<!–:en–>City And Festival Officials Announce Plans for Wawa Welcome America! Events <!–:–><!–:RU–>Фестиваль Wawa Welcome America! приглашает на День Независимости!<!–:–>

Details on transportation, parking, security and other activities prior to and on July 4th.

Philadelphia is rolling out the red-white-and-blue carpet to residents and visitors at the ongoing Wawa Welcome America! festival, which ends with a spectacular concert and grand fireworks finale on July 4th. From an old-fashioned summer block party – Philly-style – to the nation’s largest and hippest free concert, the schedule features free, family-friendly events in the greatest place anywhere to celebrate America’s birthday.

“As the nation’s birthplace, Philadelphia is the perfect setting to celebrate America”s 239th birthday,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “Every year, Wawa Welcome America! showcases our historic and contemporary city, from the patriotic pageantry of the nation’s most historic square mile on Independence Mall to the iconic Benjamin Franklin Parkway later that day for the Party on the Parkway. And that”s where our hometown favorites, The Roots, will host and perform in the nation’s best locally-produced birthday celebration that night, proving to the world once again why Philadelphia owns the Fourth!”

Today, City and Wawa Welcome America! officials released operational details for the citywide festival:

Festival Activities
The 2015 Wawa Welcome America! showcases a fabulous fusion of Philadelphia’s culture, heritage and hospitality. The festival highlights more than 20 events in eight days including the largest free concert in America starring and hosted by Philly’s own, The Roots, who are joined by a featured lineup of Grammy Award-nominated Miguel and Jennifer Nettles, of the Grammy Award-winning country duo Sugarland), MKTO and Zella Day. The festival also features the nation’s most diverse Independence Day Parade, ‘Liberty Block Party,’ free outdoor movies, ‘Party on the Parkway’ and its famous fireworks finale. For a complete event schedule, visit www.welcomeamerica.com, and stay connected at Facebook.com/WawaWelcomeAmerica, or follow the festival on Twitter and Instagram (@July4thPhilly).

Road Closures
Many areas across the city including streets near Independence Mall and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be impacted by Wawa Welcome America! activities. Expect delays. Motorists are advised to use alternate routes, avoid areas near Wawa Welcome America! activities, allow for extra driving time and proceed with caution near these events. Due to increased activity and security in both the areas of the Parkway and historic district, parking and traffic regulations will be strictly enforced. Many roads adjacent to event sites will be posted with no-parking signage for the general public. The following are the scheduled road closures:

Wednesday, July 1 – Various festival activities & locations
No major disruption to traffic patterns overall.
On July 1, expect congestion in the Art Museum circle/area, from 5 p.m. to midnight due to Philly @ the Movies showing of “Rocky” at the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Thursday, July 2 – Wawa Hoagie Day at Independence Mall, Market Street, between 5th and 6th Streets
Expect area congestion. No streets in the area are closed for this event.

Friday, July 3 – Liberty Block Party in Independence Mall area
5th and 6th streets, between Market and Chestnut streets, will be closed to vehicular traffic, from 9:30 a.m. until midnight.
Chestnut Street, between 5th and 6th streets, will be closed to vehicular traffic, from 9:30 a.m. on July 3d through Saturday, July 4th at 5 p.m.

Friday, July 3 – Preparation for the July 4th concert and fireworks in Ben Franklin Parkway area
The inbound inner lanes of the Parkway will be closed July 3 from 9:30 a.m. through 5 a.m. on Sunday, July 5
The outbound inner lanes of the Parkway will be closed to vehicular traffic, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., for set-up related to the concert. The outbound lanes will open, from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., for evening rush, and then close, from 6:30 p.m. on July 3 to 5 a.m. on July 5.
The outer lanes of the Parkway will be open to vehicular traffic throughout the day.

Saturday, July 4 – Celebration of Freedom Ceremony and Parade in Independence Mall area
Chestnut Street, between 5th and 6th streets, will be closed to vehicular traffic, from 9:30 a.m. on July 3rd through Saturday, July 4th at 5 p.m.

The following closures will be in effect related to the parade (all times are approximate):

–        From 5 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Chestnut Street, 5th to Front streets; 3rd Street, from Chestnut to Walnut streets, and on 4th Street, from Market to Chestnut streets.

–        From 10:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Chestnut Street, from 6th to 9th streets; 9th Street, from Chestnut to Market streets and Market Street, from 9th to Front streets; 5th Street, from Arch to Walnut streets; 4th Street, from Arch to Walnut streets; 3rd Street, from Walnut to Arch streets; 8th Street, from Arch to Walnut streets; 7th Street, from Walnut to Arch streets; 6th Street, from Arch to Chestnut streets; 2nd Street, from Walnut to Arch streets; Strawberry Street, from Market to Chestnut streets, and Bank Street, from Market to Chestnut streets.

–        From 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Front Street, Dock Street, Arch Street and
the Chestnut Street viaduct, from Front to Market streets.

–        The remainder of Chestnut Street and the entire parade route will be closed to vehicular traffic prior to the parade, beginning at about 10 a.m., until after the parade concludes. All streets affected by the parade will be cleaned before being re-opened to vehicular traffic.

Saturday, July 4 – Philly 4th of July Jam concert & Grand Finale Fireworks in the Benjamin Franklin Parkway area
A limited-access perimeter (event participants and residents only) will be established on July 4th –from 18th Street to 25th Street — and on Race Street to Pennsylvania Avenue, from 5 a.m. to midnight.

The entire width of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be closed to vehicular traffic, from 5 a.m. to midnight.

The Parkway, from 20th to 25th streets, will be closed for extensive cleanup overnight until about
5 a.m. on Sunday, July 5th.

All streets affected by the closures are scheduled to be reopened in the Parkway vicinity by 6 a.m. on Sunday, July 5th .

Public Transit
City officials urge the public to either walk to the events or take SEPTA. Public transportation is an easy way to get in and out of Center City. SEPTA will add service on July 4th in Center City and expand operations before and after events to accommodate holiday travelers. SEPTA Transit Service, including its bus trolley and subway service, will operate on aSunday schedule, while Regional Rail will run on a Saturday schedule on both Friday, July 3 and Saturday, July 4. On Saturday, service will be added on many lines to accommodate travelers heading to and from events in Center City.

Planned service changes include:
Market Frankford and Broad Street Lines: Additional trains will be added on each line beginning at 4 p.m. Saturday, providing service every 5 to 7 minutes through 1 a.m. on Sunday. Regular weekend “Night Owl” rail service will be effect throughout the holiday weekend, providing trains every 20 minutes until 5 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. 15th Street Station on the Market-Frankford Line and City Hall and Race-Vine Stations on the Broad Street Line provide easy walking access to and from the Parkway.
Regional Rail: SEPTA will extend Regional Rail service for riders leaving Center City on Saturday night after the fireworks display on the Parkway. Eighteen trains will depart from Suburban Station between 11:30 p.m. and 2:30 a.m. Individual line schedules have been posted at most stations and online at http://septa.org/events/holiday.html
Trolley: Additional trips on Routes 10, 11, 13, 34 and 36 will be added on Saturday evening headed to Center City before the concert and fireworks show on the Parkway, with additional trolleys departing Center City on each line after Parkway events end.
Bus: Riders should be on alert for detours in and around Center City that will begin as early as 6:00 a.m. on Saturday. Fifteen lines will be affected including Routes 5, 7, 9, 17, 21, 32, 33, 38, 42, 43, 44, 47, 48, 57 and 61. These detours will remain in place until well after events on the Parkway have ended. Specific line-by-line changes have been posted on the System Status page of www.septa.org. After the fireworks show on the Parkway ends, additional bus service leaving Center City will be added on some bus routes as needed.

For those traveling into Center City for the day, SEPTA’s Independence Pass may be an ideal fare option. It provides unlimited one-day travel on SEPTA services ($12 for an individual pass; $29 for a family of up to five people traveling together). For more information and sales casino online locations for the Independence Pass, visit: http://www.septa.org/fares/pass/independence.html

Check service schedules and surface bus detours posted online at http://septa.org/events/holiday.html.  Passengers are urged to buy fares in advance. Complete service information is available on SEPTA’s website, www.septa.org, at 215-580-7800, or on Twitter @SEPTA_SOCIAL.
For information on NJTransit routes and schedules on July 4 th, visit www.njtransit.org

PHLASH Trolley
The Philly PHLASH Downtown Bus Loop will operate on July 4th, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. PHLASH is a quick and easy way to get to local attractions and cultural institutions — with 22 stops every 15 minutes ($2 per ride or all day for $5). Riders can buy tickets on the bus (with exact change) or at any Visitor Center location. For more information on holiday route detours and schedules, call 800-537-7676 or find PHLASH on-the-go with live updates on your mobile device at RidePhillyPHLASH.com (http://ridephillyphlash.com/).

Parking Information
For-pay parking lots and garages conveniently are located on or near the 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 http://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: http://www.philapark.org/autopark-at-independence-mall/

Venue Rules and Public Safety Information
The vicinity of the Parkway and concert (a boundary from at least 20th & the Parkway to the Art Museum, and adjacent areas), will be firmly secured and protected for maximum public safety. Throughout July 4th, the city will provide a strong presence of law enforcement and emergency medical services. The City and Welcome America! will utilize a network of local, state and federal prevention and response services, which will be integrated, mobile and in constant communication.

The public can do their part by using common sense. If you are attending the July 4th activities, make a plan regarding driving, public transit, parking, supervision of children and wearing comfortable attire.

To ensure a fun and safe festival experience, City officials are urging the pubic to refrain from bringing alcohol, coolers, open containers or cooking equipment. Barbecuing on the Parkway, contraband and illegal substances (firearms or fireworks) are absolutely prohibited.

Spectators are strongly discouraged from carrying bags, backpacks, or satchels of any kind. However, if you do so, please bring only clear bags and clear containers.
Absolutely leave no bags or items 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.

Take missing or lost persons, including children, to the tent at 23rd Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on the north side.

Lost and Found (unsuspicious) items can be taken to various Information Tents along the Parkway.

“Location markers” will be posted to clearly and easily identify a location or section (by letter and number: K-1) to facilitate communicating in the event of an emergency.

Information booths on the Parkway and an EMS First Aid station (with misting tents for heat-exhaustion cases) are located on the north side of 22nd Street and the Parkway.

o        Emergency Weather and Alerts:
In the case of severe weather, listen for announcements and sign up online ahead of time to receive emergency texts or e-mail alerts at ReadyPhiladelphia:https://member.everbridge.net/index/453003085612339#/signup. Plan for a safe informed holiday.

o        Heat-related precautions Information:
With potential high temperatures, there is a risk of heat-related health issues. EMS personnel will be on duty all day at an accessible First Aid Station and will be on patrol to monitor activities. Many heat stress or heat exhaustion issues can be avoided by taking simple precautions.

Follow all proper precautions to protect yourselves and your families against the heat elements.

All festival-goers should stay hydrated by drinking lots of water; avoid non-alcoholic liquids, 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.

For more tips to beat the heat, visit www.welcomeamerica.com

Cultural and Historical Institutions
On Independence Square, Congress Hall, West Wing and Old City Hall will be open until 5 p.m. while Independence Hall will remain open to 8 p.m. on July 4. For a complete listing of events and programs celebrating Independence Day and throughout the summer in Philadelphia’s Historic District and Independence National Historical Park, visithistoricphillysummer.com (http://www.phlvisitorcenter.com/historic-philly-summer) and follow #SummerInPhilly.
The July 4th schedules for cultural institutions in the Benjamin Franklin Parkway area vary. Some museums will maintain normal Saturday hours, while others are closed. For more information, visit parkwaymuseumsdistrict.org.

Portable toilets, including ADA-compliant units, will be available throughout the Ben Franklin Parkway, from 21 Street to Art Museum Drive.

Trash Removal
All streets will be cleaned after each event and trash containers emptied in the vicinity of Wawa Welcome America! festivities.

Wawa Welcome America! is a multi-day festival that celebrates America’s birthday in America’s birthplace, Philadelphia. Wawa joined the festival as the title sponsor in 2010. For more information, please visitwww.welcomeamerica.com.

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