by Ari Roth
The Wawa Welcome America! 4th of July Jam is shaping up yet again to be perhaps the festival of the summer, and in the week leading up to it there will be a number of great, family friendly and 100% free events throughout the city to help celebrate our nation’s birthday and the balmy summer months in style. First up is the Liberty Block Party, billed as “the largest block party of the summer,” and featuring some awesome musical artists, heavenly gourmet food, and more.
The most instantly recognizable name in the lineup is certainly New Edition, the hugely influential R&B band who, in the 1980s, pioneered the style of sweet, hip hop-influenced soul pop now known as New Jack Swing. They originally hail from Boston, but they will be in our city for the Liberty Block Party, with an address given by Mayor Michael Nutter. Aside from New Edition, the festival features an irresistible musical lineup, including Kellylee Evans, the supremely gifted Juno Award-winning jazz vocalist, Matthew Schuler (best known from The Voice), performances from select 2014 Philadelphia Songwriters Project winners, and the irrepressible, gospel-tinged brass band stylings of Philly’s own New Sound Brass.
Among the many fine food vendors at the Liberty Block Party, one name stands out: Bonjour Creperie, the Best Dessert-winning food truck at this year’s Vendy Awards. Having attended the awards personally, this writer can attest to the deliciousness of their crepes personally, and they alone are worth the trip. Also featured will be other excellent food trucks, such as the Vendy Awards nominees Local 215 and Samosa Deb, along with Sugar Philly Truck, Rigatoni’s Mobile Crab Cakes, Curbside Creamery, and Frozen Delights. Local retailers will also be participating with many, such as AVEDA makeup and perfume and ALDO shoes, offering day-long specials for attendees.
The Liberty Block Party will be held this Saturday, June 28th, at The Shops at Liberty Place, located on 1625 Chestnut St, and it will run from noon until 10 PM. As previously mentioned, this festival is absolutely free (with the exception of whatever you purchase while at the event), so come with your family and spend the whole day soaking up the fun and the sun!