PHILADELPHIA, Pa.—Welcome America, Philadelphia’s annual week of celebrations leading up to Independence Day, has been sponsored by Wawa stores for the past several years. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s event will be virtual, celebration organizers report.
The 2020 festival runs seven days—Sunday, June 28 through Saturday, July 4. It will be entirely free and totally virtual, encompassing multicultural and multigenerational programming and highlighting Philadelphia’s diverse voices.
The event usually includes Wawa’s hoagie giveaway on Independence Mall, but this year, COVID-19 precautions have squashed that. Instead, to mark its 28-year tradition, Wawa announced that all 900 Wawa locations will participate in Wawa Hoagie Day on Wednesday, July 1. Store teams will build more than 45,000 hoagies to donate to local community heroes and organizations, including Philabundance, first responders, health-care heroes the USO and more.
Philadelphia’s Welcome America family-friendly programming will focus on arts, culture, education, wellness, history and performance. The extensive program includes an almost non-stop schedule of concerts, online educational activities, behind-the-scenes experiences, cooking demonstrations, at-home crafts, virtual museum tours and more. Viewers will have a front-row seat from the comfort of their own homes. The complete program is available online.