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Kenney puts on show in detailing Wawa festival freebies

May 26, 2017 GMT

Mayor Jim Kenney took to song on Tuesday as he announced the 50 free events during the 2017 Wawa Welcome America, a six-day festival that will conclude on Independence Day.

Declaring himself a Mary J. Blige fan, Kenney briefly sang a lyric from her dance hit “Family Affair” as he offered details about the festivities and free July 4th concert featuring the R&B songstress.

“There is nothing more patriotic than celebrating America’s independence in America’s birthplace,” said Kenney. “Each year the city of Philadelphia welcomes its residents and visitors to come together during this free, multi-day festival that commemorates our collective American history in the city where it all began.”

The theme of this year’s 25th anniversary Wawa Welcome America event is “Everyone is a History Maker.”

“For 25 years, this festival has been a reason for people to visit Philadelphia,” said Meryl Levitz, the CEO of tourism marketing agency Visit Philadelphia. “So we’re proud to support Wawa Welcome America, and the year-round draw of Philadelphia’s Historic District. We know there’s no better place to celebrate the Fourth of July. As our With Love ad puts it, ‘Philadelphia knows a thing or two about revolutions.’”

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The festival kicks off at noon on June 29 with the annual Wawa Hoagie Day at at Independence Mall in Philadelphia to honor U.S. troops and ends on the stage in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art on July 4. The final concert event will honor Philadelphia hometown icons Boyz II Men, the best-selling R&B group of all time with an astounding 64 million albums sold.

The festival schedule includes 50 free events, with details available at WelcomeAmerica.com.

“Wawa Welcome America! has been bringing Philadelphia and the nation together to celebrate Independence Day for 25 years,” said Jeff Guaracino, who heads Welcome America Inc. “Each festival has been a fun, family friendly party that is free and open to everyone. We are pleased to carry on that tradition and Welcome America again in 2017.”

NBC10 will broadcast the July 4 concert and fireworks during prime time in its entirety from 7 to 10 p.m., and Telemundo62 plans to air the festivities from 7 to 8 p.m. The free concert will also be live streamed on NBCPhiladelphia.com and Telemundo62.com.