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Residents and visitors of all ages will be excited by the spectacular lineup of programs, events and talent for the 2010 Wawa Welcome America! festival.  While most are familiar with the always incredible July Fourth concert – the “Largest Free Concert in America” – all of this year’s activities promise to be the biggest and best ever.

“Philadelphia is the only place to be during the 4th of July,” said Mayor Nutter.  “Wawa Welcome America! offers all the entertainment, history, culture, and fun that families hope to find in the summer and it’s all here in the city where our nation began.”  

The festivities begin on June 25th with three days of Wawa Welcome America’s signature culinary event, Taste of Philadelphia, which combines great food from the areas hottest restaurants with exciting performances.  In addition to continuous entertainment throughout the weekend, attendees will also enjoy doing “the bird” and singing “Jungle Love” during Taste’s June 26th evening concert headlined by Morris Day and The Time with 107.9 WRNB!

Following the Taste of Philadelphia weekend, the festivities continue during the week of June 28, including three “Go 4th and Learn” activities for children, three “Philly @ the Movies” screenings of cinematic favorites, the famed Wawa Hoagie Day celebration, a Rocky Balboa look-alike contest on the steps of the Art Museum, the Dietz and Watson Hot Dog Day in Historic Philadelphia, and three opportunities to enjoy the 12th annual Super Scooper All-You-Can-Eat Ice Cream Festival at Penn’s Landing, benefiting the Joshua Kahan Fund which fights to cure pediatric leukemia.

And of course, fireworks will be prominently featured again this year.  For the first time ever, the Festival boasts three shows over the course of ten days, culminating on the evening of the 4th of July.

The line-up on Independence Day begins early with pomp and pageantry. The morning ceremony, Celebration of Freedom, takes place at Independence Hall, the site of our nation’s birth. Immediately following, the Life, Liberty & You Independence Day Parade will put its best patriotic foot forward, and for the second year in a row, will march through the cobblestone streets of downtown Historic Philadelphia.  In addition to the array of multicultural marchers, music, dancers, and floats, this year’s parade boasts a star-studded line-up showcasing Miss America 2010, Caressa Cameron; America’s Got Talent’s own DC Cowboys Dance Troupe; and Walt Disney World vocalist Davonda Simmons.  In addition, Marine Colonel John Folsam of Nebraska will enlist the support of parade spectators as he seeks to set the Guinness World Record for the largest number of ‘high fives’ at a special event.

In the afternoon, the Party on the Parkway will be in full swing on Benjamin Franklin Parkway, where a non-stop array of free performances, games, children’s activities, food, and other exciting fun takes place. Later that evening in the same locale, Grammy-nominated performers The Goo Goo Dolls will take center stage for the musical finale.  Longtime and new Goo Goo Dolls’ fans will enjoy listening to popular hits such as “Sweetest Lie,” “One Night,” and “Soldier” while also being treated to music from their new album, Something for the Rest of Us.  Other musical talent will perform on the Life, Liberty and You stage as well, in the “Largest Free Concert in America.” Capping off this remarkable day will be the third — and most dramatic — fireworks display of the festival.

Sponsors for the Wawa Welcome America! festival 2010 season include title sponsor Wawa – new for this year, long-time media sponsor WPVI/6ABC, Philadelphia International Airport, Peco, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Radio One 107.9 WRNB and a host of others.  

“Providing this high-caliber, free entertainment over the ten-day Wawa Welcome America! festival would not be possible without the tremendous support of our sponsors and partners,” said Melanie Johnson, City Representative and Executive Director for the festival.  “We are very pleased with what we are offering families, residents and visitors this year, with their support.  We can’t wait to get the festival underway so that everyone can enjoy the best Welcome America festival ever!”

Additional entertainment elements will be announced as the Wawa Welcome America! festival nears.