The city's July Fourth events begin with a 10 a.m. Independence Day ceremony at Independence Hall, followed by a parade.
The biggest crowds - about 600,000 people, according to the mayor's prediction - are expected to begin arriving at noon on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, enjoying food, games, and entertainment through the afternoon and evening, followed by a 7 p.m. jam session and fireworks.
"Broadly and vaguely, you're going to see the same level of diligence you saw during the Broad Street Run in May," said Managing Director Richard Negrin, with a security partnership involving multiple city departments, plus state and federal agencies, to be coordinated through a joint-operations center at an undisclosed location.
"Without getting too deep into the details, you'll see plenty of police officers, and some you will not see," said Lt. John Stanford, a spokesman for the department. "People should be able to enjoy the holiday and not be concerned about their safety."
The city worked with telecommunications carriers to enhance cellphone capacity for the event, hoping to reduce interference and network failures in case of overwhelming voice and data traffic.
Adel Ebeid, the city's chief innovation officer, who oversees information technology, wrote by e-mail: "We believe the additional capacity will help the city minimize the type of outages experienced by other cities."
Negrin cautioned, however, that "with half a million people on the Parkway at one time, that will always be a challenge."
Nutter urged celebrants to use public transit when possible, in part to avoid extensive street closures on and around the Parkway beginning as early as 6 a.m. and extending, later in the day, throughout the Art Museum area, into Fairmount, and along Kelly and Martin Luther King Drives, until the conclusion of the fireworks, around 11:15 p.m.
Citizens can report suspicious activity to 911 or the nearest police officer, Nutter said, and protect themselves against the heat with sunblock, hats, light-colored clothing, and liquids.
"I encourage all to stay hydrated, drinking lots of water and other fluids," Nutter said, adding, "hopefully, fluids that don't dry you out - you know what I'm talking about."
Contact Bob Warner at 215-854-5885 or firstname.lastname@example.org.