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Philadelphia’s free Fourth of July festival took over the Ben Franklin Parkway on Monday, with hundreds of people dancing, eating, playing, and partying on a gorgeous sunny afternoon.
The daytime event, which leads up to the Welcome America concert and fireworks in front of the Art Museum, was staffed with increased police patrols after news of the shooting that disrupted an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois. On the other side of Center City, two separate rallies decried the Supreme Court’s recent decision to remove abortion protections. And Philly’s relentless, daily shootings continued, refusing to take a holiday.
Still, the Party on the Parkway gave Philadelphians a chance to smile.
From noon onward, the museum-lined boulevard was filled with food trucks, game stands, performances, kids activities, sprinklers, a zip line, and various concert stages.
There was a lot of red, white, and blue, from flags stuck in caps to face-painted decorations to full-on star-spangled outfits. There were trays of water ice, and pleas for peace in Ukraine. There were celebrations of various cultures, with a grassy area showcasing African and Indonesian dance, and a section of pavement nearby hosting a breakdancing display.
It all offered people the chance to embrace the hope that the nation’s future can be better than its past. Scroll through the photos below for a look at how Philadelphia celebrated Independence Day 2022.