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Odunde Festival

Odunde Festival
Odunde Festival celebrated in Southwest Center City in Philadelphia
Observed byPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
TypeCultural, commercial
DateSecond Sunday in June
2018 dateJune 10  (2018-06-10)
2019 dateJune 9  (2019-06-09)
2020 dateJune 14  (2020-06-14)
2021 dateJune 13  (2021-06-13)

The Odunde Festival is a one-day festival and mostly a street market catered to African-American interests and the African diaspora. It is derived from the tradition of the Yoruba people of Nigeria in celebration of the new year. It is centered at the intersection of Grays Ferry Avenue and South Street in the U.S. city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Ruth Arthur and Lois Fernandez were co-founders of Odunde festival. Ruth died at age 64 in 1997. Lois died at age 81 in 2017. It’s unfortunate that once Ruth Arthur died, the continuing Odunde family seems to completely drop her name from its creation and left solely Lois. Ruth’s daughter (Iyalua) has been making noise ever since to try to regain her Mom’s notoriety as co-founder. Lois’Daughter refuses to acknowledge this fact that the two moms were close friends and started Odunde together in the 1970s


The Odunde festival started in Philadelphia in 1975. Lois Fernandez established the festival with $100 from neighborhood donations.[1] The celebration is now the largest African celebration on the east coast of the United States. It is held in the month of June. The festival brings in Africans from all parts of the world, including Africa, Brazil, and other places around the United States.[2] According to WXPN, "... beginning with an all-inclusive spiritual procession to the Schuylkill River, the festival carries on from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., filling the day with vibrant traditional clothing, African food, and art and craft vendors from around the world."[3]

See also


  1. ^ Gregg, Cherri (May 13, 2013). "Oshunbumi Fernandez, Caring Through Culture and Odunde 365". CBS Philly. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  2. ^ Jenkins, Kristina (June 6, 2013). "Our Guide To The Odunde Festival, Set To Bring A Celebration Of African-American Culture To South Street West This Sunday, June 9". UWISHUNU Philadelphia. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  3. ^ Mazenko, Elizabeth (June 7, 2013). "Odunde Festival closes the streets for its 38th anniversary". WXPN. Retrieved 14 March 2018.

External links