Tag Archives: odunde

Upcoming: 40th Annual Odunde Festival – Sunday June 14th

40th Annual Odunde Festival

When: Sunday, June 14, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Where: 23rd & South Streets
Cost: FREE
For info: Click here for full festival details.

::::: via Philly360 ::::::::

Philly, It’s time to celebrate the African New Year and our city’s rich culture and heritage with the 40th Annual Odunde Festival.  Meaning “ Happy New Year” in Yoruba, Odunde was created in the likeness of African celebrations of the Yoruba people in Nigeria.

Held every second Sunday in June since 1975, this massive event brings South Street West to life, drawing thousands of visitors from around the country to shop its African marketplace, take in lively performances, and enjoy all of the other Odunde festivities.

Each year, the festival begins with a group procession from South 23rd and South Streets to the Schuylkill River to make offerings to Oshun, the Yoruba goddess of the river. Then the crowd returns to 23rd and South for the official start of the festival, which stretches over twelve city blocks. In the African marketplace, vendors from around the globe offer great food, art, clothing, jewelry, and other black and African-influenced wares.

In addition to great shopping and eats, Odunde features two stages that will explode with some of Philly and the country’s most entertaining performers. Be on the look out for great R&B, soul and gospel music, African dancing and Odunde’s signature drum circle.

This year’s performance highlights include Philadanco, Rennie Harris, Philly Youth Poetry Movement and a special throwback hip-hop concert feaeturing Kurt Blow, Special Ed, Chubb Rock and Kwame.

Click here to get the full deets on this year’s Odunde festival.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Odunde

37th Annual Odunde Festival

A look at Odunde, the largest African street festival on the East Coast. Photos by Julia Aguilar

This past Sunday, Philly was piping hot. At 23rd and South, a cloudless blue sky and sizzling asphalt set the stage for the 37th annual Odunde festival. The culminating event in a ten-day-long celebration of African culture focused this year on Bahia, Brazil. Crowds thronged through blocks lined with vendors selling traditional jewelry, instruments, oils and shea butter. Seeking shade from trees and umbrellas, performers improvised incendiary drum circles, and FICA Philadelphia (among other local capoeria and regional FICA groups) played whirling rodas ofcapoeira, a Brazilian martial art, accompanied by singing and clapping.

Every year, Odunde, meaning “Happy New Year,” in Yoruba, hosts over 125 vendors of varying West African, Caribbean, and African-American crafts, food and clothing to share the Yoruba holiday revering Oshun, a holy Orisha in Yoruba religion. Though the street festival is the pinnacle of its celebrations (attracting between 3,000-5,000 people annually), Odunde holds a series of academic, historical, and entertaining events throughout the first week of June. This year’s included a symposium on Oshun at the African American Musuem in Philadelphia, and an outdoor Zumba aerobics class that hosted over 300 participants.

Be there next year, the second Sunday in June!