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PHILADELPHIA -- Fourth of July is fast approaching and plans are shaping up for the annual Wawa Welcome America celebration.
This year's celebration will run for 10 days, kicking off June 25 and ending July 4 with a celebration of freedom ceremony, the Philadelphia Independence Day parade and the Philly 4th of July Jam and grand finale fireworks.
This year, musical band The Roots will be back as the Philly 4th of July Jam house band, with Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson serving as musical director. A star-filled lineup will join The Roots, including hip-hop star and actress Queen Latifah; Philadelphia area native Daryl Hall; hip-hop artist, actor and poet Common; and pop singer Joe Jonas.
The festivities also include Wawa Hoagie Day on June 27. This year's Hoagie Day will focus on honoring U.S. troops and expanding on Wawa's partnership with the USO. Wawa will present a check to the USO that represents the proceeds from the retail chain's in-store collection campaign for the USO. During the event, guests will again have the chance to visit the "letters from home" station. In addition, Philadelphia police officers, firefighters and branches of the military will compete in a hoagie-building contest to benefit local charitable organizations.
Wawa President and CEO Howard Stoeckel also said the convenience store company is extending its sponsorship of the Welcome America events for another three years beyond 2012, according to CBS Philly.