At historic Fort Mifflin’s Freedom Blast! the American flag is raised at 10:15 Saturday to kick off a day of readings of the Declaration of Independence, cannon and gun demonstrations and tours of the forts casemates (storage areas built into hills) guided by Revolutionary War era living history soldiers and civilians in authentic dress. The fort is one of Philadelphia’s gems, and you get an added boost of anachronism with the planes flying overhead to land at the Philadelphia Airport.
The Wawa Welcome America festival, which began earlier this week, gets underway at 10 am Friday with the Celebration of Freedom ceremony on the steps of Independence Hall, made extra special this year since it’s the 60th anniversary of the Brown v. Board Supreme Court decision paving the way for integration and the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
This is followed by a parade through Historic Philadelphia, ringing of the Liberty Bell, and the annual celebration on the Ben Franklin Parkway from noon on ending with the big free concert, this year featuring The Roots, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Ed Sheeran, Nicki Minaj, Aloe Blacc and Vicci Martinez, and culminating as always with fireworks over the Philadelphia Museum of Art!
Historic Philadelphia hosts many other holiday events…
Betsy will be in two places at once because she’ll also be at the iconic Betsy Ross House for Betsy’s Independence Day Bash, complete with a children’s naturalization ceremony and ceremonial bell ringing.
Also Friday Colonial reenactors are encamped at 6th and Market Streets and will perform cannon drills, and John Adams is available for a chat at the Historic Philadelphia Center.
Saturday such luminaries as Martha Washington, Baron Von Steuben, Thomas Jefferson and Octavious Cotto, who was a major in the Union Army in the Civil War and later registered black voters in Philadelphia, will be at Historic Philadelphia sites…and there are many activities for the kids.
Aside from 4th of July celebrations, other events are happening this weekend…
The annual Super Scooper All-You-Can-Eat Ice Cream Festival is all weekend at Penn’s Landing. The admission fee goes toward funding childhood leukemia research.
The Awesome Fest presents a free outdoor 20th anniversary screening of The Crow Saturday at Liberty Lands on North American Street in Philadelphia. This 1994 American supernatural action film was based on James O’Barr’s 1989 comic book and tells the story of a rock musician who is revived from the dead to avenge his murder and that of his fiancée. Rochelle Davis, who appears as Sarah in the movie, will be there!
Arch Street’s Fabric Workshop and Museum has been exhibiting photography by Ray Metzger, Will Brown, and David Graham. Brown captures still street photos, Metzger is well known for his black-and-white city-scapes, and Graham’s landscape work has been described as “bizarre” and “vibrant.” The exhibits stay up through the end of the summer.
Spiritual Strivings:A Celebration of African American Works on Paper is at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts It presents two collections. There are 70 works from the expansive Harmon & Harriet Kelley collection that spans the 20th century and is considered the preeminent collection of its kind (through October 12th)…and Eldzier Cortor:Theme and Variations from a living artist in his 90s who has just made a generous gift of his work to PAFA (through August 31st).