Civic News

July 4 will look — and sound — different this year. Here’s how to celebrate virtually

Esports! Jason Derulo! All the fireworks! You can still check out these local events and experiences from home this holiday weekend.

Fireworks over Penn’s Landing on a past Fourth of July.

(Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia)

As hard as it likely is for Philadelphians to accept, Independence Day will be pretty different this year.

The city that birthed the nation usually throws a weeklong shindig — Wawa Welcome America. Good news is, the festival is still happening, but like most events this year, it’s gone virtual.

And while the firework display that usually erupts over the Delaware River between the city and New Jersey was canceled because of the virus, you can just open your window on any given evening from pretty much any neighborhood to hear some booms (?) fireworks (?) explosions (?).

But if griping about how much noisier the city’s gotten in the last month isn’t your favorite way to celebrate the Fourth of July, we do have a roundup of virtual holiday events over the next few days.

And if you’re not feeling super patriotic right now — we hear that — there’s plenty of non-Fourth experiences like museum tours, gaming tournaments and live music. Read the full list here.

  • U.S. Army Esports Tournament — July 2-3. Participate or watch the United States Army and Nerd Street Gamers putting their skills to the test during the festival’s first-ever esports tournament series. Preregistration is required to play, but the Rocket League tournament will be streamed live from the NSG Twitch channel.
  • POPS on Independence — July 3 from 7 to 9 p.m. The Philly POPS orchestra will perform for the first time with music director and principal conductor David Charles Abell. This virtual concert stream will also include a newly commissioned piece, “Fanfare for the Essential Workers,” dedicated to healthcare workers who were first responders to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Virtual Museum Tours — July 3-4. A bunch of Philadelphia’s museums are offering virtual tours right now, like the Barnes, African American Museum in Philadelphia, National Liberty Museum and Philadelphia Museum of Art.
  • Music, Play, Patrol: Movement Activities — July 3. This virtual music making event is great for kiddos who might be getting sick of being cooped up at home.
  • The Chill Moody Music Stage — July 4 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. In a lineup picked by Philadelphia’s music ambassador, Chill Moody, this evening of music features Lester London, LiMM, DioMara, Great Time and many more.
  • Wawa Welcome America July 4th Concert — July 4 from 8 to 10 p.m. Hear live performances from singer and actress Cynthia Erivo alongside the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia, plus a high-energy set from Jason Derulo streaming from the The Met.

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