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PHILADELPHIA — Wawa Inc. is returning as title sponsor of Wawa Welcome America! for the seventh year. This year's celebration will offer additional fireworks displays, new concerts, free museum days and Wawa Hoagie Day.
The festival runs June 27 through July 4. Over the eight days of Wawa Welcome America! events, the convenience store retailer will give away thousands of its products, including iced teas, lemonade teas, raspberry lemonade, hoagies, smoothies and other Wawa foods and beverages, at various locations throughout the city.
"Wawa Welcome America! and Hoagie Day give us an opportunity to honor our country's past and celebrate those heroes, past and present, who have made it the special place it is today. We're thrilled that we can continue our commitment to fulfilling lives every day, for our community and our customers, and also highlight the men and women who protect the freedoms we celebrate during the Fourth of July," said Chris Gheysens, Wawa's president and CEO.
With all the events, activities and giveaways planned for this year, 2016 is set to be the best yet for Wawa Welcome America!, he added.
"We hope everyone enjoys this jam-packed week of events and can't wait to see everyone walking the Parkway, enjoying this wonderful celebration," Gheysens said.
The 24th annual Wawa Hoagie Day will take place from noon to 1:30 p.m. on June 30 at Independence Mall. The event will feature Wawa associates, Food Network Chef Robert Irvine, the USO Show Troupe and radio station WMMR's Preston & Steve. It will begin with a salute to local and national heroes — military service men and women, firefighters and police officers. Events will include a hoagie march by military heroes and re-enactors, and in recognition of the 75th anniversary of the Liberty USO, 75 volunteers will be honored for their service to military members and their families.
Also on June 30, visitors will receive free admission to The National Constitution Center from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Then, on July 1, the Wawa Smoothie Shack will be open from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Penn's Landing. Visitors will receive free samples of Wawa's smoothies.
The following day, July 2, visitors will once again receive free admission to The National Constitution Center from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Museum attendees will be able to explore the special exhibits planned in honor of the nation's birthday, including the featured exhibit of the day — "Headed to the White House," the only exhibit of its kind.
In addition, on July 2, Wawa will continue its salute of everyday heroes by recognizing the police officers who serve the community through the Police Athletic League of Philadelphia. In a special morning ceremony, families, children and local officials will be on hand to show appreciation for these heroes through a special breakfast and tribute in their honor.
On July 3, the Wawa Smoothie Shack will again be open and offering free samples from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., but this time at the Independence Block Party at Independence Hall.
The festival concludes July 4 with the Independence Day Parade from 11 a.m. to noon, the Party on the Parkway, followed by a concert and fireworks display.
For a complete list of events, click here.
Wawa operates more than 700 convenience stores in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Florida.