Colonial reenactors young and old are in the Independence Day spirit at the National Constitution Center. Photo provided
All-American Celebration and 1776 Experience Through Sunday Constitution Center 525 Arch St. $13-$15, 215-409-6600 www.constitutioncenter.org The Constitution Center has a variety of events in store this weekend, including authentic Colonial music concerts, Founding Father impersonators, a recreated Revolutionary War encampment with demonstrations of military muster, the medicine of the era and crafts, edu-taining kid’s activities, an Independence Day show giving you the historical rundown and a lesson on proper flag etiquette.
POPS! On Independence Thursday, 8 p.m. Outside Independence Hall Sixth and Chestnut streets Free www.welcomeamerica.com Pull up a blanket, plop down on the grass and enjoy a free outdoor concert of patriotic music from the Philly POPS, featuring guest soloist Capathia Jenkins, a singer known for her work on Broadway as well as her Bacharach/David renditions, among other things. Fun fact: the Philly POPS are the largest standalone pops orchestra in America — and they’re all ours, Philly!
Party on the Parkway Friday, noon to 7 p.m. Ben Franklin Pkwy. Between 20th Street and Eakins Oval Free www.welcomeamerica.com The big names are of course saved for the Philly 4th of July Jam in the evening with The Roots, Nicki Minaj, Ed Sheeran and more, but the Parkway will already have already been bouncin’ all day long, with multiple music stages, activities and vendors to keep you stoked from high noon to sundown. Stick around for the concert and fireworks.
America’s Birthday Party Friday, 1 p.m. Independence Visitor Center Sixth and Market streets Free, 800-537-7676 www.phlvisitorcenter.com Rarely is history so delicious. A woman claiming to be Betsy Ross (please suspend your disbelief) will present a giant American flag made out of cupcakes — the world’s largest, we’re told — courtesy of Termini Bros. Bakery, but baked to Betsy’s specifications, of course. And everyone gets a piece, because this is America and in America there are cupcakes for everyone.
Pig out for a good cause at the SuperScooper ice cream festival. Photo provided
All-You-Can-Eat SuperScooper Friday through Sunday Penn’s Landing Walnut St. and Columbus Blvd. $7, 856-310-5674 www.jkf.org This annual Wawa Welcome America! smorgasbord of ice cream and water ice has offerings from some of the best, including Haagen-Dazs, Ben and Jerry's, Good Humor-Breyers, Turkey Hill, Philadelphia Water Ice Company, Friendly's, Rosati Italian Water Ice and many more just too delicious to ignore. Proceeds go to the Joshua Kahan Fund to support kids with leukemia.
Independence Day Regatta Friday through Sunday Boathouse Row 1 Boathouse Row Free www.independencedayregatta.com This massive rowing competition consists of a variety of different races in men’s, women’s and mixed groups. It’s been held at this time of year since its inception in 1880, when it was known as “The People’s Regatta” — a name it retained until 1958, apparently behooved during the Cold War to switch to something less Marxist-sounding.
Ooh and ahh at fireworks from the Battleship New Jersey. Photo provided
Battleship New Jersey Fireworks Viewing Saturday, 7 p.m. Battleship New Jersey 62 Battleship Pl., Camden $10, 866-877-6262 battleshipnewjersey.ticketleap.com Viewing Fourth of July fireworks from the deck of a ship that actually fought for America on far-off seas will bring out the patriotic in you. Plus, on the pier you’ve got surf rock band the Hypersonics playing awesome tunes, and for kids there’s the Philadelphia Zoo on Wheels petting zoo and face painting.
Independence Day Fireworks Extravaganza Cruise Saturday, 7 p.m. The Ben Franklin Yacht Pier 24, 401 N. Columbus Blvd. $65, 21-plus, 215-629-8687 benfranklinyacht.ticketleap.com If we were Ben Franklin, this is how we’d watch the fireworks — from the deck of a boat named after us, with a dance party and an all-out barbecue dinner to boot. After all, didn’t Ben Franklin say “Verily, You cannot be called famous before You’ve a Yacht named in Your Honour?” Probably not, but still, he could’ve said it.
U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” and Fireworks Saturday, 8 p.m. Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing Columbus Blvd. and Chestnut St. Free, 215-629-3200 www.delawareriverwaterfront.com If pop and hip-hop lineup of the 4th of July Jam isn’t to your tastes, a decidedly more traditional sort of Independence Day concert takes place July 5 at Penn’s Landing with the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” — a highly distinguished ensemble with a history dating back to 1922. The Adventure Aquarium Waterfront fireworks celebration follows.
Colin Quinn: ‘Unconstitutional’ Through Sunday Suzanne Roberts Theater 480 S. Broad St. $18-$54, 215-985-0420 www.philadelphiatheatrecompany.com Comedian Colin Quinn, best known for his stint as the “Weekend Update” anchor on “Saturday Night Live,” performs an evening of stand-up running through the history of the Constitution and its amendments, and reflecting on a present popular culture he thinks might have embarrassed the Founders a little — which doesn’t seem like a wild speculation to make.