PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - Pops under the stars had the lawn of Independence Mall jammed pack with people.
"It's amazing music, singers male and female singers and just what they were playing. It was just amazing. Brought all the people together as one group," said Izzy Harris who came with his wife Wilma. It's one of many events leading up to July fourth here in Philly. Beth Josephs came from North Jersey with her husband, son and neighbor.
"We do mummers so we thought we would try and do July 4th this year," said Josephs from Jackson New Jersey. Earlier Monday we stopped by the historic district block party for free music, vendors and food trucks lining Fifth Street. The patriotism could be felt and seen.
"I just figured you know there's only one time I can wear this dress. This is the day to show my patriotism. Love being in Philly. I'm from D.C. and it's going to be fun," said Thanuja Hamilton.
And prepping the parkway where the main events will happen starting at noon on Tuesday. Crews and vendors are setting up for all of the activities there including the stage. Mary J. Blige will headline the July 4th Wawa Welcome America concert starting at 7pm along with other artists including Mandy Gonzalez who is currently starring in the Broadway musical Hamilton. Philly's own Boys II Men will be honored and perform too.
"And then of course fireworks both on the Delaware River and also at the Art Museum almost simultaneously going on," said Wawa Welcome American President and CEO Jeff Guaracino. He says this year is already bigger than last. "It's Monday and we weren't quite sure if it would be busy or not but it's even busier than last year. Probably about 25% larger," he said.
The Independence Day parade will start at 11am and will come past Independence Mall.