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Heading to Philly for a Band Trip? We've Got You Covered!

A city with great opportunities for marching bands!

Philadelphia provides several exciting opportunities for marching bands, allowing them to showcase their talent, engage with the local community, and participate in memorable performances. Here are some notable opportunities for marching bands in Philadelphia:

  1. Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade: The Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade is a cherished tradition and one of the oldest Thanksgiving parades in the country. Participating marching bands have the chance to perform in front of a massive crowd, including local residents and national television viewers. This iconic parade offers a unique platform for bands to display their skills and entertain spectators lining the streets of Philadelphia.

  2. Independence Day Celebrations: Philadelphia celebrates Independence Day with grand festivities, including the "Wawa Welcome America" festival. This multi-day event features concerts, fireworks, and a patriotic parade. Marching bands can participate in the parade, performing patriotic tunes and joining in the vibrant atmosphere as the city commemorates the birth of the nation.

  3. Performances at Historic Sites: Philadelphia is brimming with historic sites that provide picturesque backdrops for marching band performances. Bands can arrange to perform at iconic locations like Independence National Historical Park, where the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall are located. These performances allow bands to intertwine their musical talents with the city's rich history, creating a truly memorable experience for both the performers and the audience.

  4. University and College Events: Philadelphia is home to several prestigious universities and colleges, such as the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, and Temple University. Many of these institutions organize events, parades, and sports games that provide opportunities for marching bands to showcase their skills. Collaborating with local university bands can also lead to joint performances and cultural exchange, enhancing the overall experience for visiting marching bands.

  5. Community Parades and Festivals: Throughout the year, Philadelphia hosts a range of community parades and festivals that welcome marching bands to participate. Events like the Philadelphia St. Patrick's Day Parade, the Puerto Rican Day Parade, and the Philadelphia Flower Show Parade provide avenues for bands to engage with diverse audiences and celebrate the city's vibrant cultural heritage.

  6. Pregame Performances at Sports Events: Philadelphia boasts a passionate sports culture, with teams like the Eagles (NFL), Phillies (MLB), 76ers (NBA), and Flyers (NHL) capturing the hearts of local fans. Marching bands may have opportunities to perform during pregame festivities at these sporting events, adding energy and excitement to the atmosphere while gaining exposure to a large audience.

  7. Collaborations with Local Bands and Organizations: Philadelphia has a thriving music scene, with numerous local bands, ensembles, and musical organizations. Marching bands can explore opportunities to collaborate with these groups, sharing performances or engaging in joint events. Such collaborations foster artistic connections, inspire creativity, and provide valuable networking opportunities for marching bands.

Philadelphia offers a range of opportunities for marching bands to perform, engage with the community, and showcase their talent. From high-profile parades to historic sites and collaborations with local organizations, these experiences enable bands to leave a lasting impression while immersing themselves in the vibrant musical and cultural scene.

And if you find you have some free time, here are FREE things any student can do to explore the City of Brotherly Love.

Here are some specific free things to do in Philadelphia with four hours of free time for students:

  1. Explore the Benjamin Franklin Parkway: Take a leisurely walk along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia's grand boulevard. Admire the iconic statues, fountains, and public art installations that line the street. Don't miss the Swann Memorial Fountain at Logan Square, which is a popular spot for photos.

  2. Visit the Rodin Museum: The Rodin Museum houses one of the largest collections of Auguste Rodin's sculptures outside of France. Admission to the museum is pay-what-you-wish, making it an excellent option for students. Marvel at masterpieces like "The Thinker" and "The Gates of Hell" while exploring the beautiful outdoor gardens.

  3. Discover the Philadelphia Magic Gardens: While entry to Philadelphia Magic Gardens is not free, you can admire the stunning mosaic art from the outside without purchasing a ticket. The intricate and colorful mosaic walls and sculptures make for a fantastic photo opportunity.

  4. Take a Self-Guided Walking Tour of Historic District: Philadelphia's Historic District is filled with historic landmarks, picturesque streets, and hidden gems. Download a self-guided tour map or follow the signs to explore highlights like Elfreth's Alley (the oldest residential street in America), the Betsy Ross House, and Christ Church Burial Ground (where Benjamin Franklin is buried).

  5. Wander through the University of Pennsylvania's campus: The University of Pennsylvania's campus is a beautiful and historic area worth exploring. Walk through Locust Walk, the main pedestrian thoroughfare, and admire the architecture of buildings like College Hall and Fisher Fine Arts Library. Visit the Penn Museum, which offers free admission on select days for Penn students and Philadelphia School District students.

  6. Attend a Free Concert at Penn's Landing: During the summer, Penn's Landing hosts a series of free outdoor concerts and festivals. Check the schedule and catch a live music performance while enjoying the scenic views of the Delaware River waterfront.

  7. Explore the Philadelphia City Hall: Take a tour inside Philadelphia City Hall, one of the city's most iconic buildings. Admire the grand architecture, visit the observation deck (free of charge), and enjoy panoramic views of the city skyline.

Remember to check the opening hours and any specific requirements for each activity before visiting to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.


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