Welcome America


Scenes From Patti LaBelle Way Ceremony – Boyz II Men repped in the house…

The legendary Patti LaBelle was honored with the renaming of the 200 block of Broad Street yesterday in her honor – Patti LaBelle Way….

Hey there’s Joe Cox, who’s running for City Council at Large, in the pink hair. His flyer says he’s not taking any oil donations.

Another legend in radio Dyana Williams, (r) who is heading back to the airwaves full time on Monday, July 15. She will host the afternoon drive from 3 to 7 p.m. on Classix 107.9 FM, Monday through Thursday, while continuing Soulful Sundays show on WRNB-FM (100.3) with Derrick Sampson . Congrats Dyana!! More on the good news on Inquirer.com

Garces Events. How clever veggies in a “tool box.”
Ric Harris President and General Manager of NBC10 Philadelphia with Little BigSister Band and WanMor Band (Boyz II Men member, Wanya Morris, has formed his own singing group that consists of his four sons!)
Patti poses with the Kimmel Show Stopper Singers!! Congrats Miss Patti, who is getting recognized for her talents, contributions and creating beautiful music for the world. See you on July 4th for the ceremonies (BTW it’s the first time I’m attending as I usually head to the SNJ small towns to photograph their cute parades.) Then catch Patti LaBelle at Parx Casino next Friday July 12!! You know where I’ll be, and it’ll be my 19th show.

The Best Fourth of July Fashion on the Parkway July 4th

Happy day after Fourth of July. I’m so beat, as you probably are as well. If you’re not there’s always SIPS tonight. Thank you City of Philadelphia, Jeff Guaracino and his team from Wawa Welcome America, Melanie Sole, Cashman & Associates, as well as Philly’s Special Events office for planning and excuting an amazing event, with a lot of consideration on the set up of the Parkway. I’ve lived on the Parkway for years, and this was the best set up, and viewing of stage and fireworks ever. I felt safe, yet not trapped or burdened by blockage. The security guards were well trained, and very nice. After the rain some of the people in the front VIP section left, and the security allowed the folks in the back to move into those sections.  It was a great time despite mother nature’s dampness. Every year I like to run a column of fashion standouts. This year more than ever, did people dress up in their Red, White & Blue. Let’s see some of my favorites….

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Thank you to all volunteers. Here are two from the Red Cross. HD1_2236 (Custom)

Not R/W/B but the best sunblockFourth
Awesome, and on a mission

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PerfectHD1_2248 (Custom)
Love her hatFourth
Can’t go wrong with those socks

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OK not in r/w/b at all, but she’s straight up Paula Abdul and she posed for me in the Visit Philly tent.

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Not in red/white/blue but a stellar dresser

I ran into this family a couple of times yesterday, they were dressed perfectly for family day. They told me their sons even had a football
catch with the police officers nearby.


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Robin Younger, Meryl Levitz, Visit Philly (Thanks for the hospitably last night) and Patty Jackson, the legend from WDAS

Monica Lewis, I love this dress. HD1_2299 (Custom)

Poor Hugo it was so hot yesterday,
but his steaks are delicious at Hugo’s Frog Bar & Chop House at SugarHouse – I just ate there last weekHD1_2411 (Custom)


Even in the pouring rain she was a standout


I see those glitter glasses Mary J Blige


We have a winner. This is the outfit of the day.
Happy 5th of July


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.