Brooks’ appearance is part of the eight-day Sunoco Welcome America Festival, which will culminate with an all-star extravaganza. A parade will lead to the front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art where Philadelphia native Jill Scott will perform, as will a 75-voice multicultural choir and the United States Air Force Band of Middle America.

Noted television producer Norman Lear is producing an “unprecedented dramatic reading” of the Declaration of Independence featuring Brooks and actors Mel Gibson, Kathy Bates and Morgan Freeman.

Fireworks and traditional Independence music will cap the evening.

Not much has been heard from Brooks since he announced his retirement last year, saying he wanted to complete a few projects but was not going to tour again. The man who is largely credited with country music’s phenomenal success in the ‘90s is reportedly working on a new album. Brooks’ last original studio album (as Garth Brooks) was 1997’s smash hit Sevens.

His Chris Gaines persona has been laying low as well. There’s been no word on the movie project that was supposed to follow the less-than-lovingly received The Life of Chris Gaines album.