Philadelphia is gearing up for the return of the Wawa Welcome America Festival, now in its 30th year as the largest Independence Day celebration in America.
“The 2022 Wawa Welcome America festival is back,” an elated Wawa Welcome America president and CEO Michael DelBene said.
The festival will take place from June 19th to July 4th and will feature an array of events and activities, including a parade, free concerts, fireworks displays, and more. This year’s celebration will also mark the return of Wawa Hoagie Day, which offers Philadelphians the chance to enjoy a free Wawa hoagie.
As part of Philadelphia’s 16-day celebration of freedom and liberty, singer Ava Max will perform and Jason Derulo, the singer, dancer, and TikTok megastar, will headline the free 2022 Wawa Welcome America Party on the Parkway concert in Philadelphia on July 4.
“Hey, what up Philly? It’s Jason Derulo. I’m gonna see you this summer on July 4th on the Parkway,” the singer said via video during Tuesday’s announcement.
Over 100 media representatives, tourism and civic leaders were gathered atop the “Rocky” steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art to hear it. While Wawa Welcome America will once again look similar to what it was before the COVID pandemic, safety will be a top priority.
“It’s beautiful today to be here today and I’m very excited for today’s announcement,” said Mayor Jim Kenny. “This press conference of the return of the safe, fun and responsible in-person Wawa Welcome America Festival is very exciting and demonstrates the strength and resilience of our residents who faced so many challenges over the last two-plus years.”
The mayor added: “Every year people across our nation around the world look at Philadelphia as the gold standard in July 4th celebrations, and this year promises to be no different. Today the team at Wawa Welcome America along with a dedicated group of sponsors will unveil an incredible lineup of programming committed to creating a festival that reflects the vibrancy and diversity of our city. The celebration will be a time to highlight all the amazing things about our great city and celebrate the holiday together. And we are excited for the July 4th concert to return to the [Benjamin Franklin] Parkway. During the Wawa Welcome America residents and visitors alike will get to see our city come alive and create a vibrant exciting experience to show off Philadelphia. These events are planned with our residents’ and guests’ safety in mind and will be delivered in a safe and controlled environment… I look forward to seeing everyone out on the Parkway for this year’s festival.”
Wawa Welcome America has a focus on arts, culture, diversity, education, wellness, history, and performance. Highlights include the Juneteenth celebration, free admission to museums and other cultural institutions, free concerts and performances at various locations throughout the city, a fireworks show on Independence Day, and the Philly 4th of July Jam concert on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
For more information, visit welcomeamerica.com.
Images: Bobbi I. Booker