Wawa Welcome America! Festival on July 4th

City and Wawa Welcome America! officials announce plans for Wawa Welcome America! festival on July 4th
Details on event activities, transportation, parking, security and more.

Philadelphia is rolling out the red-white-and-blue carpet to residents and visitors at the ongoing Wawa Welcome America! festival, as it approaches its grand finale on July 4th. From an old-fashioned summer block party – Philly-style – to the nation’s largest and hippest free concert, the 2014 schedule is featuring free, family-friendly events in the greatest place anywhere to celebrate America’s birthday.

“As the birthplace of our great nation, Philadelphia is the perfect setting to celebrate America’s 238th birthday,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter.”Wawa Welcome America! will shine a spotlight on our city, from the patriotic pageantry of the nation’s most historic square mile along 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 the nation’s best locally-produced birthday celebration that night, show-casing once again why Philadelphia owns the Fourth!”

Today, City and Wawa Welcome America! officials released operational details for the citywide festival:
Festival Activities
The 2014 Wawa Welcome America! showcases Philadelphia’s culture, heritage and hospitality including the largest free concert in America hosted by Philly’s The Roots (with a star-studded lineup of Nicki Minaj, Ed Sheeran, Jennifer Hudson, Aloe Blacc, Ariana Grande and Vicci Martinez), the nation’s most diverse Independence Day Parade, free outdoor movies, a ‘Party on the Parkway,’ and  a fabulous fireworks finale.

For a complete event schedule, visit www.welcomeamerica.com, or “like us” on Facebook (www.facebook.com/wawawelcomeamerica), and follow us during the festival on Twitter and Instagram (@July4thPhilly)..

Road Closures
Many areas and streets across the city including 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 on July 4th. Due to increased activity and security in both the Parkway area and historic district, parking and traffic regulations will be strictly enforced. The following are the scheduled road closures:

Wednesday, July 2
Few street closures are planned for Philly at the Movies at the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps, 25th St. and the Parkway; however, traffic around Eakins Oval could be heavy at times.

Closed is the curb lane at the Philadelphia Museum of Art apron, beginning at 3 p.m.  and reopening after midnight.

In preparation for POPS! On Independence, Independence Hall/ historic district, 5th and Chestnut streets. (taking place July 3), closures include the left-hand turn lane on 6th Street at Chestnut and Chestnut Street, between 5th and 6th streets, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and then later from 7 p.m. to after midnight.

Thursday, July 3
In the historic district, Chestnut Street, between 5th and 6th streets, will be closed to vehicular traffic, from 9:30 a.m. to Friday, July 4th at 5 p.m.

The Parkway will be open to vehicular traffic during morning and evening rush hours, but closed in between for construction related to the concert.

The entire Parkway will be closed following evening rush hour for activities connected to concert construction.

Friday, July 4
For the Party on the Parkway, along Benjamin Franklin Parkway and “Philly 4th of July Jam,” Closures are in effect around the Parkway, from Arch Street to Pennsylvania Avenue and 18th to 25th streets, from 5 a.m. to around 5 a.m. on Saturday (weather-permitting).

In the historic district, in preparation for the Celebration of Freedom Ceremony and Independence Day Parade near Independence Hall, closed are: 5th and 6th streets, from Market to Walnut, beginning at 5 a.m.; Chestnut Street, between Front and 5th streets, starting at 7 a.m.

From 10:50 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the following roads are closed: Chestnut and Ranstead streets, from 6th to 9th Street; 9th from Chestnut to Market; East Market, from 9th Street to Front Street; 8th Street, from Arch to Walnut; from 7th Street, from Walnut to Arch; 6th Street, from Arch to Chestnut streets; 5th St. from Arch to Market streets; Front Street, from Arch to Dock streets; 4th Street, from Arch to Walnut; 3rd Street, from Walnut to Arch; 2nd Street, from Walnut to Arch; Strawberry Street, from Market to Chestnut streets; Bank Street, from Market to Chestnut.

All streets affected by the closures are scheduled to be reopened in the historic district by 5 p.m. on July 4th and in the Parkway vicinity by 6 a.m. on 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 operate additional service on July 4th to assist festival-goers. All SEPTA Regional Rail, bus, trolley, Market-Frankford and Broad Street Line services will operate on a Sunday schedule on July 4th, with additional late-night service to accommodate concert-goers.

Here is information on SETPA services:
Market Frankford Line: Ten additional trains will be added to provide service every 5 to 7 minutes, beginning at 4:30 p.m. These service levels will remain in effect through 1:15 a.m. SEPTA’s Overnight subway service pilot program will be in effect through the holiday weekend, with service operating every 20 minutes until 5 a.m. 15th Street Station provides easiest access to and from the festivities on the Parkway.

Broad Street Line: Eight additional trains will provide service every 5 to 7 minutes beginning at 4:28 pm. These service levels will remain in effect through 1:15 a.m. Overnight subway service will be in place throughout the holiday weekend with service operating every 20 minutes until 5 a.m. Spring Garden, Race-Vine and City Hall Stations provide easy walking access to the Parkway.

Regional Rail: SEPTA will extend Regional Rail service for customers leaving Center City after the fireworks display on the Parkway. A total of seventeen trains will depart from Suburban Station between 11:30 p.m. and 12:45 a.m. Trains will make all local stops. Special schedules are accessible online at www.septa.org/events/holiday.html

Trolley: Additional trips will be added on Routes 10, 11, 13, 34, and 36 following the fireworks display, as needed.

Buses: Riders should be on alert regarding detours that will be in place for road closures due to the festivities on the Parkway and Center City area. Specific detours for routes 5, 7, 9, 17, 21, 33, 38, 42, 43, 44, 47, 48, 57 and 61 have been posted online, with some beginning on Wednesday, July 3. More service-detour information is available on the “Service Status” section of www.septa.org

Passengers are encouraged to purchase fares in advance. Complete service information is available on SEPTA’s website and from its Customer Service, at 215-580-7800, or on social media @septa_social.

For information on NJTransit routes and schedules on July 4, visit www.njtransit.org

PHLASH Trolley
PHLASH trolley transportation is an inexpensive, convenient way to visit attractions in Center City ($2 per ride; $5 all-day). The PHLASH service will operate on July 4th. For holiday route detours and schedules, contact the Independence Visitor Center, 800-537-7676 or visit  PhillyPHLASH.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 at http://philapark.org/.

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 ensure that you bring clear bags and clear containers.

Leave no bags or items unattended.

In emergencies or to report a suspicious person, activity or item (a backpack, a package, a 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 American Red Cross Family Reunification Tent at 22nd Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Lost and Found 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 south side of 22nd Street and the Parkway.

o        Emergency Weather and Alerts:
In the case of severe weather, listen for announcements and sign up ahead of time to receive emergency texts or e-mail alerts at www.readynotifypa.org. 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, Independence Hall, Congress Hall, West Wing and Old City Hall are closed for the morning of July 4 and will re-open at noon that day.

The July 4th schedules for the cultural institutions in the Parkway area vary. Some museums will maintain normal Friday hours, while others are closed.  For more information, please refer to parkwaymuseumsdistrict.org.

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

Social Media
You also can stay connected and will find festival information on our social media accounts: Like us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/wawawelcomeamerica) and follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@July4thPhilly).

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