May 30, 2024 - Things to Do

Philadelphia's Odunde Festival set for June 9

The Odunde Festival

Photo: Courtesy of the Odunde Festival

The Odunde Festival returns to South Philly on June 9 for its 49th year.

Why it matters: The one-day celebration is the largest Black and African cultural festival in the U.S., drawing an estimated 500,000 visitors.

What to expect: Odunde will take over 15 blocks with two stages, scores of vendors selling artwork, jewelry and clothing, and traditional Caribbean, African and soul food.

  • The festival runs 10am-8pm — stretching along South Street from 19th to 24th streets, and Grays Ferry Avenue from 23rd to Christian streets, officials said Wednesday.

1 cool thing: 1990s R&B group Dru Hill is the closing act at 7pm on the South Street stage.

What they're saying: "Odudne has educated and inspired all demographics, all nationalities on the importance of Africa and African American culture," festival CEO Oshunbumi Fernandez-West tells Axios.

Flashback: Odunde was started in Philly in 1975 by the late Lois Fernandez.

  • The festival's name means "Happy New Year" to the Yoruba people of West Africa and celebrates joy and prosperity.

Zoom in: Organizers have events and programs daily leading up to the festival, which starts Sunday.

  • That includes free yoga at LOVE Park on Sunday noon and a festival preview on Wednesday from 11:30am-2pm at Comcast Plaza.

How it works: Odunde is a nonprofit and proceeds benefit the organization's year-round cultural programs.

Dancers at the Odunde Festival
Photo: Courtesy of the Odunde Festival
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