The annual Odunde Street Festival brings a genuine taste of Africa to South Street and one of Philadelphia’s oldest, historically African-American neighborhoods.
The enormous festival, which began in 1975, takes over a dozen-block radius in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood, gathering hundreds of vendors from around the world.
Odunde is one of the largest African-American street festivals in the nation.
Odunde is a Yoruba word that means “Happy New Year.” Every year, the Odunde Festival draws vendors from not only America but from an array of African and Caribbean countries as well.
Headquartered in Graduate Hospital, streets will be blocked off to make way for the thousands and thousands of visitors slated to pass through the neighborhood.
Festival-goers can stroll the area from 23rd and Lombard streets to Grays Ferry Avenue and Christian Street, and from 20th and South streets to 24th and South streets.
The food is a huge attraction at Odunde, with a variety of vendors rarely seen at other regional festivals serving all sorts of African, Caribbean and Soul food.
Guests should be sure to check out the awesome cuisine, including a variety of fried fish and chicken dishes, corn on the cob and much more.
More than 100 area vendors sell everything from crafts, clothing, jewelry and more at the neighborhood event. Beyond shopping from local vendors, the festival’s authentic African marketplace promises shoppers items from countries in Africa, the Caribbean and South America.
An array of live music and performances also takes place on designated stages throughout the entire day.
The festival stretches for 10 blocks along South Street and Grays Ferry Avenue.
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.
For more information on the Odunde Festival, click the button below.
The Odunde Festival stretches for 10 blocks in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood of Philadelphia.
— Photo by A. Ricketts for Visit Philadelphia
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