PHILADELPHIA, June 14 /PRNewswire/ — Really, where better to celebrate America's birthday than in the city where it all began?
New attractions throughout Independence Mall provide visitors with expanded access and unprecedented opportunities to mark the nation's anniversary. But visitors to Philadelphia this Fourth of July have the unique opportunity to witness history revealed first hand.
An archaeological dig taking place at the soon-to-be-constructed President's House Commemorative Site, which will mark the location of the nation's former Executive Mansion and honor the enslaved people held there by President George Washington, continues to uncover artifacts from the location.
The dig has surprised even some historians by turning up evidence of the enslaved Africans who lived and worked there. Located by the Liberty Bell Center and Independence Hall, the site offers a stark contrast between our nation's independence and the paradox of slavery. Currently, a public viewing platform, where archaeologists are available to answer questions, is open daily from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. through July 4, 2007.
Not only can visitors witness history uncovered in Philadelphia this Fourth of July, but they can also be a part of history. Sunoco Welcome America!, the week-long citywide birthday bash, is aiming to earn a Guinness World Record for the number of dancers performing the salsa at once during the annual Salsa con Salsa on July 3, 2007. More than 400 local dance studios are offering free salsa classes to participants in advance of the choreographed event.
Here's a look at just some of the many activities taking place in Philly over the Fourth:
-- Six Days of the Fourth — The Independence Visitor Center celebrates America's independence with activities before and after the big day. For a behind-the-scenes look at what went on with the Founding Fathers, a Breakfast With Ben provides all the details. Hear Ye! Hear Ye! takes the action outside where Colonial characters read the Declaration of Independence while fifes and drums play in the background. June 28-July 4. 6th & Market Streets, (215) 925-6101, http://www.independencevisitorcenter.com/
-- J Moss on the Gospel Stage — One of the best-loved contemporary gospel singers, J Moss, a former collaborator of R&B group Destiny's Child, enchants the ears of new and old gospel fans at the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing. June 29. Columbus Boulevard at Walnut Street, (800) 537-7676, http://www.americasbirthday.com/
-- Penn's Landing Party and Fireworks — Throughout the summer, Penn's Landing heritage festivals and outdoor film screenings draw crowds. But things really kick into high gear with family-friendly holiday events, including a gospel concert, All-You-Can-Eat Ice Cream Festival and the spectacular fireworks display that lights up the Delaware River. June 29-July 1. Columbus Boulevard at Walnut Street, (215) 922-2-FUN, http://www.pennslandingcorp.com/
-- Chaka Khan at Penn's Landing — The dynamic Grammy-winning R & B diva, Chaka Khan, dazzles audiences along the Delaware River with her solid gold hits. June 30. Columbus Boulevard at Walnut Street, (800) 537-7676, http://www.americasbirthday.com/
-- Family Fun Days at Franklin Square — As if the Philly Mini Golf, carousel rides and two spiffy new playgrounds aren't enough, Historic Philadelphia's newest attraction will be decked out in red, white and blue for a weekend of games, prizes, family entertainment and activities. June 30-July 1. 6th & Race Streets, (215) 629-4026, http://www.onceuponanation.org/
-- Taste of Philadelphia — During this outdoor celebration of the city's favorite foods, hungry visitors can sample specialties from dozens of restaurants that bring their culinary skills to this outdoor event. June 30-July 1. Independence Mall, (800) 537-7676, http://www.americasbirthday.com/
-- Independence Day Celebration — In the days leading up to the Fourth of July, the merriment at the National Constitution Center spills indoors and out with games, activities, fun, food and the Independence Day Show, featuring a cannon and a 13-gun salute. June 30-July 4. 525 Arch Street, (215) 409-6700, http://www.constitutioncenter.org/
-- Fiesta Goya on the Parkway "Salsa con Salsa" — Talented Latin singers will get the crowd moving with their lively and award-winning beats. July 3. 20th Street & the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (800) 537-7676, http://www.americasbirthday.com/
-- Pops on Independence Concert — As American as apple pie, Peter Nero & the Philly Pops entertain crowds with their lively renditions of patriotic tunes, all right in front of Independence Hall, no less. July 3. 5th & Chestnut Streets, (215) 629-4026, http://www.onceuponanation.org/
-- Let Freedom Ring — Usually silent, the Liberty Bell "rings" once a year during this ceremony in which a youthful descendent of one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence taps the Bell to remind the crowd of its message of freedom. July 4. Liberty Bell Center, 6th & Chestnut Streets, (800) 537-7676, http://www.americasbirthday.com/
-- Independence Day Ceremonies — Before the birthday parties begin, the city pays tribute to the men and women who declared independence, who fought for America's freedom and who, for centuries defended the nation's liberty. Patriotic music, presentations and other activities highlight this moving ceremony in the shadow of Independence Hall. July 4. 6th & Chestnut Streets, (800) 537-7676, http://www.americasbirthday.com/
-- Party on the Parkway, Parade and Fireworks — After the flag-waving, music-playing, rousing Southwest Airlines July 4th Parade up the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the evening culminates with a concert by rock legends Hall & Oates; and if this year is anything like years past, an eye-popping, jaw-dropping fireworks display over the Philadelphia Museum of Art. July 4. 26th Street & the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (800) 537-7676, http://www.americasbirthday.com/
The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) builds the region's economy and image through destination marketing to increase the number of visitors, the number of nights they stay and the number of things they do in the five-county region. For more information about travel to Philadelphia, visit http://www.gophila.com/ or call the Independence Visitor Center, located in Independence National Historical Park, at (800) 537-7676. Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation
CONTACT: Cara Schneider of Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, +1-215-599-0789, firstname.lastname@example.org