Experience the colors, sights, flavors and aromas of Africa at the 41st annual Odunde Street Festival.
At Odunde, the biggest African-American street festival in the country, attendees experience total cultural immersion with food, crafts, clothing and performances from Africa, America and the Caribbean.
Odunde Festival Fast Facts
- The festival takes place Sunday, June 12, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
- Odunde is free and family-friendly, and spans 10+ blocks on 23rd and South streets and surrounding streets.
- Nearly 500,000 guests are expected to attend the street fair which boasts hundreds of vendors from the African diaspora.
- There are daily events planned for the week leading up to Sunday’s festival.
Along with the day-long street festival, Odunde is already in full swing with events like a discussion at the African American Museum and an African pottery class.
Going to the festival? Snap a photo in front of a special-edition (made just for the festival!) Visit Philly XOXO photo spot at 24th and Bainbridge streets. Be sure to use #visitphilly if you upload your photo to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
The concept of Odunde comes from the Yoruba people of Nigeria in West Africa. The festival starts Sunday with a procession to the Schuylkill River to offer flowers and fruit to Oshun, the Yoruba Goddess of the River.
Following the procession, attendees will return to 23rd and South streets where the street fair will officially begin. The street festival will take over the Graduate Hospital neighborhood along South Street and beyond, from 23rd and Lombard streets to Grays Ferry Avenue and Christian Street, and from 20th and South streets to 23rd and South Streets.
Food and Drink
Hundreds of vendors spanning the African diaspora, which includes the Americas and the Caribbean, will line the more than 10 blocks of the festival. For sale will be authentic African goods like fabrics, jewelry and crafts. African, Caribbean and African-American cuisine will line the streets as well.
In addition to shopping and eating, the Odunde festival blocks will come to life with performances by Just a Friend musician Biz Markie and the group Brand Nubian on the South Street stage. There will also be traditional African dance performances like that of the Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble.
More Odunde Events
Odunde365 presents The Influence of Yoruba Culture and Arts on Thursday, June 9 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Hosted by Dr. Ken Dosslar, visitors can explore the art museum and learn about Yoruba influence from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. before heading to the reception at the Perelman Center, which currently houses the museum’s huge Creative Africa exhibit. The cost of the event is included in the price of museum admission.
The day before the festival, Odunde365 will bring His Imperial Majesty the Ooni of Ife as a guest speaker to the African American Museum. There, the guest speaker will discuss the Global Yoruba Diaspora Initiative.
For a full roundup of Odunde events, check here.
Getting There and Staying Over
Odunde spans more than 10 city blocks near 23rd and South streets. Walking, biking — try the Indego bike share service — or taking public transportation via SEPTA are the best ways to arrive at the festival.
Take SEPTA’s Broad Street Line to the Lombard-South station and walk nine blocks up South Street to 23rd Street. The 7 bus travels up South Street, and the 40 bus stops at 23rd and Lombard Streets.
Or, you could just make a weekend out of the festival and stay overnight in Philadelphia. Check out Visitphilly.com for deals on hotel stays and the Visit Philly Overnight