The Nation's Largest African-American Street Festival Canceled
Photo Credit: Vonecia Carswell

Photo Credit: Vonecia Carswell

The Nation's Largest African-American Street Festival Canceled

Philadelphia , United States
Parker Diakite
Parker Diakite May 1, 2020

Each year, Philly’s annual African American street festival known as ODUNDE draws hundreds of thousands of people.

But this year, the massive market held on South Street from 20th to 24th streets will be empty as the event is canceled due to the coronavirus.

2020 marks the first time since its inception in 1975 that the festival has been canceled. It was founded by Philly activist Lois Fernandez, who created the festival celebrating African and African American heritage with a $100 grant and a gathering of her neighbors.

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“The health and well-being of our festival attendees, vendors, and performers is paramount!” said Oshunbumi “Bumi” Fernandez-West, Odunde’s board president and CEO, in a statement.

The free, outdoor festival, whose central ceremonies are rooted in the traditions of the Yoruba people of Nigeria, generally takes place on the Second Sunday in June.

Due to the event’s positive impact for the City of Philadelphia, the ODUNDE Festival has been designated an official City event that features a wide variety of vendors, artists, and performers, according to organizers.

In 2019, the event attracted more than 500,000 people.

The ODUNDE Festival is expected to resume on June 13, 2021.

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