Where should I pregame?
Philly literally hosts an all-day pregame to the show: it’s called Party on the Parkway, and is one of America’s largest free festivals. Starting at noon, you can begin your whole afternoon of snacking, drinking, and zip-lining your way down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Here’s what to expect: endless nomz from 40 of Philly’s best food trucks (including Mama’s Meatballs and Joe’s Steaks), beer gardens sponsored by Barefoot Wine, musical entertainment on three stages, arts and crafts for the kiddies, an acro dunker show, a zip line... oh, and huge crowds.
Where are the best viewing spots?
Looking to watch the show in the center of it all? Get settled on the Parkway/Benjamin Franklin Bridge anywhere between Logan Circle and Eakins Oval, since the entire road will be shut down to cars (but be sure to get there early to set up shop). Other solid viewing options include Schuylkill River Boardwalk, Kelly Drive, Paine’s Park, and the Schuylkill Banks, which features plenty of grass on which to set up picnic blankets, plus an unbeatable view of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Want your fireworks with a side of kebabs? Fire up the grill at historic Lemon Hill Park’s picnic area, where the hilly topography allows for epic views. If you’re coming from the suburbs and looking for an easy exit, stake out a spot on Martin Luther King Drive (which comes with additional views of all-lit-up Boathouse Row). Hate crowds? Perch on Girard Avenue bridge for great skyline peeping or bring lawn chairs to Fairmont Park in West Philly (these elevated fields also make for great vantage points).