Home ARTS & CULTURE Odunde Festival Returns For Its 45th Year

Odunde Festival Returns For Its 45th Year

by InlandTown Editor
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Odunde Festival

As Philadelphia gears up for an eventful summer, the city has taken the opportunity to highlight the upcoming Odunde Festival Week as the nation’s largest African-American cultural festival returns for its 45th year.

“I want you to come enjoy the food, enjoy the wares, and enjoy the African art,” said Oshunbumi Fernandez-West, CEO of Odunde. “Odunde is lit, and I need everyone to understand that.”

City officials and community organizers gathered at City Hall on Tuesday to preview the festivities to come during the 2023 festival week, which will begin Monday and is aimed at furthering Odunde’s mission of educating the public on African and African-American culture.

Founded in Philadelphia by Lois Fernandez in 1975, the Odunde festival has grown to become a major national, cultural event that annually attracts nearly 500,000 attendees.

Organizers said the festival will cover 15 city blocks that will include over 100 arts and crafts and food vendors as well as two live entertainment stages and a variety of culturally inquisitive activities for festival goers to take part in.

According to the festival’s website, the event “has a $30 million economic impact on State of Pennsylvania and a $28 million economic impact on the City of Philadelphia.”

The festival week will kick off Monday at Sky Lounge with the I Am B.U.M.I “25th Anniversary” celebration, which is a celebration of Odunde’s children’s life skills program. As the week moves on there will be an Odunde yoga class on Tuesday, an ODUNDE365 fashion capsule on Thursday, a global leader African roundtable on Friday and a Caribbean business roundtable on Saturday.

The Odunde Festival itself will then take place Sunday, June 11 near 23rd and South streets, where cultural artifacts from throughout the African diaspora will be displayed as attendees will be able to visit one of the nation’s largest cultural street festivals.

The festival, whose concept was originated by the Yoruba people of Nigeria, will be highlighted by a colorful procession from 23rd and South streets to the Schuylkill River, where there will be an offering of fruit and flowers made to Oshun, the Yoruba goddess of the river.

Source: The Philladelphia Tribune

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