Fireworks lit up the American flag in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Credit: KYLIE COOPER

Unlike Fourth of July 2020, this year’s Independence Day was not represented by virtual celebratory events and rising COVID-19 cases. Earlier in June, the city of Philadelphia lifted  COVID-19 capacity restrictions, social distancing guidelines, and mask requirements for vaccinated individuals, allowing people to attend Independence Day events in person and maskless throughout the city.

While the pandemic may still loom over today’s celebration, the city reached a historic milestone two weeks ago, having 70 percent of its adults receive at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This year, Philadelphians were not only celebrating their country, but also a return to normalcy. Here’s a look into this uniquely historic Independence Day in Philadelphia.

Credit: Sukhmani Kaur

To kick off the day, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden gave a speech during the Celebration of Freedom Ceremony on Independence Square. She highlighted that 70 percent of adults in Philadelphia have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and especially commended the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium.



Credit: Kylie Cooper

Crowds walked up and down Independence Mall throughout the day, posing for photos in front of Independence Hall, seeing the Liberty Bell, and visiting the various museums nearby.

Credit: Kylie Cooper

Many people lined up to pose for photos under the LOVE Statue in LOVE Park.



Credit: Sukhmani Kaur

Many families have not had a proper group outing since the pandemic started. For them, Independence Day was an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors together and sense the start of a return to normalcy.

Credit: Sukhmani Kaur

Friends roller skated at the Rothman Orthopaedics Roller Rink in Dilworth Park.



Credit: Kylie Cooper

A dog dressed in patriotic gear posed for a photo in front of Liberty Bell Center.

Credit: Sukhmani Kaur

To escape the heat, children played in the fountains at Dilworth Park.

Credit: Kylie Cooper

A crowd watched John Lionarons play the hammered dulcimer in the Independence Visitor Center.

Credit: Kylie Cooper

The Benjamin Franklin Parkway quickly filled as people staked out their seats to view the fireworks show.

Credit: Kylie Cooper

Two boys, Leonardo and Alexander, played with bubbles as they waited for the fireworks to begin.

Credit: Kylie Cooper

The fireworks launched off at 10 p.m., lighting the sky red, white, and blue.

Credit: Kylie Cooper

A favorite spot to watch the fireworks display was the Washington Monument Fountain in Eakins Oval.

Credit: Kylie Cooper

The grand finale of the firework show burst into the night sky over the Philadelphia Museum of Art, drawing the curtains on a day of celebration.

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