By Sam Klugherz

Bicycle Coalition

The week of July 4th celebration in Philadelphia is already in full swing, with plenty more fun-filled events to come on Thursday, July 4th. 

In the morning starting at 10am, stop by Independence Hall for a Celebration of Freedom Ceremony with patriotic speeches and music. The event will feature a performance by Philly POPS Big Band, a reading of the Declaration of Independence, a presentation of the Magis Award by Mayor Jim Kenney, and more special guests. Check out the website for more information.

Shortly after the Celebration of Freedom Ceremony, the Salute to America Independence Day Parade will begin leaving from Independence Hall at 11am. Thousands of participants including marching bands and military units will parade through historic Independence Mall and Old City. Visit the website for a map of the parade route. 

Kidical Mass PHL, which promotes bike riding for kids and families, will be a part of this year’s parade. Bikes, scooters, and bikes with training wheels are welcome to participate! If your family would like to take part, you can meet up at 10:30am on Chestnut St. between 4th and 5th Streets (parade element number 24). Please wear red, white, and blue and decorate your bikes!

The premier event of the week, the Wawa Welcome America Party on the Parkway, begins at noon on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for people of all ages. The celebration lasts throughout the afternoon with live performances, food trucks, games, and beer gardens all along the parkway. There will be three different stages with dozens of live concerts and shows, and detailed times can be found at the website.

At the end of the parkway on Eakins Oval, the party continues at 7pm with headlining concerts by Jennifer Hudson and Meghan Trainor. Fireworks over the Philadelphia Museum of Art will fill the sky in companion with a custom patriotic soundtrack performed by the United States Army Field Band following the concert. Learn more here.

If you’re looking to beat the crowds and hang out with the cycling community, you can head up to Belmont Plateau, where each week the Belmont Plateau Trails Alliance hosts Thursday Night Rides. Catch some stellar views of the city and watch the fireworks from the Plateau with fellow cyclists.

How to bike to Welcome America festivities: 

These events look to be quite popular, and will result in many streets closed to auto traffic. Biking will be one of the best ways to get around! We recommend stopping a few blocks from any event (if you can) to lock up your bike. You’re likely to encounter pedestrian congestion. Bringing a bike into the mix can be frustrating for all involved, particularly when the event lets out and everyone crowds the streets all at once. 

For the Parkway events, a great place to park can be on the opposite side of the Art Museum from the event. There are lots of bike racks, and good egress points along the Schuylkill River Trail, Spring Garden Bridge, and Fairmount Ave. 

For Independence Hall events, we recommend taking Spruce/Pine if approaching from the west, south or north, and parking around the southern end of Washington Square. If approaching from the northeast, we recommend parking in the vicinity of 2nd and Market. 

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