA ride, including SEPTA Key (loaded with a pass or Travel Wallet) or cash. Senior Citizens ride FREE with a SEPTA Key Senior ID Card and all kids under 12 ride FREE.
For more information on The Mann Loop, including the complete list of stops and schedule, visit iseptaphilly.com/mannloop.
Taxi and Rideshare: The Mann has a dedicated rideshare drop-off and pick-up location at Crawford Circle. View or consult your rideshare app for an exact pin location to meet your driver.
Parking Information: Parking at the Mann is FREE. Parking is on grass and parking attendants are readily available to assist you with finding open spaces. The main parking area is clearly signed and accessible off Avenue of the Republic.
For people who plan to drop someone off before parking, The Mann staff will direct you to the drop-off location at the South Gates, then direct you to a parking spot.
Parking for patrons with a valid handicap license plate or other authorized identification is available near the north and south entrances on a first come, first served basis.
Patrons should follow signage towards the VIP parking areas for designated handicap parking. Patrons may also be dropped off in front of the North Gate, South Gate, or Box Office. The distance from the south parking lot to the main seating areas is approximately 600 feet. The distance from the north parking lot to the main seating areas is approximately 500 feet.
ADA Accessibility: The Mann is committed to providing an enjoyable experience for all patrons at all performances.
The Mann provides accessible, ADA-compliant seating for all performances. Several options are available including stair-free access and an open space to accommodate a variety of mobility devices including wheelchairs and motorized scooters. Alternatively, an upholstered loose chair can be provided. Aisle seating in seats with folding armrests are available upon request.
A limited number of seats are reserved for patrons with low vision or blindness, which are located towards the front and center of the section.
Assisted Listening Devices: F.M. Sound Enhancement is available for patrons in need of this service. These devices amplify and clarify sound by cutting down or eliminating ambient noise. Headsets are distributed free-of-charge on a first-come, first-served basis. Please see a member of the usher staff upon your arrival for a personal receiver.
Service Animals: Trained service animals and emotional support animals are welcome at all performances. Typically, the space under and around each seat will accommodate a service animal during a performance.
Restrooms: All public restroom locations on the Mann’s campus have accessible stalls.
Additional Information: For additional ADA inquiries, please e-mail Info@MannCenter.org or call (215) 546-7900 and select Option 2. A customer representative will be available to assist you at this number Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Venue Rules and Safety Information: To ensure the safety of all event-goers, all large bags and containers will be subject to search as they enter the Mann.
Guests with lawn access tickets are welcome to bring blankets and chairs. Guests are welcome to bring their own picnics. Food & beverages will be available for purchase.
The following items are not permitted at the Mann:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Glass bottles or containers
- Tents or large structures that could block other guests’ view
- Narcotics or illegal drugs
- Firecrackers or explosives
- Open flame
- Animals (service animals are welcome, but no pets)
- Weapons of any kind
When in doubt, leave it home!
For people planning to gather to watch fireworks on the Parkway on Sunday, July 4, the same items listed above are also prohibited.
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 911. Do not try to open, move, cover or touch a suspicious item.
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.
Public safety officials will coordinate the search for missing children with the full support of the Philadelphia Police Department.
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 recommended to have children memorize their parent’s cell phone number.
If you’ve lost a personal belonging at the Mann, The Mann’s lost and found is located in the Guest Services area on the Plaza.
After Sunday, July 4, please call (215) 878-0400 Ext. 300 to inquire about or report lost items.