Calendar: July 2-9

By PW Staff
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Wednesday, July 2

Wawa’s Welcome America
‘Twas 238 years ago this Friday that a ragtag group of colonials decided enough was enough and officially declared this nation’s sovereignty from England, and no city in America celebrates this day of independence better than Philadelphia—thanks, in part, to the wide-ranging annual Wawa Welcome America festivities, which are already in progress.

On Wed., July 2, “Go 4th & Learn About History” at the National Constitution Center has some special programming, including live performances and a whole exhibit dedicated to the history of the hoagie. (Thank the good folks at Wawa for the free admission.) Speaking of which, it’s also Hoagie Day, so hit the Independence Visitors Center for free patriotic deliciousness. Then pack a cooler that night, bring some lawn chairs, and sit on the famed steps of the Art Museum of Philadelphia to watch Rocky. With the skyline as a stunning backdrop, this is arguably one of the best ways to experience this classic—again, or for the first time. Take the daylight hours of Thursday to recuperate, but in the evening, grab a few blankets and make your way down to Independence Hall for a free performance by the beloved Philly POPS, as they keep up one of Philly’s most popular Independence Day traditions.

Not hosting a backyard BBQ on Friday’s July 4th holiday? The Celebration of Freedom ceremony promises readings of excerpts of the Declaration of Independence, with a particular focus on the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as the 60th anniversary of the Brown vs. Board Supreme Court decision. The Independence Day Parade follows, during which 5,000 people will traipse through America’s most historic square mile, concluding with the ceremonial tapping of the Liberty Bell. The all-day Party on the Parkway is set for the length of the beautiful Ben Franklin Parkway, where, directly afterwards, The Roots return for the “largest free concert in America,” with special guests Ed Sheeran, Jennifer Hudson, Nicki Minaj, Aloe Blacc and Ariana Grande. Plan to stick around for the fireworks. // KENNEDY ALLEN

Through Fri., July 4. Free. Various events, times and locations.

Life, Liberty and the Prosciutto of Happiness
This week, savor delicious prosciutto creations featuring La Quercia products paired with wines from Moore Brothers and drinks from Yards Brewing Company. All proceeds benefit the St. James Neighborhood School Kitchen Campaign. 5:30pm. Di Bruno Bros., 1730 Chestnut St. 215.625.9220.

All-American Celebration
The National Constitution Center celebrates Independence Day with an interactive show that revisits the history of the Declaration of Independence and offers younger visitors the chance to create Colonial-era arts and crafts. 9:30am. Free. National Constitution Center, 525 Arch St. 215.409.6600.

Thursday, July 3

Jim Stephens’ Full Tilt Boogie
The musical side of Independence Day weekend gets off to a soulful start tonight, as the 10 jazz jammers of Jim Stephens’ Full Tilt Boogie headline a no-frills funkadelic bill. Gradually united over the course of many years, this crew represents some of Philly’s finest touring musicians. Led by the eponymous Jim Stephens on steel guitar, FTB also employs, among others, Chuck Treece on drums, Elliott Levin on tenor sax and Rah Sangee on keyboards. The result of Stephens’ deliberate musical alchemy is an energetic synthesis of various genres, amalgamated into an upbeat hybrid of rich, infectious rhythms you won’t soon forget.

Stephens and Co. will be joined by Philly funk rockers Johnny Popcorn, the brainchild of Chester-born rapper Hezekiah and esteemed bassist and producer Tone Whitfield, who joined forces in 2011; singer Marjani Clark came aboard last, but she’s certainly not least. Often riff-heavy and always entertaining, Johnny Popcorn adds a little sarcasm to that old Philly soul sound. Their originality and flair has landed the group among the finalists for Afropunk’s Battle of the Bands in NYC. Kinyon Lanier, a member of Full Tilt Boogie, will also be lending his vocal stylings to get this jam kicked off. Don’t sleep on what’s sure to be an excellent exhibition of some of Philly’s most progressive, dedicated on-stage talents. // DANIEL GELB

8pm. $10. Milkboy Philadelphia, 1100 Chestnut St. 215.925.MILK.

The Goonies
Now that a sequel is in the works, there’s no better time to have another look at Richard Donner’s 1985 adventure film about the titular tweens who embark on a quest to find the treasure of One-Eyed Willie. Ahem. 8pm. Free. Penn’s Landing, Chestnut St. and Columbus Blvd.

POPS! On Independence
Grammy winner Peter Nero and his POPS Orchestra return home in honor of the 4th of July.  Grab a lawn chair and hear their rendition of “1812 Overture” along with excerpts from the Declaration of Independence. 8pm. Free. Independence Hall, 500 Chestnut St.

Friday, July 4

4th of July GI Jane Party
The Venture Inn hosts an all-night dance party featuring drink specials, push-up and arm-wrestling contests and loads of Twizzlers. There will also be a screening of GI Jane, starring Demi Moore; military vets who show their ID will receive a free shot. 10pm. Free. Venture Inn, 255 S. Camac St. 215.545.8731.

Independence Parade
More than 5,000 people—marching bands, floats, military organizations, etc.—will march through historic Philadelphia for the annual, unparalleled 4th of July extravaganza. The festivities kick off in front of Independence Hall and make their way down Chestnut Street. 11am. Free. Historic Philadelphia Center, Sixth and Chestnut sts.

Saturday, July 5

“85 Years of Neon Signs” Walking Tour
Something as commonplace as a sign is usually taken for granted, but artisan Len Davidson wants to convince you of city signs’ potential as a hypnotizing form of art. We might not have as big of a reputation for our amassment of neon signs as do places like Atlantic City or Las Vegas, but Philadelphia has certainly gathered its fair share of iconic glowing spectacles over the years. When wandering the streets come nightfall, it’s virtually impossible not to let your gaze drift toward the angular rooftop of One Liberty Place, the spinning guitar at Hard Rock Café on Market Street, or the façade of Geno’s Steaks, to name just a few. Hell, we’ve even got our very own “Neon Museum” preservation initiative courtesy of Davidson, whose been collecting and restoring such signs for nearly 40 years. His fascination transcends the average “Oooh, pretty colors!” mindset, however: He’s written what’s often considered to be the “bible” on the industry, 2007’s Vintage Neon, and now he’ll be guiding Center for Architecture patrons through an impressively rich history that dates back to the turn of the 20th century.  Over the course of two hours, he’ll cover everything from the science of neon to some of the brightest and most famous local examples of it, starting with a mint condition Pittsburgh Paints sign from 1936. // JAKE ABBATE

3pm. $5-$20. Philadelphia Center for Architecture, 1218 Arch St. 215.569.3186.

Super Scooper “All-You-Can-Eat” Ice Cream Festival
Spend this July 4th weekend screaming for Ben & Jerry’s, Edy’s and Bassetts ice creams. The Super Scooper All You Can Eat Ice Cream Festival comes to Penn’s Landing for three days of gluttonous, gastronomic pleasure. Just $7 gets you as many scoops as you can handle, with the cost of admission going to support the Joshua Kahan Fund to cure pediatric Leukemia. July 4-6. $7. Walnut St. and Columbus Blvd. 215.922.2386.

The United States Army Band “Perishing’s Own”
The U.S. Army’s premier musical organization makes yet another trip to Penn’s Landing to perform a rousing set of patriotic songs, which will be followed by a fireworks celebration courtesy of Adventure Aquarium. 8pm. Free. Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing, 101 S. Columbus Blvd.

Fireworks Dinner Cruise
All-you-can-eat buffets, professional DJs and, of course, a stunning fireworks show highlight this vibrant celebration of Independence aboard the Spirit of Philadelphia. 7pm. $79.90. 401 S. Columbus Blvd. 866.455.3866.

Hawthorne’s IPA Block Party
Hawthorne’s Cafe hosts its annual gathering—in spite of ongoing building repairs—featuring food from chef Matthew Plank, local music and tons of India Pale Ales to choose from. Noon. $5. Hawthorne’s Cafe, 738 S. 11th St. 215.627.3012.

Sunday, July 6

Philadelphia Soul Open Tryouts
Think you missed out that chance to be a football star? Well, the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League are looking for you. Attendees will be tested on their 40-yard dash time, broad jump and individual skill. By the way, the Soul found their 2013 Rookie of the Year at last years’ open tryout. 11am. $60-$80. Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St.

A Night at the Opry
Local cover masters Red Skiles and the Country Ramblers jam out to some of country’s greatest hits and timeless classics tonight at Ortlieb’s. Guests can bring their own classic country vinyl LPs to spin in between sets. 8pm. $5. Orlieb’s, 847 N. Third St. 267.324.3348.

Monday, July 7

Birds of Paradise
Inspired by the work of photographer Tim Laman and ornithologist Edwin Scholes, this exhibit explores the trademark nutty behavior of birds everywhere, from their mating patterns to their unique calls. 10am. $13-15. Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy. 215.299.1000.

Woodmere Annual Juried Exhibition
The 2014 Woodmere Annual Juried Exhibition—affectionately known as the Annual—showcases 50 pieces by area artists, each using our fair city as a source of inspiration. This year’s juror, Sarah McEneaney of Locks Gallery, painstakingly chose a wide array of mediums and styles to convey what it means to live in Philadelphia. Through Sept. 1. Free. Woodmere Art Museum, 9201 Germantown Ave. 215.247.0476.

Five Into One
Celebrate Philadelphia’s finest art school graduates at the annual Five Into One gallery show. Pieces will be on display by graduating BFA and MFA students from Moore, PAFA, Tyler, UPenn and UArts. Moore College, 20th and the Parkway.

Tuesday, July 8

Ommegang’s Third Annual HopChef Philly
If there are two things true-blue Philadelphians love, the first is food, with beer a very-close second. All right, fine—they’re tied. But you know what’s inarguably next in line? Good, clean competition—and let’s be honest: the “clean” part’s optional. Thankfully, for the third consecutive year, the wise clan at Brewery Ommegang have combined all three in their crowd-pleasing HopChef Philly contest at Union Transfer.

HopChef Philly pits nine amazing local chefs against each other to determine who among them can make the most scrumptious use of Brewery Ommegang’s divine Belgian-style ales, and this year, the entrants are no joke. Formidable chefs Jeremy Nolen and Ben Puchowitz, of Brauhaus Schmitz and Cheu Noodle Bar respectively—and co-members of the band Big in Munich—are in the game, and Dock Street Brewery’s Jennifer Choplin becomes the first female to compete, joined by Chad Vetter of City Tap House, James Kenngott of Strangelove’s, Jonathan and Justin Petruce of Petruce Et Al, Townsend Wentz of Townsend and Travis Masar from Sampan and the Independence Beer Garden.

Fox 29’s lovably goofy Good Day Philadelphia co-host, 10-time Emmy winner Mike Jerrick, will serve as master of ceremonies, and among the seven judges deciding the chefs’ fates is Nicholas Elmi, winner of Season 11 of the Bravo hit Top Chef and the owner of/force behind Laurel. The winner of tonight’s food fest will travel to Cooperstown, N.Y. to challenge rival HopChef winners from other cities for the HopChef 2014 crown. And more importantly, they’ll have bragging rights you just know they’re going to exercise with abandon. // SHEENA LESTER

6pm. $41. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. 215.232.2100.

PHS Pop Up
The Pennsylvania Horticulture Society’s newest pop-up garden goes live today, next to the Jamaican Jerk Hut just off Broad and South. Open seven days a week, the garden will feature a rotation of food trucks, community gardens and seasonal drink specialties. 11am. Free. 1438 South St. 215.988.8800.

Ian Doescher
Doescher’s fantastical William Shakespeare’s Star Wars is a fun retelling of George Lucas’ classic in the voice of the Bard. Tonight, Doescher reads selections from the genre-busting romp and discusses his other work. 7:30pm. Free. Central Library, 1901 Vine St. 215.567.4341.

Drink City Live! at Revolution House
PW continues our Drink City Live series, with a special happy hour at Revolution House featuring DJ SYLO. Guests will be entered to win special giveaways, including gift certificates to South Moon Under and the Franklin Institute. Must RSVP. 5pm. Free. Revolution House, 200 Market St. RSVP at

Wednesday, July 9

Kenny Lattimore
When Kenny Lattimore came on stage for trombonist Jeff Bradshaw’s “Home” concert at the Kimmel last month, I nearly got the vapors. He was wearing skin-tight leather jeans and his bald head was shining bright. Then he started singing. Okay, I’m not really his type, but I had fun imagining his soulful, romantic crooning was directed right at me, which is part of his appeal—and dude works it.

The Maryland native’s been perfecting his soul-man game since the tail end of the ‘80s. He pumped out a couple great records for Columbia: a self-titled debut in ’96 and From the Soul of Man in ’98. Lattimore doesn’t front; he’s explicitly making an effort to show that black men can be sensitive and caring (and strong and sexy), so there’s a little bit of Craig David and Tyrese to him. He provides perfect soundtracks for slow dances, candle-lit dinners, then boots-knockin’.

Lattimore made two brazen couple LPs with his fabulous ex-wife, Chante Moore, then recorded more covers for Verve in 2008 with an album called Timeless. He’s back at it with new material, and tonight’s the night to see what he’s been up to with a new record called Back 2 Cool. He’s already got a couple singles from it, the super-sexy and sensual “Find A Way,” and the Kelly Price-guested title track. Don’t be shocked if I throw my nicest drawers on that stage tonight. // BILL CHENEVERT

8pm. $25. With Jeff Bradshaw. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400.

Christmas in July Kettles
Join local celebrity mascots and the Salvation Army to ring in Christmas in July. Those unmistakable kettle bells and collection jars will be placed throughout Center City, giving a respite from the heat for those longing for the late December holiday feeling. Various locations.

Ballet X
Philly’s own enthralling and innovative dance company Ballet X continues their summer series with Sunset, o639 Hours. Tonight’s world premiere performance is co-directed by Matthew Neenan and features music by award-winning New Zealand composer Rosie Langabeer. 8pm. $25-$40. The Wilma Theater, 265 S. Broad St. 215.546.7824.

Out of Town

One of the world’s most popular DJs spends his Fourth of July rocking A.C. The Grammy-nominated master of electronic music will be spinning tracks all day at Revel to celebrate America’s birthday. Fri., July 4, 10am. Revel, 500 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, N.J.

BeachGlow Music Festival 2014
The Schellenger Avenue beach in Wildwood is transformed into an outdoor music headlined by EDM sensation Dvbbs, along with Kap Slap, Gazzo and many more electronic acts. Proceeds will benefit the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Sat., July 5, 3pm. $35-$60. Schellenger Ave., Wildwood, N.J.

Walla Fest
Fostering local creativity is number one on the docket for Walla Fest, a multi-night art, film and music festival, featuring talented artists from all over the Delaware Valley. Visitors will also enjoy local treats and drinks. Sat., July 5-Sun., July 6, 4pm. Centre Theater, 208 Dekalb Pike, Norristown.

Sports Card, Toy, Comic & Collectibles Expo
More than 125 vendors convene in Wildwood for the largest free admission show of its kind. Featuring rarities for every collector, the expo will also feature celebrity autograph sessions—including former Phillies manager Dallas Green. July 4-6. Free. Wildwood Convention Center, 4501 Boardwalk, Wildwood, N.J.

Red, White and BBQ
Chaddsford Winery hosts this twist on the holiday weekend-long BBQ with a focus on their fine wines. Classic American BBQ fare will be available, along with wine tastings by the glass, special wine slushies and live entertainment each day. July 4-6. Chaddsford Winery, 632 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford. 610.388.6221.

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