Welcome America

Welcome America 101: When and where to see the Roots, pogo sticks and everything else this weekend

For people who stay in Philadelphia for the Fourth of July, Wawa’s Welcome America celebration is one of the most popular events. The music at the end of the day is considered the world’s largest free concert, with a crowd of about 500,000 when the weather is good. And before the music starts, there’s plenty of entertainment, too — heck, it’s been underway since Monday. Here’s your pocket guide to Saturday’s Welcome America festival.

The non-concert highlights

Celebration of Freedom Ceremony and Parade: This your old-fashioned way to celebrate freedom. The ceremony starts at 10 a.m. at Independence Hall with the parade beginning at 11. More than 6,000 participants will march through Philly starting at Independence Hall, going west to Ninth Street, north to Market Street and east to Front Street.

Pogopalooza: Exactly what it sounds like. This event is pogo stick hopping on steroids. Contestants bounce really high or for a long time and in some cases do tricks (it’s a bit of an acquired taste). Saturday’s event features the world finals and a world record attempt. The event begins at 1 p.m. The world record attempt happens at 4.

Road to Rio: Meet former Olympic athletes and try out a few interactive events, like the high jump and long jump. On the Parkway from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The concert lineup (and why you would’ve heard of the artists)

These acts start at 7 p.m. and last until 11 p.m. Get to the Parkway early if you want a decent view.

The Roots: Because you’re from Philly and because they form Jimmy Fallon’s band and because they’re internationally known, the rare hip-hop group that uses instruments instead of a machine to make music.

Miguel: Because his new album, “Wildheart,” came out last week, and his song “Coffee” has been particularly popular. He also provided the chorus for the Mariah Carey 2013 summer hit “Beautiful.”

Jennifer Nettles: Because she forms one half of country duo Sugarland. She also played Roxie Hart in “Chicago” on Broadway this spring. Her first solo album came out last year.

MKTO: Because they had one of the hottest songs of last summer with “Classic.” They’re probably a one-hit wonder.

Zella Day: Because one of her songs appeared on the soundtrack for the second movie of the “Divergent” series, and her cover of White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” is very popular.

×