Odunde is the creation of its South Philadelphia founder, Lois Fernandez, who launched the festival after visiting similar celebrations in Africa. The concept originates from the Yoruba people of Nigeria, West Africa, and celebrates the coming of another year for African-Americans and Africanized people around the world.
The annual Odunde Street Festival, held every second Sunday in June, brings a genuine taste of Africa to South Street and one of Philadelphia’s oldest, historically African-American neighborhoods.
The festival begins with a procession to the Schuylkill River, where prayers are offered and blessings bestowed. The procession then returns to 23rd and South Streets for the start of the street festival.