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ODUNDE was created in 1975 by Lois Fernandez and Ruth Arthur. The festival attracts UP TO 500,000 people annually and is the largest African American street festivals held in the country.The festival, whose concept originates from the Yoruba people of Nigeria, West Africa, celebrates the coming of another year for African Americans and Africanized people around the world. It is an occasion highlighted by a colorful procession from 23rd and South Streets to the Schuylkill River where an offering of fruit and flowers is made to Oshun, the Yoruba goddess of the river. ODUNDE is also known for its authentic African marketplace featuring vendors from around the world selling merchandise from many African nations, the Caribbean and Brazil.
Each year, the second Sunday in June, ODUNDE takes place covering 12 city blocks. ODUNDE will be celebrating its 39TH year in the traditional south Philadelphia location near 23rd and South streets. The festival started in 1975 with a $100.00 grant and neighbors from Fernandez's south Philadelphia community. In just two years the ODUNDE Festival exploded. The eclectic mix of vendors, entertainment and music started to draw people from around and beyond the region and each year continues to be no different. ODUNDE IS FOR EVERYONE, WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU AND YOUR FAMILY THIS YEAR!!!