They say the best things in life are free. Such as hugs from your best friend, lucky pennies on the street, or, you know, a gigantic Wawa hoagie. Since all the freedom-fighting that comes along with Fourth of July is bound to make you hungry, it’s a good thing that there are many free food events in Philadelphia to curb your appetite. From sweet to savory to simply boozy, here’s a round-up of the food and drink deals you don’t want to miss this holiday.
Thursday, June 28
Wawa Hoagie Day: Seven tons of juicy meat, cheeses, veggies, and bun — let’s just say that diet starts tomorrow (or in a week, after the entirety of Fourth of July celebrations come to a close). This extra-large free food event is from noon to 2 p.m. on the center lawn of Independence Mall and the National Constitution Center (525 Arch St.).
Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpets: A childhood favorite, free Tastykake treats will be distributed at multiple events preceding the Fourth of July. These include all five Philly @ the Movies’ events from Thursday to Monday at various locations, the Historic Philadelphia Block Party on Tuesday, and at the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on the Fourth.
Philly @ the Movies
- The Nutty Professor (7 p.m. to 11 p.m., Thursday, June 28, The Dell Music Center, 2400 Strawberry Mansion Dr.)
- E.T. (7 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday, June 29, The Piazza at Schmidt’s Commons, 1001 N 2nd St. #21)
- SING (5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, June 30, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch St.)
- Rocky (7 p.m. to 11 p.m., Sunday, July 1, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy)
- Pitch Perfect (5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday, July 2, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Xfinity Live!, 1100 Pattison Ave) Click for free ticket download.
Plus, clearly a crowd favorite, Tastykakes will be thrown from the towers of Eastern State Penitentiary during Bastille Day celebrations on Saturday, July 14.
Friday, June 29
Mr. Softee Ice Cream: Popping up at Mifflin Park (Mifflin Square, Wolf and S. Fifth streets.) on Friday is a celebration of community and culture centered on what it means to be “Philadelphian.” This inclusive, cross-cultural event features performances by the Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia and a martial arts demonstration from Zhang Sah Martial Arts, food trucks, and a Kids’ Zone, among other attractions.
Oh, and there’s free ice-cream.
Red, White, and Blue Happy Hours: Not totally free (but then again, what is), these Independence Day dedicated happy hours cut down on the price — and the guilt — of indulging in your 5 p.m. cocktail. Participating bars around the city are offering cocktail, wine, and beer deals on Friday and Monday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Tuesday, July 3
Wawa Iced Tea and Lemonade: Not the fanciest of beverage options, but none-the-less necessary hydration, will be offered to marchers and spectators at the Independence Day Parade starting from Fifth and Market streets.
Wawa Smoothies: A Wawa Smoothie Shack, set up at the Historic Philadelphia Block (Independence Mall, Fifth and Sixth streets between Chestnut and Market streets.) will be serving free four-ounce samples of mango and strawberry smoothies to visitors. The block party will celebrate the reopening of the Bourse and will feature stilt walkers, stage performances, food trucks, a beer garden, and other free samples from vendors.
Wednesday, July 4
America’s Birthday Cake: Betsy Ross is credited with creating the American Flag, so naturally she’ll be presenting this five-tier, star-spangled, pastry to the public on the Fourth of July (while singing “Happy Birthday” to America, of course). The cake-cutting and birthday-singing will be held at 1 p.m. on the fourth in the Independence Visitor Center (599 Market St.) directly after the Independence Day Parade, which takes off from Fifth and Chestnut streets at 11 a.m. The cake and 2,5000 cupcakes (also arranged to depict an American flag) will be distributed to the public for free.