One of the largest and most longstanding African-American street festivals in the nation
June 14, 2015
Note: The information below is from 2014. Stay tuned for more information about this year’s event as it becomes available.
The annual Odunde Street Festival brings a genuine taste of Africa to South Street and one of Philadelphia’s oldest, historically African-American neighborhoods.
This year, as the landmark festival celebrates its 39th anniversary, it becomes a five-day abundance of cultural, historical and family-friendly events that’s expected to draw nearly 500,000 people and cover 12 city blocks.
A variety of events are slated to take place at various locales throughout the city, beginning on Wednesday, June 4 with an Odunde365 talk from influential Philadelphians at the African American Museum in Philadelphia.
Thursday, June 5, festivities moves to Ms. Tootsies for the Odunde365 Networking Mixer, and on Friday, June 6, City Hall welcomes ambassadors from Senegal, Granada, Ivory Coast and the African Union.
Come the weekend, events include a Guinness World Record-sized Zumba Class and the African Family Day at the Please Touch Museum on Saturday, June 7 and the blockbuster festival/street fair on Sunday, June 8.
The festival begins with a procession to the Schuylkill River, where prayers are offered and blessings bestowed. The procession then returns to South Street for the start of the street festival.
The enormous street fair covers 12 blocks, features more than 100 food and artisan vendors and is one of the largest community-based street festivals in the country taking over streets from 23rd and Lombard to Grays Ferry and Christian, and along South Street from 20th to 24th streets.
For a full list of events, click the button below.
Festival streets will be closed to traffic and parking, so consider taking public transportation.
Odunde’s authentic African Marketplace features vendors from around the world, including the Caribbean and Brazil.
Odunde is a Yoruba word that means “Happy New Year.” Every year, Odunde draws vendors from not only America but from Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, and Guinea.
Odunde is the creation of its South Philadelphia founder, Lois Fernandez, who launched the festival after visiting similar celebrations in Africa. The concept originates from the Yoruba people of Nigeria, West Africa, and celebrates the coming of another year for African-Americans and Africanized people around the world.
ODUNDE, Inc. is an educational and cultural organization that sponsors year-round programs featuring the African Diaspora as well as the annual Odunde Festival. Traditionally, the festival draws 32 percent of its visitors from outside the Philadelphia region.
For more information, click the button below.
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