Earth, Wind & Fire (music group)

Day trip: Philadelphia's 4th of July celebrations

Day trip: Philadelphia's 4th of July celebrations

The Fourth of July is more than fireworks and picnics. It's a celebration of the day the Continental Congress took the bold step of declaring independence, vowing to "dissolve the political bands" connecting England and the colonies in order to start an entirely new government.

Here in Maryland, we're close to where it all began. Philadelphia has turned the holiday into an 11-day party with historic touches. In Virginia, the presidential homes Monticello and Mount Vernon are both holding naturalization ceremonies that "hammer home the true meaning of the holiday," said Tamra Talmadge-Anderson, spokesperson for the Virginia Tourism Corporation. Colonial...