As part of its fifth year as title sponsor of Wawa Welcome America!, Wawa will be hosting its most patriotic and meaningful Hoagie Day to date featuring the building and serving of a five-ton hoagie.
Wawa’s 2014 Hoagie Day celebration marks the 22nd year since the inaugural Hoagie Day was held in 1992, when the Hoagie was proclaimed the “Official Sandwich of Philadelphia” by then Mayor Edward Rendell. This year’s Hoagie Day is particularly meaningful as it occurs the same year as Wawa’s 50th anniversary in retail. To honor this milestone year at Wawa and infuse the patriotism and excitement July 4 is all about, this year’s Hoagie Day will be dedicated to honoring 50 hometown heroes and promises to serve up 50 times the fun.
On Wednesday, July 2 at 12 p.m., Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter will join Philadelphia police officers and firefighters, members of the Pennsylvania National Army Guard and Pennsylvania National Air Guard, members of the USO, the U.S. Army “Old Guard” Fife and Drum Corps, Wawa associates and hoagie-lovers across Philadelphia for the most exciting Hoagie Day to date. Hoagie Day will kick off as the Color Guard from the Army National Guard marches in the flags, honoring America and our troops.
Next, Hoagie Day will feature the five-ton Hoagie Salute to Our Troops, named after the continuing focus of Hoagie Day—honoring soldiers and hometown heroes, as well as Wawa’s long-standing partnership with the USO. During the salute, the five-ton hoagie (comprised of 17,000 Shorti Hoagies), which will be built the morning of the celebration at the nearby National Constitution Center, will be marched in by Wawa Associates and re-enactors from military moments throughout history. It will then be served to the crowd, free of charge.
“This year for Wawa Hoagie Day, I am proud to celebrate all of military men and women and the return of our brave local military heroes. These returning servicemen and women deserve our gratitude and praise—I’d like to thank Wawa for honoring these brave men and women at the 2014 Hoagie Day,” said Mayor Nutter. “I’d also like to recognize that this year’s event coincides with Wawa’s 50th Anniversary in retail service, during which it has been an excellent corporate citizen and partner to the City of Philadelphia. I encourage everyone to enjoy the five-ton Hoagie, and don’t forget ‘Philly Owns the 4th’!”
Beyond the Hoagie Salute, this year’s Hoagie Day will bring together 50 heroes who will be highlighted throughout the day’s festivities. By bringing together members of the National Air and Army guard, returning military heroes, local police and firefighters, and members of the USO, Wawa is excited to recognize more than 50 heroes who protect all the freedoms we celebrate today. Wawa will also specifically highlight returning military heroes who will be featured through Mayor Nutter’s Hoagie Day proclamation, as well as through a special tribute pack presentation, which will feature tickets to July 4festivities, including the Celebration of Freedom, the concert, and fireworks. Hoagie Day will feature a letter writing station, inviting guests to write a letter for inclusion in care packages, made by Wawa and distributed by Liberty USO.
During the celebration, Wawa and The Wawa Foundation will also present a check to the USO for $100,000, all raised through 2nd quarter in-store campaign.
“Honoring more than 50 hometown heroes at this year’s Hoagie Day reminds us what the holiday is all about, and we couldn’t be happier to highlight the men and women who protect the freedoms we are all celebrating,” said Chris Gheysens, Wawa’s president & CEO. “We’re thrilled to be able to support these brave men and women in an even greater way than ever before, through The Wawa Foundation and the creation of a new Wawa Veterans Alliance. We hope everyone enjoys this jam-packed Hoagie Day, and are excited to infuse our Wawa Way into this wonderful celebration.”
Hoagie Day will also feature a Hoagies for Heroes Doubleheader first between Philadelphia Police Officers and Firefighters then between The PA National Armed Guard and PA National Air Guard who will go head-to-head in a charitable hoagie building competition. Wawa will make a contribution of $3,000 to the charities of all teams.