World-Renowned Odunde Festival Returns to South Philly

The culture, spirit and economic importance of Africa will bring hundreds of thousands of people to South Philadelphia in June for the Odunde Festival, the largest African festival in the nation.

Sunday, June 10, Odunde's big street festival will begin at 10 a.m. at 23rd and South streets. The festival features a marketplace loaded with vendors from selling merchandise from many African nations, the Caribbean and Brazil.  

At noon, the festival will hold a procession from 23rd and South streets to the Schuylkill River, where an offering of fruit and flowers is made to the Yoruba goddess of the river, Oshun.

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But before the fun, the festival will focus on critical issues for African development. A delegation of African diplomats will meet with Gov. Tom Wolf and Harrisburg lawmakers on June 7, and Odunde will sponsor events on U.S. investment in Africa on June 8.

At 3 p.m. on June 8 the Global Interdependence Center will host its annual African Business Roundtable, featuring officials from Ghana, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire and Liberia, as well as U.S. and Pennsylvania officials.

On Saturday, a Philadelphia street will be renamed in honor of Odunde founder Lois Fernandez. And other festival events begin earlier in June. 

Here's Odunde's Complete 2018 Schedule

Note: Some events have sold out. Check the festival schedule for updates.

June 3 – I Am Bumi Brunch
11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Ms. Tootsies, 1312 South St., Philadelphia

June 4 – African Yoga
6 p.m., Art Sanctuary, 628 S. 16th St., Philadelphia

June 5 – My Story: Influential and Powerful People in Philadelphia Tell Their Stories of Success in Their Own Words.
5 p.m. to 8 p.m., African American Museum, 7th and Arch streets, Philadelphia
Registration required; click here to register.

June 6 – African Pottery Class
6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Expressive Hand Studio, 9th and Bainbridge streets

June 8 – African Business Roundtable
2 p.m. to 5 p.m. , Federal Reserve Bank, 6th and Arch streets, Philadelphia
Registration required; click here to register.

June 8 – VIP/Dignitaries Reception
5.30 p.m. to 8 p.m., African American Museum, 7th and Arch streets, Philadelphia

June 9 – Lois Fernandez Street Re-naming Ceremony
11 a.m., 23rd and South streets

June 10 – Odunde Festival
10 a.m. to 8 p.m., 23rd and South streets

The Odunde Festival offers a number of food trucks and other vendors along Grays Ferry Avenue and South Street. Entertainment and music stages can be found at the intersections of Grays Ferry Avenue and Fitzwater Street in addition to Grays Ferry Avenue and South Street. Porta-potties can be found at 24th and Bainbridge Street and at 21st and South Street.

For more information on the festival, click here.

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