June 02, 2023
The Odunde Festival, the largest African American street festival in the country, returns to South Philadelphia this month with a slew of live performances, food and vendors selling artwork, textiles and handmade jewelry.
In its 48th year, the Sunday, June 11 outdoor event spans 15 blocks in South Philly, beginning at 23rd and South Streets, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. For those looking to get in on the action before the festival, Odunde organizers have once again planned a full slate of special events and merchandise giveaways from Monday, June 5 through Friday, June 9.
Since it was first held in 1975, the Odunde Festival has gone from a small community festival celebrating West African culture and the Yoruban people to a sprawling June event with an annual $28 million economic impact on the city.
The street festival is free to attend with pay-as-you-go food and refreshments. More than 100 vendors will sell handmade goods representing African, Caribbean and Brazilian cultures. A noon procession across the South Street Bridge to the Schuylkill River will showcase traditional offerings of fruit and flowers to Oshun, the Yoruba goddess of the river. A performance from Grammy Award-winning R&B and soul singer Chrisette Michele will take place on the South Street stage at 7 p.m. The full lineup of performances can be found below.
Organizers are hosting a full week of special events leading up to the festival. Things kick off on Monday, June 5 with the I Am BUMI 25th anniversary celebration, held 5 to 9 p.m at the Sky Lounge at 1500 Locust St. There will also be an African fashion show at the Sky Lounge 5 to 9 p.m. on Thursday.
On Friday, June 9 at 3 p.m., organizers will host a business roundtable at Temple University's Mazur Hall followed by an African diplomat reception in the Charles Blockson Library. Both events require registration.
Guests can also participate in free yoga in LOVE Park from 12 to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, June 6, and take part in a t-shirt giveaway 7 to 8 a.m. on Wednesday, June 7, at a location that will be announced on the festival's Instagram.
Sunday, June 11, with special events held June 5-9
10 a.m. until 8 p.m. | Free, pay-as-you-go
23rd and South Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19146