Fireworks are always the star of 4th of July festivities.
The Declaration of Independence may be the reason America celebrates this day, but it’s the fireworks that draw the crowds and captivate onlookers for miles around.
Philadelphia will host three nights of fireworks, the biggest being the 4th of July above the art museum after a free concert featuring Tori Kelly, Jason Derulo and Ava Max.
The Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be flooded with people as all 4th of July events will be live and outdoors for the first time in two years.
While parading the boardwalk and seeing all of its attractions can be fun, some may prefer to enjoy Kelly, Derulo, Max and the fireworks from the comfort of their or their home.
Channel 10 and TeleXitos (Channel 62) make this possible. NBC’s sister stations will begin airing July 4 activities from the boardwalk beginning at 7 p.m. next Monday. The concert with Kelly and company is scheduled for xh xx. The fireworks are scheduled to begin at 9:45 p.m. The sounds of the occasion will be simulcast on WUMR (106.1 FM), a station that broadcasts in Spanish and is also known as Rumba. 106.1.
This concert and round of fireworks is the culmination of more than a week of events offered, free of charge, under the umbrella of the Wawa Welcome America Festival, which is ongoing and coordinated by Visit Philadelphia. You can see a full list of activities on the Visit Philadelphia website. www.visitphilly.org, and see regular stories and a schedule on the Channel 10 site, www.nbcphiladelphia.com.
Channel 10 does not list the hosts on its site, but it is certain that someone from its news team will feature Parkway’s stories in detail before the concert at the Art Museum. Journalists, who already cover the events of Welcome America in detail, will no doubt line up the walk to document the fun people are having, much like the station’s Leah Oku did this Saturday night reporting a block party and concert on Broad Street courtesy of Kimmel Cultural Campus. The star of this story was an adorable little girl who was with her grandparents and seemed ready to dance for Oku’s camera at the slightest invitation, which Leah of course extended.
For me, the live events and the 4th of July celebration are one more tribute to my friend and colleague of the past decades, Jeff Guaracino, who was President and CEO of Visit Philadelphia at the time of his death at the end of last year at the age of 48.
Jeff has produced several 4th of July shows and is a key architect of the Welcome America festival, its lead sponsorship by Wawa, and its television partnership with NBC 10. He began his successful career as a public relations intern at Channel 3.
Jason Derulo will be making at least his second appearance on the 4th of July stage. The singer-songwriter, whose stage name is an easier-to-pronounce interpretation of his longer French surname, is known for several hit recordings, such as ‘Ridin’ Solo’, ‘It Girl’ and “Wiggle”.
Tori Kelly is the headliner of the concert. Meena from the animated film “Sing,” Kelly received her first big attention a decade ago as an “American Idol” contestant (when she was on “American Idol” counted). She went on to win Grammys in 2019 for her Gospel album, “Hiding Place,” and Best Gospel Song for a cut from that recording, “Never Alone.” She received Grammy nominations in 2016 for Best New Artist and in 2022 for two separate albums, “Justice” and “A Tori Kelly Christmas.”
Ava Max had a breakthrough song with the provocative title, “Sweet but Psycho” in 2016 and followed it up with hit singles, “Kings and Queens” and “My Head & My Heart” in 2020.
In addition to the televised 4th of July fireworks display, Welcome America features fireworks from Cherry Street Pier at 9 p.m. on Friday, July 1 and from Penn’s Landing at 9 p.m. on Saturday, July 2. Saturday’s display will follow a concert at Penn’s Landing’s Great Plaza featuring a concert of patriotic music from the U.S. Army’s Pershing’s Own.
Welcome America highlights for this week include free admission to the always interesting Mütter Museum at the College of Physicians, 19 S. 22nd Street from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday; Wawa Hoagie Day from noon to 2 p.m. at Independence Mall and free admission to one of America’s top museums, The National Constitution Center, 5th and Arch Streets from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday (courtesy of wow); a White Summer Solstice Party at the African American Museum of Philadelphia from 7-11 p.m. Thursday; free admission to the Swedish History Museum, 1900 Pattison Avenue (10am-4pm), the Van Wyck Garden and Historical House, 6026 Germantown Avenue (12pm-4pm) and the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Tinicum (9am-4pm). 4 p.m.) also on Thursday; free entry to Powel House, 244 S. 3rd Street (11 a.m.-4 p.m.), Rodin Museum, 2151` Benjamin Franklin Parkway (10 a.m.-8:30 p.m.), Penn Museum, 3260 South Street (10 a.m.-5 p.m.), and the impressive Temple Masonry, Library and Museum, 1 N. Broad Street (10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.) Fridays; a free day at Stenton, 4601 N. 18th Street (10 a.m.-5 p.m.) and the National Liberty Museum, 321 Chestnut Street (10 a.m.-5 p.m.), and a celebration of community and culture at Esperanza Arts Center, 4261 N. 5th Street (11am-3pm) on Saturday; and a free day at the Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway (10 a.m.-5 p.m.) and also the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway (10 a.m.-5 p.m.) on Sunday, which also features a POPS concert on Independence Mall from 7 p.m. 9 p.m.
McCook finally got a well-deserved Emmy
It’s gratifying when an actor who has only played one role for 35 years is presented with an Emmy for Best Actor in a Daytime Drama, that is, a soap opera.
That’s exactly what happened to John McCook, who received an Emmy last week for his performance as Eric Forrester in “The Bold and the Beautiful.”
McCook prevailed against another veteran soap actor, Peter Bergman, who has played Jack Abbott on “The Young and the Restless” for 33 years.
Forrester and Abbott are the patriarchs of the clans that dominate their respective shows. McCook and Bergman have done an admirable job portraying them over the decades and deserve the accolades that McCook’s victory and Bergman’s nomination mean.
Another chestnut, this time a “General Hospital” show, seen locally since time immemorial at 3 p.m. weekdays on Channel 6, won the Emmy for Best Drama Series, not bad for a show I’ve seen from on and off since I was in high school in the late 1960s. The beauty of the soaps is that I log on or walk in front of the TV when “General Hospital” is on, and I recognize several of the characters and I I’d swear the plots haven’t changed much since I was a teenager.
Best Actress in a Daytime Drama is Mishael Morgan, who plays Amanda in “The Young and the Restless.” The best actor and actress in a supporting role are Jeff Kober and Kelly Thiebaud, both of “General Hospital”.
No wonder “Jeopardy!”, the best TV quiz show of all time, took home honors as the best game show. Neither “Jeopardy!” neither host Ken Jennings nor Mayim Bialik were nominated for Best Game Show Host. That honor went to Steve Harvey of “Family Feud.”
As readers may recall, I take a dark, bordering on dismissive view of most daytime chat programs, which I believe goes beyond the Kardashians and any number of “Real Housewife” rates for vanity and worse, for gossip or partisan propaganda. as a fact.
There are talk shows I can watch. “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” is one of them despite Kelly acting like she lives on the beach where “you never hear a discouraging word.”
“The Kelly Clarkson Show” won the Emmy for Best Entertainment Talk Show, and Clarkson took home honors for Best Host.
The accolades for Best Informative Talk Show went to “Turning Tables With Robin Roberts” on Disney+.
The Emmy for Outstanding Informative Talk Show Host went to Tamron Hall for its syndicated program, which airs locally at 10 a.m. weekdays on Channel 6.
Hall would not have been my choice. In fact, I joke that I set a timer for 10 a.m. to remind myself to turn away from Hall’s program and “The View,” which immediately follows “Tamron Hall” at 11 a.m.
“Entertainment Tonight” won the Emmy for Outstanding Entertaining News Series.
Neal Zoren’s TV column airs every Monday.