Philly ready to celebrate July 4th in style

Posted: June 21, 2007

A Guinness world record attempt, concerts, a strongman competition, parades and a food festival will be part of this year's Welcome America Fourth of July celebration, city officials announced Thursday.

The festival, which will run from June 28 to July 4, will offer the traditional fireworks, Opera on the Square, parades and concerts as well as several new features.

"We're going to try to bring the Guinness world record for the largest salsa dance to America," said Barbara Grant, media consultant for Welcome America. "We're tying to get out more than 4,000 people at the Fiesta Goya."

According to Grant, the festival attempted to break the record in 2004 but fell short. The current record is held by Barcelona, Spain, with roughly 3,800 people, said Grant.

In additional, this year's festival will include for the first time a strongman competition with participants from all over the world, and a circus carnival on June 30, the organizers said.

The festival will also be bringing back for its second year the Taste of Philadelphia, where visitors can sample dishes by local chefs. This event attracted about 25,000 people last year, Grant said.

The headliner for this year's Fourth of July concert will be rock duo Hall and Oates.

In addition to announcing the events, city Managing Director Loree Jones discussed coordination for safety and transportation issues, including road closures.

Philadelphia's Independence Day festival, which is in its 14th year, is the largest in the nation, bringing in nearly one million people and generating an estimated $100 million each year, according to Welcome America statistics.

Contact staff writer Katie Stuhldreher at 215-854-2601 or


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