It's a big day for Philadelphia, the Fourth of July.

The city's Celebration of Freedom Ceremony will be led by Mayor Nutter at 10 a.m. in front of Independence Hall. The hour-long event will include speeches, music, a fly-over by military jets, and readings from the Declaration of Independence. Thirteen people, symbolizing the 13 original colonies, are to become naturalized citizens.

Wednesday is also the final day of the annual Wawa Welcome America festival.

Following the ceremony, the Philadelphia Independence Day Parade will commence at 11 a.m.

More than 5,000 people - from marching bands to military groups and performers on floats - will wind their way around the historic district. It will be a tribute to the 11th Independence Day since the 9/11 attacks.

After the parade will be the noon-to-7 p.m. Party on the Parkway, between 20th Street and Eakins Oval. Food of all sorts, three stages for music, art activities for children, and sporting events and games will dot the Parkway. Radio Disney will be provide face-painting, music, and craft-making.

All of the celebrations culminate Wednesday evening with the Philly Fourth of July Jam and Grand Finale Fireworks, starting at 7 along the Parkway.

Philadelphia's "?uestlove" will produce a show featuring his band, the Roots; Queen Latifah; Common; Daryl Hall; and Joe Jonas (plus some surprises, City Representative Melanie Johnson said; Boyz II Men, for example, showed up as a surprise last year). Following the concert, about 10, there will be those fireworks over the Art Museum.

For more information about the Welcome America festivities, go to or the Facebook page