Philadelphia , Despite the sweltering humidity and occasional thunderstorms, there was plenty to do in the Delaware Valley this Fourth of July weekend.
As always, the beaches along the Jersey Shore were packed with visitors looking to enjoy the fun of summer and celebrate Independence Day.
Erika Charles of Williamstown said, “Coming to the beach on July 4th in the summer feels so nostalgic, we’ve always loved to do that, we love it.”
The huge influx of beach-goers fueled the summer rush on which coastal town businesses like Quincy Lobster Rolls rely to stay afloat.
Cole Johnson of Quincy Lobster Rolls said, “It’s so good, it’s literally like magic.”
In Philadelphia, America’s birthplace, celebrations continued with a concert and fireworks display on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway—the culmination of Wawa’s Welcome America celebration.
A concert co-headlining by Demi Lovato and Ludicrous was delayed due to powerful storms that caused minor flooding and downed trees in neighboring parts of New Jersey.
Tanisha, who attended the concert, said, “My main goal is just to go inside and everyone stay safe and have a great time.”
The large crowds that flock to Philadelphia for Party on the Parkway are a boon to local small businesses.
“It’s a huge money maker for people coming to town,” said Ikea Macfield, a local business owner. “We have people from all over and new people, we got celebrities in town,”
For some, the real meaning of why Americans celebrate the Fourth of July doesn’t get lost in the fun of family cookouts, parades or fireworks displays.
“I’m the first person in my family born in the United States and didn’t speak English until the age of 6, so I’m thrilled to be here and I’m always reminded by my family how important it is to live in this country, ” said Kathy Herf from Gibbstown.
AAA forecasts record-breaking travel numbers this holiday weekend, with 50.7 million Americans expected to travel 50 miles or more from home.