Happy 4th of July – You Can Celebrate in Philly

Happy 4th of July – You Can Celebrate in Philly

Welcome America has designed a new layout for the July 4th Party on the Parkway and July 4th Concert & Fireworks which will offer families and guests an enhanced experience. The Benjamin Franklin Parkway will now feature dedicated entry points and a perimeter that will allow guests to enter in a smooth, more orderly fashion, then roam freely to experience all the iconic Party on the Parkway has to offer.

“Spending the day with us on the Parkway will be better than ever before; we are really excited to have our guests take advantage of this expanded layout,” explained Welcome America, Inc. President & CEO Michael DelBene.

All entrances will be open from noon until 9 p.m. Guests are highly encouraged to enter through the Main Welcome Gates at Logan Circle. Other entry points include:

  • 20th Street & the Parkway from both the north and south sides
  • 21st Street & the Parkway from both the north and south sides
  • 23rd Street & Pennsylvania Avenue north side

Entry signage will be clearly visible at all gates, and Wawa Welcome America Ambassadors will be on hand to help guests find their way.

Party on the Parkway runs from noon to 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 4th and is followed by the July 4th Concert and Fireworks from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Once guests enter the Parkway, they will be able to roam freely and experience all that Philadelphia’s iconic July 4th party has to offer from food and drink, to games and rides, to entertainment. This year’s enhanced family-friendly experience includes the free PECO Kids’ Zone featuring a zip-line, acrobatic dunkers, bungee jumping, games, arts & crafts, storytelling, face painting, and much more.

As always, guests are permitted to bring picnics and small personal coolers.  A full list of prohibited items can be found on welcomeamerica.com/guides.

There will be many food and beverage options available for purchase, and for the 21+ crowd, Welcome America has partnered with VISIT PHILADELPHIA® to feature craft beers from Philadelphia and the surrounding counties along the Parkway.

Entertainment options abound with four stages of music, dance, and more!

  • For the second year, The Chill Moody Music Stage is back on the Parkway on July 4th! This music experience curated by Philadelphia Music Ambassador/Recording Artist Chill Moody, kicks off at noon and runs until 7 p.m. “My goal this year, as always, is to spotlight some of Philly’s rising stars, mix in some love from out of town, and provide an experience I’m sure everyone in attendance will enjoy,” says Chill Moody who will also be performing music from his forthcoming Horns At The Funeral album.
  • The Multicultural Stage will feature multiple culturally diverse dance acts from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Philly area bands will jam on the PA Lottery Philly Groove Stage from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Visit the SugarHouse Casino Freedom Stage for performances of street dance theater, magic, a dance party with DJ Diamond Kuts of iHeartRadio’s Power 99, and The U.S. Navy Band Cruisers from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Countdown to Possible Shutdown

Countdown to Possible Shutdown

On January 25th Congress passed and the President signed a bill to end the government shutdown through February 15, giving Congress three more weeks to reach a deal on border security.  Bipartisan congressional opposition to the President’s demand for a physical border wall remains constant. Yet, despite signs of bipartisan progress in House and Senate negotiations on viable alternatives, President Trump has deemed these talks “a waste of time.”   

As a possible  alternative to a shutdown, the President now suggests the most extreme and constitutionally dubious step of declaring a “national emergency” at the southern border, allowing him to bypass the need for congressional approval to reallocate funds for his wall.  This unprecedented approach also faces strong congressional opposition, as well as serious legal challenges.  There is little doubt that a new government shutdown within the next two weeks remains a very real and serious threat.

Working with the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), we have launched a new countdown website called www.shutdownticker.com where members and the public can contact members of Congress and tell them they do not want another government shutdown. I encourage you to share this website with your members, as well as the sharable social media graphics on the site.

If you have any questions about the potential shutdown, please do not hesitate to contact Scott Frey at sfrey@afscme.org. If you have questions about the website or social media campaign, please contact Blaine Rummel at brummel@afscme.org.

Lee A. Saunders, President, AFSCME

PA Public Employee Pension Forfeiture Bill

State Senator John DiSanto will soon reintroduce SB113, legislation to strengthen the Public Employee Pension Forfeiture Act to require the forfeiture of pension benefits for public employees that are convicted or plead guilty or no contest to any job-related felony offense. 

This legislation closes a loophole that allowed convicted former state Sen. Robert Mellow to have his $245,000 a year pension restored despite a guilty plea and serving prison time on federal conspiracy charges–which currently is regarded as a non-pension forfeiture crime. This is just one of many examples of public officials betraying the citizens and forcing taxpayers to pick up the tab.