The iconic Independence Day celebration in Philadelphia, Wawa Welcome America, will look significantly different this year.

The event, which normally packs thousands into the city of Philadelphia will not physically take place this year. But it will happen virtually, the mayor's office announced on Tuesday (May 12).

In years past the events have been spread of a full week brining more than 50 events (music performances, block parties, movie showings, and more) to the city. The events have been capped off with a massive concert on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and an epic fireworks display. Jennifer Hudson and Meghan Trainor headlined last year's concert.

"We are delivering a completely reimagined virtual July 4th festival," said Michael DelBene, CEO of Welcome America Inc., said in a press release.

The virtual events for 2020 will be spread out over multiple days, officials say. And yes, a concert will be held, but without an audience. It'll be broadcast on NBC 10, the mayor's office says.

An announcement regarding headliners, the festival's schedule and more is expected to made sometime in June. The festival's organizers are working with Live Nation regarding the 2020 entertainment lineup.

As for the question of: will there be a fireworks display this year? That answer was not immediately clear as Mayor Kenney didn't elaborate either way in today's announcement.

The decision to move this year's events online is not a surprising one, of course, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues across our area. It's estimated that the festival has had more than 500,000 attendees in years past.

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