Philadelphia’s Odunde Festival has become the latest victim of the coronavirus pandemic.
The annual African American cultural street festival has taken place the second Sunday in June along South Street and Grays Ferry Avenue since the mid-1970s, but won’t happen this year due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the resulting statewide social-distancing directives, festival organizers said Tuesday.
The 2020 free festival was supposed to take place on June 14, drawing thousands of people from around the region and nationally-known performers. Organizers decided to cancel with public safety in mind.
“The health and well-being of our festival attendees, vendors and performers is paramount,” Odunde board president and CEO Oshunbumi Fernandez-West said. “We are excited to see you next year – Sunday, June 13, 2021.”
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Odunde organizers encouraged people to continue to interact with the cultural organization’s year-round Odunde 365 programming and I am B.U.M.I. children program.
Entering Tuesday, Philadelphia had reported nearly 13,000 COVID-19 cases and nearly 500 deaths.