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The Wawa Welcome America festival looks a little different this year. Philly’s 4th of July spectacle will be held entirely virtually and completely free as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The virtual festival aims to “highlight Philadelphia’s diverse voices” with a series of concerts, educational activities, cooking demonstrations, crafts, virtual museum tours, and other behind-the-scene experiences of local arts, culture, education, and performance. Here are some of the highlights to look out for.


Girls Like nicethings (6/30, 7 p.m.)

A women-centered art exhibit and jam session, Girls Like nicethings aims to showcase the talents of women-identifying artists in Philadelphia. The event features hip-hop, R&B, and soul performances from Noel Scales, Queen Jo, Suzann Christine, DJ Tati Mia, Lauriana Mae, and Jahwula, as well as art from Lovesick Art Gallery, Linda Fernandez, and Nile Livingston.

Philadelphia Orchestra’s “Let Freedom Ring!” (7/2, 7 p.m.)

The seminal Philadelphia Orchestra will be performing a selection of patriotic pieces with a certain local flair, such as Elton John’s “Philadelphia Freedom” and Sousa’s “Liberty Bell” March, as well as a special video tribute to the City of Philadelphia.

POPS on Independence (7/3, 7 p.m.)

Philly’s other orchestra, the Philly POPS, has put together an arrangement of its own, featuring David Charles Abell’s debut performance as the group’s Music Director and Principal Conductor. Broadway performer Allison Blackwell, POPS Artistic Director for Jazz and famous trumpeter Terell Stafford, and POPS favorite Michael Cavanaugh will perform in an original show. Included is the newly-commissioned “Fanfare for the Essential Workers,” dedicated to those on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis.

Red, White & Q102 (7/4, 12 p.m.)

Fourth of July kicks off at noon with a mix show from Q102’s famous DJs: DJ N9ne tours with Pauly D, XTina has opened for The Chainsmokers, Ghost is the official DJ for the 76ers, Scooter provides official remixes for artists like Rihanna and Beyonce, and Bonics is Wiz Khalifa’s official tour DJ.

Pennsylvania Lottery Groove Stage (7/4, 3 p.m.)

Hosted by Radio One’s Mina SayWhat of 100.3 RnB, the Groove Stage aims to showcase a diverse music community, with two hours of R&B, pop, soul, rock, jazz, swing, and Latin fusion. The lineup includes Zeek Burse, Swing That Cat, De Tierra Caliente, Max Swan, Christine Havrilla, Jada Fete, Laura Lizcano, and a special performance by QuentinThePoet.

The Chill Moody Music Stage (7/4, 5:30 p.m.)

This stage features a lineup of emerging local talent handpicked by Philadelphia’s Music Ambassador, Chill Moody. Diomara, LiMM, Great Time, and Lester London will take the virtual stage before a special performance from Chill Moody and Hank McCoy, with more surprises promised.

Wawa Welcome America July 4th Concert (7/4, 8 p.m.)

The week-long virtual celebration concludes with this, a concert broadcast from the historic Met Philly on the Independence Blue Cross Stage. The headliners for this year’s Welcome America concert are Tony, Emmy & Grammy award-winning singer and actress Cynthia Erivo, accompanied by the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia, and high-octane producer, actor, and dancer Jason Derulo.

Check out these events and many more here.

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