How we’re celebrating the Fourth
This year’s Wawa Welcome America Festival is going virtual, and there are no fireworks this year other than those unsanctioned events in your neighborhood, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of great events. Here’s a look at some of the highlights. Visit welcomeamerica.com for the full lineup and details.
Philadelphia Orchestra Performance
The Philadelphia Orchestra will perform “Let Freedom Ring,” a musical celebration featuring patriotic pieces, including a special rendition of Elton John’s “Philadelphia Freedom,” Sousa’s “The Liberty Bell March” and a special video tribute to the City of Philadelphia. Let freedom ring and sing along with The Philadelphia Orchestra. | Thursday, July 2, 7 p.m.
Chill Moody Music Stage
Handpicked by Philadelphia’s music ambassador, Chill Moody, this entertaining lineup features Lester London, LiMM, DioMara, Great Time and a special performance from Chill Moody & Hank McCoy and many more. Saturday, July 4, 5 p.m.
NRG Deck Out Your Door Contest
Get creative and show us how you celebrate by decorating your door during the festival. Share your photos on social media with #NRGDoorContest for a chance to win exciting prizes. Photos must be shared by July 3 at 11:59pm to be considered a submission for the contest.
POPS on Independence
For this uniquely American celebration, the POPS takes a musical look at tradition and patriotism. In his debut performance as music director and principal conductor, David Charles Abell has created an original show with Philadelphia native and Broadway star Allison Blackwell, renowned trumpeter and POPS artistic director for Jazz Terell Stafford, and POPS fan-favorite Michael Cavanaugh. This virtual concert stream will also include a newly commissioned piece, “Fanfare for the Essential Workers,” dedicated to health-care workers who were first responders to the COVID-19 crisis. Friday, July 3, 7 p.m.
Pennsylvania Lottery Groove Stage
Grill and groove to the tunes of regional multicultural artists in this curated two-hour block of non-stop entertainment. Philadelphia’s eclectic and multigenerational music community unites to illustrate the diversity of our region through R&B, pop, soul, rock, jazz, swing, and Latin fusion. Tune in for performances from Zeek Burse, Swing That Cat, De Tierra Caliente, Christine Havrilla, Jada Fête, Laura Lizcano, and Max Swan, with a special performance by QuentinThePoet, all hosted by Radio One’s Mina SayWhat of 100.3 RnB. Saturday, July 4, 3 p.m.
Fourth of July Concert
The festival celebrations culminate with a star-studded performance, featuring world-renowned Tony, Emmy and Grammy award-winning singer and actress Cynthia Erivo alongside the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia, plus a high-energy set from American hitmaker, multi-platinum-selling singer-songwriter, producer, actor and dancer, Jason Derulo. Produced in partnership with Live Nation Philadelphia, the performance will be broadcast live on NBC10 from the historic The Met Philadelphia on the Independence Blue Cross Stage without an in-person audience. Viewers will have a front-row seat from the comfort of home. | Saturday, July 4, 8 p.m.
How we’re attending Disability Pride Month
This year’s Annual Disability Pride Celebration will take place virtually due to the COVID pandemic and kicked off June 27. Daily events over 30 days will culminate in a celebration of the signing of the ADA 30 years ago, on Sunday, July 26 at 11am. Presented by the Disability Pride Philadelphia Committee, the month filled with events seeks to “Celebrate Our Differences/End Stigma.” Visit disabilitypridephiladelphia.org for all of the details. Meanwhile here are some of the events we’re looking forward to.
Gooch and The Motion
Gooch and The Motion deliver a unique blend of country, blues, and rock n’ roll straight out of South Jersey. Nine-time Grammy Award-winning producer Joe “The Butcher” Nicolo says, “they have a one of a kind sound that also makes you nostalgic of artists you’ve listened to in the past.” The band is in the process of recording its sophomore album, “Outside the Window” to be released later this year, in addition to a northeast tour to support it. The album showcases band leader Ryan “Gooch” Nelson’s growth in lyrics and musicality influenced by his life. The energy and connection in the band is truly at all-time high. | Thursday, July 2, 7-8:30pm
Superfest Disability Film Festival is the longest-running disability film festival in the world. Since it first debuted in a small Los Angeles showcase in 1970, it has become an eagerly anticipated international event – hosted by Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability at San Francisco State. For more than 30 years, Superfest has celebrated cutting-edge cinema that portrays disability through a diverse, complex, unabashed and engaging lens. Superfest is one of the few festivals worldwide that is accessible to disabled filmgoers of all kinds. Friday, July 10, 7-9 p.m.
Stutterpalooza with Comedians with Disabilities Act & Black Cat Habitat is an evening of music with Black Cat Habitat, Nina G. and Rachel McCullough talking about their experiences with stuttering, and The Comedians with Disabilities Act with Mike Beers, Mean Dave, and Nina G. | Friday, July 3, 7-8:30pm
Laugh with Charles Walden
Born in Philadelphia, this international comedian has toured Germany, Holland, Japan, China, London, England, Bermuda, Bahamas, and Canada. Challenged by cerebral palsy, he is hilarious telling real-life stories doing stand-up comedy most of his life. Walden has performed on shows with Chris Tucker, Wanda Sykes, Joe Matarese, Kevin Hart, George Wallace, Sheryl Underwood, Dave Chappelle, Ray Lipowski, Dante Carter, Rich Vos, and many others. He has appeared on national TV, HBO, Comedy Central, BET Comic View, Russell Simmons Def Comedy Jam, Martin Lawrence 1st Amendment, the Uptown Comedy Show on the new BOUNCE network, and the Apollo in NY. He frequents the Laff House in Philly and Sarcasm in New Jersey and has performed at the Borgata Comedy Club Hotel/Casino Atlantic City and the Flamingo Hotel/Casino in Vegas. | Tuesday, July 7, 8-8:30pm
Shine the Light
Shine the Light with Seamus Kelleher is a show that combines comedy, storytelling, virtuoso guitar playing and a wonderful collection of original and unique cover material. His shows are not for the faint of heart. He will keep you on the edge of your seat for hours, so fasten up and enjoy the ride.| Sunday, July 5, 7-8 p.m.
Hailing from Southeastern PA, Sam Sandler has been mystifying and amazing audiences for more than two decades with his award-winning magic shows. Sam Sandler, America’s only full-time deaf illusionist, presents his fast-paced, high-energy show filled with hilarious comedy, magic, grand illusions, tons of audience interaction and participation, and a powerful inspirational message of overcoming all the challenges life throws at us. Not only was he named 2012 “Close-up Magician of the Year” by the Philadelphia region’s Society of American Magicians, he has also won multiple first-place awards for both stage and children’s magic. Saturday, July 18 | 5-6pm
What we’re doing (virtually)
Here are some of the virtual events we’re going to check out in July. Visit eventbrite.com for details, info and more events.
Philadelphia Virtual Job Fair
Lose a job due to the pandemic? Looking to get a better job? This is for you. Meet with top employers hiring for sales, customer service, retail, financial services, management, To participate, visit CareerTown.net to create an account. Whether you are a seasoned executive-level professional, just beginning your career, or anywhere in between, our events can connect you with as many valuable employer contacts in one day as you would make in weeks of job searching on your own. | July 13-15, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
The Erotic Literary Salon
Come hear what all of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Inquirer & Philadelphia Daily News to name a few publications, have been talking about since 2008. Dr. Susana Mayer is the creator & host of this comfortable & safe space, which has now been transformed to an on-line experience. Hear erotica, sex memoirs and other pieces in need of a home. theEroticliterarysalon.com | Tuesday, July 21, 7-9 p.m. $5.
Helping local change agents to impact poverty
This symposium will focus on solutions that move individuals and families to a living wage. This edition of the Social Innovations Journal will focus on the jobs and education strategy of City Council’s Poverty Action Plan. Through social mobility partnerships, the Social Innovations Journal aims to evaluate the existing anti-poverty programs in Philadelphia framed within short-term and long-term strategies. Presented by Social Innovations Institute. | Thursday, July 9, 9am-noon. Free.
‘Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ virtual trivia
Has it been too long since you impressed your friends with your Always Sunny in Philadelphia knowledge? This new online format combines traditional bar trivia with technology to create a Pub Masters Trivia – Virtual Trivia Game Night. Now, wherever you are, the office, the couch, or the bathtub, you can play bar trivia with your friends and family online. Presented by Pub Masters Trivia | Thursday, July 2, 8-9:30pm. $5.
Post-Independence Day virtual happy hour
Don’t let the pandemic stop you from, first, drinking, and, second, drinking with friends. Join IWIRC Greater Philadelphia for a Virtual Happy Hour. Show off your red, white or blue beverage of choice! Zoom links for this event will be sent to registered participants shortly before the event. | Thursday, July 9, 5-6:30 p.m. Free.
Support Philly Fashion and come to a virtual Mask-Ur-Aid Ball to raise funds for Philadelphia’s designers and boutiques. Party from home with music from Mr DJ Hollywood, special guest appearances, live mask auction and more. Dress to impress. Wear your most stylish attire and mask and tag #supportphillyfashion for a chance to be featured before and during the event. Presented by Support Philly Fashion/Philly Fashion Week. | Saturday, July 11, 7-9 p.m. $25-40.