philadelphia celebration photo

2026 U.S. Semiquincentennial

Welcome to the celebration of America's 250th birthday in the historic city of Philadelphia, where the roots of American democracy run deep. As the birthplace of the nation, Philadelphia holds a special significance in the hearts of Americans and people around the world. In 2026, we are proud to host the Semiquincentennial, a momentous occasion marking 250 years of independence and progress.

Rich in history and cultural heritage, Philadelphia offers a unique backdrop for this commemorative event. As described by the Michelin Green Guide Series, Philadelphia stands as America's "most historical city," making it the perfect setting to honor our nation's journey over the past two and a half centuries.

The Semiquincentennial celebration will showcase the vibrancy and diversity of Philadelphia, highlighting its contributions to art, culture, and innovation. Through a series of events, exhibitions, and performances, we will explore the past, present, and future of America, paying tribute to the ideals that have shaped our nation. From symposiums on democracy and citizenship to street festivals celebrating our cultural heritage, there will be something for everyone to enjoy and engage with during this historic occasion.

liberty bell

What does the Semiquincentennial celebrate?

In 1776, Philadelphia was abuzz with anticipation and tension as representatives from the thirteen American colonies gathered at the Pennsylvania State House, now known as Independence Hall. The atmosphere was charged with fervor and uncertainty as delegates debated the course of action against British rule. Inside the Assembly Room of Independence Hall, amidst the soaring rhetoric and impassioned debates, the Declaration of Independence took shape.

On July 4th, 1776, after weeks of intense deliberation, the Continental Congress adopted Thomas Jefferson's draft of the Declaration of Independence. In a momentous act of defiance, representatives from each colony signed the document, sealing the fate of a fledgling nation and forever altering the course of history. 

Courtesy PHLCVB/Paul Loftland

The signing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia symbolized a bold assertion of self-determination and a commitment to the ideals of liberty and equality. It was a defining moment not only for the city but for the entire nation, laying the groundwork for the American Revolution and the birth of a new republic.

For Philadelphians, the Semiquincentennial offers a chance to rediscover their city and reaffirm their connection to its storied past. It's an opportunity to come together as a community, celebrate their shared heritage, and envision the future of Philadelphia as a beacon of freedom and progress.adelphia as a beacon of freedom and progress.

city hall photo

With its wealth of 67 National Historical Landmarks, cultural attractions, and dynamic events, Philadelphia welcomes both residents and visitors alike to join in the festivities and make the Semiquincentennial a truly unforgettable experience for all.

Game On: Where History Meets Sports


FIFA World Cup championship matches at the Financial Field

Philadelphia has been selected as one of the 11 U.S. cities, alongside three in Mexico and two in Canada, to serve as a host for matches during the 2026 FIFA World Cup. This prestigious global sporting event will attract visitors from all corners of the globe to Philly, where elite athletes will compete at Lincoln Financial Field. 

With the nation's 250th birthday celebration, the MLB All-Star Game, and now the FIFA World Cup all slated for 2026, Philadelphia is poised for an incredibly monumental year.

fifa trophy


Annual All-Star baseball game at Citizens Bank Park 

For the fifth time in Philadelphia history and the first time at Citizens Bank Park, the Major League Baseball All-Star game is coming to Philly in 2026! 

Previously held in 1943, 1952, 1976 and 1996, the "Midsummer Classic" will welcome baseball fans from all over the country to Philadelphia for the exciting game, just in time to help celebrate the 250th anniversary (Semiquincentennial) of American Independence.


NCAA’s March Madness men’s basketball tournament comes to Wells Fargo Center

As yet "another tremendous example of the collaborative camaraderie of the Philadelphia sports community," NCAA players will hit the court at the Wells Fargo Center for the 1st and 2nd Rounds of the NCAA March Madness Tournament. 

The NCAA events "will bring over 128,500 unique attendees to Philadelphia generating more than 76,000 room nights across the region."


Aronimink Golf Club gathers for the 108th PGA Championship

Aronimink is gearing up to host the 2026 PGA Championship, aligning perfectly with the United States' semiquincentennial celebration, commemorating the 250th anniversary of America’s founding in 1776 in Philadelphia.

Explore Historical and Cultural Events


Visit the National Semiquincentennial Convention

Two-day cultural festival at the Pennsylvania Convention Center with:

  • Forums
  • Panels
  • Screenings


Explore world-renown museums:


1. Museum of the American Revolutionmuseum of the american revolution logo

Explore the following exhibits:

  • Flags and Founding Documents, 1776-Today exhibit
  • True Colours Flag Project


2. Please Touch Museum

The exhibit seeks to "focus on introducing kids to the concept of democracy and its role in their lives at an earlier age."


3. Old City Museum - The First Bank of U.S. Transformed 

Following extensive advocacy efforts aimed at renovating the First Bank of the United States building, Independence National Historical Park secured $22.2 million in federal funding. This allocation will facilitate the transformation of the Old City landmark into a museum dedicated to the early stages of the American economy. 

With construction underway, the museum is scheduled to be completed in time for the nation’s 250th birthday celebration.


Celebrate with the U.S. Navy & Marine Corps

Secretary of the Navy Carlos del Toro has publicly announced that the Navy and Marine corps will celebrate their 250th anniversaries in Philadelphia and Camden, the birthplace of their creation. 


Ceremony in Independence National Historical Park

Join the Archivist of the United States, David S. Ferriero, to bury a 250-year time capsule at Independence National Historic Park. 

"In honor of the Spirit of '76 that inspired the colonists to declare their independence," 76 tree saplings will be planted around the park to celebrate 250 years of independence. 

Parties & Parades


Independence Day Parade and Party on the Parkway

Philly really comes alive on July 4th - and in 2026, it's going to be a festival to remember. July 4th will kick off the annual Wawa Welcome America festival—a hallmark event officially recognized by the City of Philadelphia as its Independence Day celebration—and culminate in a breathtaking fireworks display above the Philadelphia Museum of Art.


Welcome America 2-week (and counting!) Celebrationwawa welcome america logo

Why limit Independence Day celebrations to just one day? WAWA Welcome America will be holding its annual event - except this time, it's going to be bigger and better. Fireworks, concerts, festivals, and plenty of cultural events (often with free admission!) will be held over the course of two weeks filled with fun. 


Celebration of Freedom ceremony

Gather against the iconic backdrop of Independence Hall on July 4th to commemorate America's evolving journey towards freedom, featuring speeches from Philadelphia leaders and esteemed guests, alongside an inspiring recital of the Declaration of Independence.

How to Get Involved

Getting involved with PHILADELPHIA250, an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering community involvement in crafting a commemoration "by the people, for all people," is the ideal way to dive into action.

Even as the organization continues to build its initiatives and infrastructure, you can begin volunteering your time today. Explore PHILADELPHIA250's website to discover opportunities for volunteering, spreading awareness, participating in events, or making donations.

phila250 logo