June 30, 2016

Hundreds of thousands of people visit Philadelphia for the multi-day Welcome America Festival, which culminates with the Party on the Parkway, live music, and fireworks on July 4th.

Part of having a great experience is having peace of mind, and knowing that you are prepared.

Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management thanks you for visiting the nation’s birthplace for Independence Day.

Below are some tips from our Special Events Safety Guide.

We want you to be prepared and have a safe and memorable time!

July 4th on the Parkway

  • Philadelphia Fire Paramedics will be wearing distinctive red shirts.
    • If you need medical assistance, call 9-1-1 or look for EMS medical tents located on the north and south sides of the Parkway, identified by the red and white striped tent tops.
  • Philadelphia Police will be wearing brightly colored vests.
  • Know where you are with Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management’s Parkway location signs. The markers are posted along the Parkway to clearly and easily identify a location or section by letter and number. If you are meeting up with friends, family or need first-responder assistance, these markers make it easier to find you.
  • If you get separated from children or family, the Red Cross has a Family Reunification tent located on the north side of the Parkway, east of Eakins Oval.
  • SEPTA Transit service and Regional Rail trains will operate on a Sunday schedule with additional late night trains Monday night. SEPTA transit services include Bus, Trolley, Market Frankford Line, and Broad Street Line service.

Crowd Safety

  • Bringing your kids?
    • Dress them in bright colors.
    • Take a picture of them. Keep it in on your phone if you get separated.
    • Write your phone number on a wristband or their arm.
    • Choose a place to meet in case you do get separated.
  • Stay hydrated: bring plenty of water and other non-alcoholic beverages that will last you through your visit.

Public Safety

  • Always make sure to know your surroundings. Be an observer when you arrive at the area. Be sure to look for the exits, restrooms, and the locations of medical tents or first-aid stations.
  • The public is involved in public safety. If you see suspicious activity, See Something, Say Something, call Philadelphia Police 9-1-1.
  • Use 3-1-1, the City’s non-emergency number, for any general questions. Follow and reach out to them on Twitter as well, @philly311.
  • Sign up for ReadyPhiladelphia, the City’s mass notification system. Receive text or email alerts direct to your phone with information from the National Weather Service, the City, and SEPTA through ReadyPhiladelphia.
  • Follow @PhiladelphiaGov, @PhilaOEM, and @July4thPhilly for event information.


  • Check the weather before leaving for an event. Use the real time forecast page from the National Weather Service Mount Holly. Listen or watch local news outlets for more information.
  • Get ReadyPhiladelphia alerts direct from the National Weather Service as soon as they are published.
  • If thunderstorms are forecast, they may include strong winds, lightning, and heavy rain. Remember the 30/30 Lightning Safety Rule:
    • If you count less than 30 seconds between a flash of lightning and the sound of thunder, you need to seek shelter immediately.
    • Wait at least 30 minutes after the last thunderclap before return to an open outside location.