Before we begin, I think I should get credit for getting this post up while it's still July...
Once again, the Welcome America festival took place in the days leading up to July 4th. It is full of great events, including free concerts and fireworks shows, as well as more fun and Philly-centric things such as Wawa Hoagie Day (which I still haven't gotten to) and one event that I've wanted to attend for years. This year, on the big day itself, I finally made it. Here's a link to all the photos I took that day. I've included a few here.
At Penn's Landing each year, the Super Scooper All-You-Can-Eat Ice Cream Festival raises money to help fight pediatric leukemia. A $7 donation gives you entrance into the big tent, as well as a plastic spoon, so you can go from table to table and get small cups of ice cream (as well as water ice and some other frozen stuff), as much as you want, all day. If you followed my updates on Twitter or Facebook that day, you know that I stopped at each of the almost 20 tables. (A number of the vendors had more than one table.) It was truly ice cream heaven. The picture above shows the size of the cup. (You weren't expecting pints or quarts, were you?) This one had rainbow water ice, not ice cream.
Thanks to a site called TwimeMachine that makes it easy to go back to look at your older tweets, here's the rundown of what I ate, and in order! Good Humor chocolate, Jack & Jill strawberry, ShopRite vanilla/chocolate, Ben & Jerry's French Toast, rainbow water ice, Turkey Hill cookies & cream, Friendly's orange sherbet, Bassetts chocolate, cotton candy water ice, Edy's mint chocolate chip, Icee raspberry frozen pop, Turkey Hill cookies & cream, Breyers cookies & cream, Haagen-Dazs chocolate, cotton candy water ice, Friendly's chocolate, orange Minute Maid juice bar, Ben & Jerry's English something (toffee?), Breyers chocolate peanut butter.
Before I got to the ice cream festival, upon arriving at 2nd Street from the El station, I saw the tail end of the Independence Day parade, coming from in front of Independence Mall, down Market Street to the Penn's Landing area. I managed to see an LGBT group, the Philadelphia Freedom marching band (led by the USA and Rainbow flag-bearers), not to mention the Mummers -- the Ferko String Band, to be precise. There were bands from across the country, classic cars, and at the end, an invitation...
So I did. I was headed that way anyway, to go to the ice cream festival, so I followed behind along with quite a few others.
Later, I ended up on the Ben Franklin Parkway, where an all-day festival led up to that night's free concert (starring the Roots, with guests including Earth, Wind & Fire) and fireworks finale. I didn't stay for the show, though. I went to one of the shows in the past, the one that featured the Goo Goo Dolls and Sheryl Crow. This year I just wanted to check out the scene.
You out-of-towners seriously need to come and visit me next year and join in the fun. Start planning your trips now. Come hell or high water, next year I'm getting to Wawa Hoagie Day!