Starting with the six-day Wawa Welcome America celebration, the month of July is packed full of events in Philadelphia. However, while it may be the destination of choice for travelers celebrating Independence Day, the Fourth of July isn't the only thing worth commemorating in the city this month. July is also filled with a variety of other exciting events like the XPoNential Music Festival, the Civil War Road Show, and the Blueberry Festival and Pie-Eating Contest.
Start off July with First Friday in Old City, an event centered around the art gallery found between Front and Third streets and Market and Vine streets. Several of these galleries will be open late, free of charge, usually from 5 until 9 p.m. People come in droves for the festive atmosphere as much as the art. Old City is the center of the action, but additional galleries and events can be found in other neighborhoods as well.
Wawa Welcome America Festival
When it comes to iconic Philadelphia events, none quite embodies the spirit of the city like the Wawa Welcome America festival, which takes place from June 29 to July 4, 2019, at locations across the city.
Visitors come from far and wide to take part in a full six days of events, which include nightly concerts at venues around Philadelphia. Highlights of Wawa Welcome America include free museum days, the Historic District Block Party, and the fireworks finale on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Headliners for the closing event in 2019 include Jennifer Hudson and Meghan Trainor.
On Sunday, July 14, 2019, from noon to 4 p.m., head to Philadelphia's Magic Gardens (PMG) for PECO Family Jams: Reversed Painted Glass.
Presented by PMG creator Isaiah Zagar, this free class invites guests to try the reversed painted glass technique themselves. Family-friendly tours are also offered at 1, 2:30, and 3:30 p.m. and feature a detailed journey through the current exhibition, "Justin Tyner: Light as Memory: Recollections through Stained Glass."
Located just 30 minutes south of Philadelphia in Media, Pennsylvania, Linvilla Orchards celebrates the harvest with the annual Blueberry Festival and a pie-eating contest. Featuring music, games, costumed characters, hayrides, face-painting, pony rides, and all the blueberries you can pick, this unique celebration takes place on July 13, 2019, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Celebrate Hispanic Culture at the Hispanic Fiesta on July 6 and 7, 2019. Part of the PECO Multicultural Series of summer festivals that celebrate the city's diversity, this unique event features music, food, crafts, and entertainment popular with the Hispanic communities of Philadelphia. Held at the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing, a popular destination for gorgeous views of the city, the Hispanic Fiesta is attended by over 15,000 people each day.
University City Dining Days
From July 18 to 29, 2019, explore the innovative dining options in University City during University City Dining Days. Featuring everything from craft beer to celebrity chef creations, this unique event gives visitors access to exclusive deals on some of the city's best restaurants.
During University City Dining Days, you can enjoy three-course dinner meals for three different prices, depending on the establishment, at these restaurants:
- 15 Dollars: Dahlak, HipCityVeg, KQ Burger, The Market Tavern, New Deck Tavern, New Delhi, Pattaya, Thai Singha House, and Vientiane Café
- 25 Dollars: Baby Blues BBQ, Bridgewater's Pub, Clarkville, The Common, Copabanana University City, Dim Sum House, Distrito, Han Dynasty University City, JG Domestic, Landmark Americana, Sabrina's University City, Sangkee Noodle House, Tipsy Bistro, World Café Live, and Zavino University City
- 35 Dollars: 48th Street Grille, City Tap House, CO/OP, Dock Street Brewery, Louie Louie, Pod, Walnut Street Café, and White Dog Café.
Philadelphia's popular radio station WXPN is responsible for the XpoNential Music Festival, which features over 40 musical artists performing on two stages on the Camden waterfront each year.
This year, the XPoNentia Music Festival takes place from July 26 to 28, 2019, at Wiggins Park in Camden, New Jersey (just across the river from Philadelphia). Headliners for 2019 include Hozier, Elvis Costello, Blondie, Killiam Shakespeare, Japanese Breakfast, and the Amy Ray Band (Indigo Girls).
Head to West Philadelphia's Mann Center on Saturday, July 6, 2019, at noon for the annual Dope Shows Festival, which features an all-star lineup of musicians for a day-long series of concerts. Performers for the 2019 event include PNB Rock, Pushat DaBaby, Lil' Durk, Young Dolph, Calboy, Bry Greatah, and DJ Aye Boogie.
The Mann Center for the Performing Arts is a non-profit performance center in the Centennial District of West Fairmount Park, and this unique concert gives visitors a chance to see the stage in all its glory.
If you'd rather get out of the city this July, head up to Tinicum Park in Bucks County north of Philadelphia for the 70th Annual Tinicum Arts Festival on July 6 and 7, 2019. Sponsored by and benefitting the Tinicum Civic Association, this decades-old event features the works of over 180 regional artists in the Art Barn as well as live entertainment on both days of the festival.
Head to 39th and Walnut Streets on July 13, 2019, to catch a concert as part of the 40th Street Summer Series—which also takes place on June 15 and August 17 this year. Featuring live music from Voices of Africa, free samples from local restaurants, and demonstrations on biking safety, this free concert is a must-see if you're looking for a casual way to spend a summer evening.