July 4th


July4th In Philadelphia – Welcome America!! Road Closures, Logistics, Public Transportation

Festival Activities

The 2015 Wawa Welcome America! showcases
a fabulous fusion of Philadelphia’s culture, heritage and hospitality.
The festival highlights more than 20 events in eight days including the
largest free concert in America starring and hosted by Philly’s own, The
, who are joined by a featured lineup of Grammy
Award-nominated Miguel and Jennifer Nettles, of the Grammy Award-winning
country duo Sugarland), MKTO
and Zella Day. The festival also features the nation’s most diverse
Independence Day Parade, ‘Liberty Block Party,’ free outdoor movies,
‘Party on the Parkway’ and its famous fireworks finale. For a complete
event schedule, visit www.welcomeamerica.com,
and stay connected at Facebook.com/WawaWelcomeAmerica,
or follow the festival on Twitter and Instagram (@July4thPhilly).

Road Closures

Many areas across the city including
streets near Independence Mall and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be
impacted by Wawa Welcome America! activities. Expect delays. Motorists
are advised to use alternate routes, avoid areas near Wawa Welcome America!
activities, allow for extra driving time and proceed with caution near
these events. Due to increased activity and security in both the areas
of the Parkway and historic district, parking and traffic regulations will
be strictly enforced. Many roads adjacent to event sites will be posted
with no-parking signage for the general public. The following are the scheduled
road closures: 

Friday, July 3 – Liberty Block
Party in Independence Mall area

and 6th streets, between Market and Chestnut streets, will be
closed to vehicular traffic, from 9:30 a.m. until midnight.

Street, between 5th and 6th streets, will be closed
to vehicular traffic, from 9:30 a.m. on July 3d through Saturday,
July 4th at 5 p.m.

Friday, July 3 – Preparation
for the July 4th concert and fireworks in Ben Franklin Parkway

inbound inner lanes of the Parkway will be closed July 3 from 9:30 a.m.
through 5 a.m. on Sunday, July 5

outbound inner lanes of the Parkway will be closed to vehicular traffic,
from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., for set-up related to the concert. The outbound
lanes will open, from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., for evening rush, and then
close, from 6:30 p.m. on July 3 to 5 a.m. on July 5.

outer lanes of the Parkway will be open to vehicular traffic throughout
the day.

Saturday, July 4 – Celebration
of Freedom Ceremony and Parade in Independence Mall area

Street, between 5th and 6th streets, will be closed
to vehicular traffic, from 9:30 a.m. on July 3rd through Saturday,
July 4th at 5 p.m.

following closures will be in effect related to the parade (all times are

–        From
5 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Chestnut Street, 5th to Front streets;
3rd Street, from Chestnut to Walnut streets, and on 4th Street, from Market
to Chestnut streets.

–        From
10:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Chestnut Street, from 6th to 9th
streets; 9th Street, from Chestnut to Market streets and Market
Street, from 9th to Front streets; 5th Street, from
Arch to Walnut streets; 4th Street, from Arch to Walnut streets;
3rd Street, from Walnut to Arch streets; 8th Street,
from Arch to Walnut streets; 7th Street, from Walnut to Arch
streets; 6th Street, from Arch to Chestnut streets; 2nd
Street, from Walnut to Arch streets; Strawberry Street, from Market to
Chestnut streets, and Bank Street, from Market to Chestnut streets.

–        From
11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Front Street, Dock Street, Arch Street and  

the Chestnut Street viaduct, from
Front to Market streets.

–        The
remainder of Chestnut Street and the entire parade route will be closed
to vehicular traffic prior to the parade, beginning at about 10 a.m., until
after the parade concludes. All streets affected by the parade will be
cleaned before being re-opened to vehicular traffic.  

Saturday, July 4 – Philly 4th
of July Jam concert & Grand Finale Fireworks in the Benjamin Franklin
Parkway area

limited-access perimeter (event participants and residents only) will be
established on July 4th –from 18th Street to 25th
Street — and on Race Street to Pennsylvania Avenue, from 5 a.m. to midnight.

entire width of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be closed to vehicular
traffic, from 5 a.m. to midnight.

Parkway, from 20th to 25th streets, will be closed for extensive cleanup
overnight until about

5 a.m. on Sunday, July 5th.

All streets affected by the closures
are scheduled to be reopened in the Parkway vicinity by 6 a.m. on Sunday,
July 5th

Public Transit

City officials urge the public to
either walk to the events or take SEPTA. Public transportation is an easy
way to get in and out of Center City. SEPTA will add service on July 4th
in Center City and expand operations before and after events to accommodate
holiday travelers. SEPTA Transit Service, including its bus trolley and
subway service, will operate on a Sunday schedule, while Regional Rail
will run on a Saturday schedule on both Friday, July 3 and Saturday, July
4. On Saturday, service will be added on many lines to accommodate travelers
heading to and from events in Center City.

Planned service changes include:

Frankford and Broad Street Lines: Additional trains will be added on each
line beginning at 4 p.m. Saturday, providing service every 5 to 7 minutes
through 1 a.m. on Sunday. Regular weekend “Night Owl” rail service will
be effect throughout the holiday weekend, providing trains every 20 minutes
until 5 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. 15th Street Station on the Market-Frankford
Line and City Hall and Race-Vine Stations on the Broad Street Line provide
easy walking access to and from the Parkway.

Rail: SEPTA will extend Regional Rail service for riders leaving Center
City on Saturday night after the fireworks display on the Parkway. Eighteen
trains will depart from Suburban Station between 11:30 p.m. and 2:30 a.m.
Individual line schedules have been posted at most stations and online
at http://septa.org/events/holiday.html

Additional trips on Routes 10, 11, 13, 34 and 36 will be added on Saturday
evening headed to Center City before the concert and fireworks show on
the Parkway, with additional trolleys departing Center City on each line
after Parkway events end.

Riders should be on alert for detours in and around Center City that will
begin as early as 6:00 a.m. on Saturday. Fifteen lines will be affected
including Routes 5, 7, 9, 17, 21, 32, 33, 38, 42, 43, 44, 47, 48, 57 and
61. These detours will remain in place until well after events on the Parkway
have ended. Specific line-by-line changes have been posted on the System
Status page of www.septa.org.
After the fireworks show on the Parkway ends, additional bus service leaving
Center City will be added on some bus routes as needed.

For those traveling into Center City
for the day, SEPTA’s Independence Pass may be an ideal fare option. It
provides unlimited one-day travel on SEPTA services ($12 for an individual
pass; $29 for a family of up to five people traveling together). For more
information and sales locations for the Independence Pass, visit: http://www.septa.org/fares/pass/independence.html

Check service schedules and surface
bus detours posted online at http://septa.org/events/holiday.html.
 Passengers are urged to buy fares in advance. Complete service
information is available on SEPTA’s website,
at 215-580-7800, or on Twitter

information on NJTransit routes and schedules on July 4 th,
visit www.njtransit.org

PHLASH Trolley

The Philly PHLASH Downtown Bus Loop
will operate on July 4th, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. PHLASH is a
quick and easy way to get to local attractions and cultural institutions
— with 22 stops every 15 minutes ($2 per ride or all day for $5). Riders
can buy tickets on the bus (with exact change) or at any Visitor Center
location. For more information on holiday route detours and schedules,
call 800-537-7676 or find PHLASH on-the-go with live updates on your mobile
device at RidePhillyPHLASH.com (http://ridephillyphlash.com/).

Parking Information

For-pay parking lots and garages conveniently
are located on or near the Parkway. Call individual facilities ahead for
parking options, prices and availability, or visit the
Philadelphia Parking Authority
website for information on some of these parking facilities at http://philapark.org/.
In the historic district, there
are many options including the AutoPark garage underneath the Independence
Visitor Center at 5th
and 6th streets, between Market and Arch streets:

Venue Rules and Public Safety

The vicinity of the Parkway and concert
(a boundary from at least 20th & the Parkway to the Art
Museum, and adjacent areas), will be firmly secured and protected for maximum
public safety. Throughout July 4th, the city will provide a
strong presence of law enforcement and emergency medical services. The
City and Welcome America! will utilize a network of local, state and federal
prevention and response services, which will be integrated, mobile and
in constant communication.

The public can do their part by using
common sense. If you are attending the July 4th activities,
make a plan regarding driving, public transit, parking, supervision of
children and wearing comfortable attire.

To ensure a fun and safe festival
experience, City officials are urging the pubic to refrain from bringing
alcohol, coolers, open containers or cooking equipment. Barbecuing on the
Parkway, contraband and illegal substances (firearms or fireworks) are
absolutely prohibited.

Spectators are strongly discouraged
from carrying bags, backpacks, or satchels of any kind. However, if you
do so, please bring only clear bags and clear containers.

Absolutely leave no bags or items

In emergencies or to report a suspicious
person, activity or item (a backpack, package, or container), notify a
police officer immediately or call 9-1-1.  Do not try to open, move,
cover or touch a suspicious item.

Take missing or lost persons, including
children, to the tent at 23rd Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
on the north side.


Lost and Found (unsuspicious) items
can be taken to various Information Tents along the Parkway.


Reality: Aviva Drescher in Philly; Ed Sheeran with Fans & July 4th Fashionable Peeps

This Would Have Been Great TV if filmed for the Real Housewives of New York:

You might have read in Molly Eichel’s column and AD Amorosi’s column about the reality show star who came to town and wreaked havoc. What happened was Avida Drescher and family wanted to come to Philly to experience July 4th in our fair City. She had her publicist call ahead of time to see what they could see, where they should go, eat etc.

Their publicist Matt Dillon did exactly what a publicist is supposed to do, create a great experience for the least about of headaches; except he over committed and disappointed a few PR people by canceling at the last minute for at least three visits to prearranged places. And this was July 4th weekend so many of the people they were to meet had been on vacation and changed their plans.

Reid Drescher and Aviva Drescher are seen leaving Treemont restaurant in Philadelphia, PA

I knew they were coming to town as a PR person tipped me off and I rearranged my weekend to get a shot of them at a high end spa on Sunday. Why did I do it, I love what I do, I love journaling it and I love sharing it. It’s what I do, but I was sad they weren’t going to the spa or making cheesesteaks with an owner.

I do understand they have kids and kids are driving the bus. After a day at Sesame Place on Saturday, the kids were pretty wiped out, and two events the Drescher’s canceled were booked for Sunday. They also canceled one on Thursday.

Sunday I got a call from The Dreschers to meet them
at the Monaco Hotel, where they stayed for the weekend. (I asked them to pose outside.)

I met Reid, Aviva, and children Hudson, and Sienna in the lobby where they were
playing with the items in the Kidz Corner.  Friday they went to the historic sites, and then had dinner at
Pizzaria Stella near South Street (They told me the area reminded them of
Brooklyn.) Afterwards they went to the Franklin Fountain in Old City. Saturday
they went to Sesame Place. That evening Aviva made an appearance an appearance at
ICandy to the delight of her gay fans who posted lots of pixs on Instagram (that appearance happened when Matt ran into someone at Treemont who took him on a tour of Philly Gay Bars and he was able to book an appearance there. Pretty darn  lucrative.)  Sunday it was breakfast at Red Owl
Tavern at Hotel Monaco. Aviva told me she enjoyed doing the Real Housewives
series, even with all its drama because it’s allowed her a greater reach in
helping others through her philanthropic work as the
National Spokesperson for One Step Ahead and other organizations helping


Ed Sheeran performs a private concert at Q102

Ginger’s rule

This fan came all the way from Texas to meet Ed Sheeran. She won a radio contest call in at Q102, as did everyone in the audience. Ed just took a selfie and a selfie with the audience with her phone. Later he and Q102 retweeted it.
Fans who didn’t win the radio contest, but waited outside for a chance to meet Ed Sheeran. Usually when the crowd is this large a celeb will go out a side door, and he did.
Rocco from Q102. Did you know he co-owns the healthy Fuel eateries around town?

Ed Sheeran fans who got an autographed photo, and a photo with Ed, which can be found on the Q102 website.

I shot Nicki Minaj leaving the Ritz-Hotel. She was make-up free, friendly and sexy

The shots appeared in PhillyMag, Molly Eichel’s Philly Gossip, The UK Daily Mail and several other outlets.

 Ran all the way from the Ritz to the Four Season and nearly beat Nicki Minaj who drove.

 Waiting for the celebs at the Four Seasons

David Henry getting ready to go on the air for 6ABC

Christina and Christopher in the media section at Jam on the Parkway

 Moon Man

 Thanks for your support of PhillyChitChat


Teen Philadelphia 2014 Carlye Zeringue and Miss
Philadelphia 2014 Diamond Edmonds

year I see this family set up their tent in front of my apartment building.
This year
they went all out and brought serious seating to watch the concert on the TV,
then peek out from the tent to watch the fireworks which are shot off across
the street.

My girls at our July 4th Party: Allison Smith, Stacey Kracher, Christie Honigman and Kristin Detterline

YOLO – This is why I moved to the Philadelphian!!


Philly Fourth of July Instagram Pictures 2014 – And PCC 7th Anniversary Note!

Happy 7 year anniversary to my blog, PhillyChitChat. Boy have things changed. I started PCC to write about tidbits, charity events and celebrities that came to town. I had a full time job as a Paralegal, a P/T job as a celebrity photographer in NYC and still wanted something to do on the side that reflected what was going on in Philly. Thanks to my buddy Simon Curtis who coined PhillyChitChat on 7/4/07, as he and his wife visited Mike and I in Philly. Simon and I had become friends while shooting celebs in NYC. I had a blog devoted to that subject “Confessions of a Paparazzi”, but that title wasn’t descriptive enough for what I wanted to do in Philly as there were very little celebrities here. PhillyChitChat was perfect to cover all the topics I wanted to – people, events, random tidbits like what another bank on a corner property and celebrities that made their way through town.

And here we are today: I do this as a full time gig, I contribute to PhillyMag, Philly.com, Philly Daily News, NBC Philadelphia and appear on Fox 29’s morning show (In the fall I’ll be appearing weekly chatting about all the parties I attend not just the celebrity events.) I have an amazing outlet where I mini blog Twitter – 

– it’s like my Lifestyle Blog on Philly, I tell you what’s hot, and what’s happening. I tweet entirely too much. I cover the subjects I used to cover on PCC. Then there’s Instagram – another great lifestyle, fashion blog outlet. So fun – follow me http://instagram.com/phillychitchat Then there’s you, my very loyal readers here, and everywhere. Thank you so much for your support; your kind words when I meet you and your feedback. Thanks HughE PS As usual this was a stream of consciousness, having never taken a journalistic class it’s the only way I know how to write. Thanks to my editors that make me seem so professional.

 Hoda spent her weekend in Rehobeth. She also had a book signing. I see she has a few fillings too. Good for her. I feel connected. (PS I have to have an tooth implant. How painful is that besides to the wallet?)
 Alexander Hankin styling it in Minnesota

 Justin Pizzi, Marisa Magnatta, Nicole Michalik, Adam Joseph, and
Joe McCollum who then hit up Bey & Jay the next night.

 Miss Philadelphia – Diamond Edmonds with GoGo Morrow
 Rapper Ryan Banks on the Parkway with his baby girl
 Jennifer Hudson in Philly
 Stacey Kracher at our annual party (taken by Christie Honigman)

 Fireworks from the Schuylkill River Park
 Kendra is now in Hotlanta and still looking hot.


 Happy Birthday Joan. He and Matt were at our party too.
 Zach Lashway was in NYC for the Fourth
Philly’s DJ Aktive working the tables for JHud
 I prefer chocolate jimmies
 Fireworks from the right side of the parkway

 Kate, Michelle and Rachel

 Earlier in the day Amber sent a message to all her FB friends, don’t be alone on July 4th. Come to the party. It was nice. So often we are alone when people think we’re busy.

 Sabir Peele rocking his cell phone board shorts on the beach
 amazing shot from condo’s along the Schuylkill from Susan Pincus
Love this shot from Al Lee – Mr. Philadelphia
 Wawa was a genius with their marketing, I saw everyone with this hat on.
Aviva Drescher from the Real Housewives of NYC was in town. I kept tabs on her, but unfortunately I didn’t get a shot of her in this awesome outfit. Here she is with her publicist Matt Dillon (no relation to me)

July 4th Street Closures in Philadelphia 2013

Wawa Welcome America July 4th Independence Day Parade Street Closures

Old City Area

Welcome America July 4th Independence Day Parade
July 4th, 2013

Start Time: 11:00AM (5th & Chestnut Streets) End Time: 1:30PM (Front & Chestnut Streets)

Route: WB on Chestnut Street to 9th Street; NB on 9th Street to Market
Street; EB on Market Street to Front Street; SB on Front Street to
Chestnut Street; End & Disperse
“No Parking” Areas
Parking will not be permitted on July 4th from 6AM to 2:30PM on the following streets:
– Chestnut Street from 5th Street to Front Street (Both Sides)
– 5th Street from Market Street to Walnut Street (Both Sides)
– 4th Street from Market Street to Chestnut Street (West Side Only)
– Front Street from Market Street to Dock Street (Both Sides)
– Chestnut Street Viaduct
Parking will not be permitted on July 4th from 9AM to 2PM on the following streets:
– Chestnut Street from 6th Street to 9th Street (Both Sides)
– 9th Street from Market Street to Chestnut Street (Both Sides)
– Market Street from 9th Street to Front Street (Both Sides)
Street Closures
Beginning @ 6AM
– 5th Street from Walnut Street to Market Street
– Ranstead Street from 4th Street to 5th Street
– Ludlow Street from 4th Street to 5th Street
Beginning @ 7AM
– Chestnut Street from Front Street to 2nd Street
– Chestnut Street from 2nd Street to 3rd Street
– Chestnut Street from 3rd Street to 4th Street
– Chestnut Street from 4th Street to 5th Street
– Chestnut Street from 5th Street to 6th Street

Beginning @ 10:45AM
– Chestnut Street from 9th Street to 6th Street
– Ranstead Street from 9th Street to 6th Street
– 9th Street from Chestnut to Market Street
– Market Street from 9th Street to Front Street
– 8th Street from Arch Street to Walnut Street
– 7th Street from Arch Street to Walnut Street
– 6th Street from Arch Street to Chestnut Street
– 5th Street from Arch Street to Market Street
– Front Street from Arch Street to Dock Street
– 4th Street from Arch Street to Walnut Street
– 3rd Street from Arch Street to Walnut Street
– 2nd Street from Arch Street to Walnut Street
– Strawberry Street from Market Street to Chestnut Street
– Bank Street from Market Street to Chestnut Street

Please note that, in addition to the closures listed, Chestnut Street
will be closed between 5th Street & 6th Street at times on July 2nd
and July 3rd for the Pops on Independence Concert. See times below:
07/02: – 9:30am-3pm and – 7pm-11:59pm
07/03: – 9:30am-11:59pm
07/04 – 12am-5pm

The Art Museum Area

There will be no parking enforced from 7:00 PM July 3, 2012, to 7:00 AM on July 5, 2012 at the following locations:
2200-2900 Blocks of Pennsylvania Avenue-South Side Only
2300-2400 Blocks of Fairmount Avenue
20th Street from Callowhill South to Spring Garden
21st Street from Pennsylvania North to Spring Garden
2100-1900 Block of Hamilton Street
23rd Spring Garden to Broad Streets
1600-2000 Block of Arch Street
1500-1700 Block of J.F.K.
Pennsylvania Avenue south side must remain clear to prevent potential gridlock during the concert and fireworks.

The following street closures will be in effect at 4:00 PM on July 4, 2012:
Fairmount closes to westbound traffic at Corinthian, and will be diverted Northbound onto Corinthian.
15th, 17th, 19th, and 21st Streets will be closed to Southbound
traffic at Spring Garden and diverted Eastbound onto Spring Garden
toward Broad Street. (If you live in this area, you have to produce ID to prove it. If you’re going to a party, I believe they make you park outside the zone.)
Spring Garden Street will be closed to Westbound traffic at Broad
Street.  Callowhill Street will be closed to Westbound traffic at Broad
Hamilton Street will be closed to westbound traffic at 17th Street.
29th Southbound will be shut down at Poplar Street and will be diverted onto Poplar Street, East Bound or Westbound.
 SEPTA Public Transportation Information

July 4

subway will run until 12:30 A.M. on July 5.

will run on its usual schedule of 24 hours/day at 15 minute intervals.

Regional Rain will run to all 12 destinations.

will depart from Suburban Station between 11:30 A.M. and midnight.

departing times will be advertised in Suburban Station.  

buses will be staged on 20th and 21st streets.


Philadelphia JULY 4TH FIREWORKS from the Philadelphian re: dreaming of John Legend

It’s not lost on me how important this day is to our country, The crowds at 8PM, it’s begining to rain, but that doesn’t stop them. Mike and I have this party every year; we keep the invites to a minumum mostly because it’s a difficult to park in this area as we are at ground zero fireworks. But the worse part of the whole night is leaving, so the invite list is limited to people who live in Center City. The snipers take position on the roof of the Philadelphian, residents gather on their balconies, let the festivities begin.
I love catching the parade. Thanks to Southwest Airlines for sponsoring it.
Night falls and our guests begin to arrive at Mike’s moms house, every year she is nice enough to vacate her place and settle into our place so we can have a shindig.
Although Rick lives “in the front” of the building, we’re glad he stops by our place. Rick is a former writer for the soap “Another World” and several other TV shows. A few years back moved down her from, where else, NYC. I’m not even going to mention the Sixth Borough thing, I know how people hate that term, almost as much as “Staycation”, another term I love. The two Jeff’s stop by. Separated at birth united by love.

Laura Burkhardt was a pleasant surprise stopping up for a few moments on her was to her VIP seats to see John Legend. She was nice enough to take Bob along with her to enjoy the concert. Which I watched on TV, dry, but not as up close as Laura and Bob would scream to me.
They made it back just in time to enjoy the fireworks from the balcony with tall tales and merriment

Congress led the way for the encouragement of fireworks on the Fourth of July by authorizing a display on July 4, 1777, in Philadelphia, a year after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. “At night there was a grand exhibition of fireworks, which began and concluded with thirteen rockets on the commons. Another colorful display took place in Philadelphia on July 4, 1779: “In the evening a sett [sic] of brilliant fireworks were exhibited, particularly excellent rockets, which, after ascending to an amazing height in the air, burst, and displayed thirteen stars.” http://gurukul.american.edu/heintze/fireworks.htmThe first fireworks in Boston took place on July 4, 1777. A newspaper reported: “In the evening Col. Crafts illuminated his park on the commons, threw several shells, and exhibited a number of fireworks.” Boston had another display in 1779 when thirteen rockets were fired. Congratulations to Carrie Nork and Dino Minelli who were married on July 5, 2008The Jeff’s had a blast David Perkiss, the man of the moment, Matthew Vlahos; behind him is Steven Tyson and his beau Ben visiting Pittsburgh Bob still glowing about John Legend

Laura enjoying the party glow stick I handed out to my guests
Sometimes I wish I could invite the whole city up to see the fireworks from the balcony. They are so right there, and it’s an amazing view.
Thanks for coming everyone, see you next year, er well some of you tomorrow night.

John Legend in concert

The fireworks finale


PHILADELPHIA FIREWORKS RAIN OR SHINE July 4th says City Representative Melanie Johnson

But before we get to that, on Thursday as part of the http://www.americasbirthday.com/ celebration the Ben Franklin Parkway played host once again to a “Fiesta on the Parkway”

I was there about 3PM when the event began as my Firm closed early for the July 4th Holiday )Thanks Joe), but I could see that in a few hours kids of all ages would enjoy lots of things to do andeatdolisten and dance but as I made my way down the Parkway I saw something new this year it was NBA on the Parkway?? It is a new day, where did that come from, was it on the schedule? I’ll look… “What’s more, the NBA Nation Presented by SPRITE tour bus will roll into Philly with interactive games, videos of the 50 greatest NBA plays and other hands-on activities. ” Yep there it was, as part of the Fiesta on the Parkway. Guess they weren’t going for any world record line dances this year, but these kids were breakdancing, do they still call it that?
but I was entertain by this. Lots of in the air dunks.
There was also an exhibit where you could compare your arm length to a few NBA players

or put your feet in their foot prints. Beverly was kind enough to try out Kobe Bryant’s SIZE 14 for me.
Then I made my way over to the stage on the Art Museum steps where the staging area was just about complete.

it seemed like only yesterday, er Tuesday when that they started putting it together. If you want to catch John Legend rehearsing for the big concert tonight, stop by about NOON, that’s when they usually run through the event.Breaking News: Here’s the new 2008, new administration logo on which the parade participants will stop and perform tonight. Gosh I hope it doesn’t rain again this year.
Promising to avoid a repeat of last year’s fireworks fiasco, City Representative Melanie Johnson said Philadelphia’s holiday display will go off rain or shine tomorrow night – on time, or with plenty of notice if there will be a delay.
The fireworks are set to begin at 11 over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Last year, with the threat of rain and lightning, those gathered on the Parkway waiting for the display were told to go home because the 10:45 p.m. show was canceled. About 40 minutes later, after the crowd dispersed, the fireworks began.
This year, the fireworks are set to begin after the R&B singer John Legend ends his set and leaves the stage.
But once again, the forecast threatens showers and thunderstorms, which could last throughout the weekend.
“Rain won’t stop us,” says Johnson. “The only thing that will delay the fireworks is if the weather is severe.”
And if that happens, Johnson promised to put the public announcement system to good use.
The Sunoco Sweet Sounds of Liberty Concert and Fireworks begins at 8:30 p.m. in front of the Art Museum with the sounds of Philly’s own Russell Tompkins Jr. and the New Stylistics, followed by Legend and ending in fireworks. (This will be my view again this year)


As far as parking is concern, take mass transit, or park in Center City and walk to the BF Parkway. Even if you did find parking, leaving after the event is a nightmare. (Update re: Parking: http://www.phillyblog.com/philly/fairmount-art-museum-brewerytown/20217-traffic-parking-4th-fairmount-ave.html has a good rundown of years past and parking on July 4th)
Happy Fourth of July, be safe and Happy Anniversary to my blog – 1 Year Old today!! (Almost 100ks hits in a year, pretty darn good for a blog I didn’t promote enough; this year that will all change)

PHILADELPHIA STRONGMAN COMPETITION 2008 re: photos of really big guys I wouldn’t want to piss off

Strong·man (strôngmn) n.: an intense sport of which the modern derivation is a direct descendent of the Scottish and Icelandic/Scandinavian test of manhood. A typical strongman competition is a test of strength, endurance, ingenuity and heart. It consists of events adopted from traditional Scottish Highland Games, variations of powerlifting, Olympic lifting and just plain “crazy” events such as the rope and harness truck pull.

As part of the Sunoco Welcome America Celebration, a Strongman Competition was held at Eakins Oval in front of the Art Museum on Saturday and Sunday.

A nice sized crowd came out to watch in the summer heat to see the Strongmen
Food of the champions, Little Ceasar pizza, yum and lots and lots of water
Gerard Benderoth who won yesterday’s competition resting before the competition
” Farmer’s Walk – Competitors carry heavy objects weighing from 275-400 lbs in each hand for a set distance, and compete for the fastest time. A variation involves use of a heavy frame with parallel handles” In this instance this contraption weighed 800lbs. Gerard Benderoth

Gerard Benderoth

Gerard Benderoth, Philadelphia City Hall and the World Flags along Ben Franklin Parkway. The flags represent countries that are members of the United Nation.
Phil Pfister, who was the Met-Rx World’s Strongest Man in 2006.
When Pfister won the title, he pocketed a cool $41,000 grand prize and became the first American to win the crown since Bill Kazmaier won his third-straight strongman title in 1982. The prize money supplemented what Pfister already receives from working as a firefighter in West Virginia, where he lives with his family.

When I read that the Strongman competition “is a direct descendent of the Scottish”, it explained why this guy was wearing a kilt, especially on this 90F day. – It takes about a dozen guys, strength and rope to move the 800lb weight back into place.
If he was Britney Spears, this photo would be worth a pretty penny. I guess guys do wear something under their kilts.
It takes about 4 guys to move the anvil back. I have no idea how much it weighs, but I wouldn’t lift it.

I do not know who this guy was, anyone know? Update: Thanks to my commentor who tells me it’s Josh Thigpen but after the three guys before him couldn’t go more than 5 feet with the 800lbs of hell, he completed the course

grabbed the anvil dumped it
Josh Thigpen made a beeline
over the fence

high fives along the crowd
finishing with the Marine hi five then he ripped off his shirt
and lifted a girl, probably his girlfriend. Yes the testostorone was flowing at Eakins Oval, which would have made Eakins happy.
I have to say that I love the 10 day July Fourth celebration – America’s Birthday – that Philadelphia puts on. I look forward to it every year as I enjoy the festivities, the people, the red, white and blue, the concerts and most importantly the FIREWORKS. I have to admit that no matter where I have lived in Philadelphia, I always have to had to have a view of either the Art Museum or Penns Landing so I could have a party and celebrate Fourth of July. For the past 7 years I have both views, granted PL is a mile away buy I can still enjoy those, the Art Museum, well that’s my front yard. I always wait in anticipation for the announcement of who is going to be the headline act at the July 4th – This Year it’s John Legend, who I really enjoy, but more importantly from a celebrity photographer stance he’s always been terrific and always gives a good shot. I just saw him last week at the Songwriters Hall of Fame Awards in NYC and took this shot; plus chatted with him about his performance. He’s really looking forward to performing here, but he’s not having a cheesesteak because they are too fattening. Wanted to know if anyone sells turkey cheesesteaks, thinks they have less calories. http://www.americasbirthday.com/calendar.asp