We are days away from one of my favorite New Year celebrations. Odunde is the observance of the Yoruba new year and is celebrated ever year on the second Sunday of June. Started by Mrs. Lois Fernandez in 1975, Odunde is the largest African celebration on the east coast. I have been an attendee since I was a little girl and a vendor as a teenager.
The event starts of with a procession to the Schuylkill River to offer fruit and gifts to the goddess Oshun.
Every year offers participants exposure to international, national and new local brands, face painters, DJs, food vendors, etc. The marketplace and festivities span 12 city blocks starting at 23rd and South Street.
One of my cherished experiences each year is bumping into people I have not seen in forever and spending time with my girl/attendee P. Battle. We have met up for the last five years to shop, joke and enjoy the festivities. Last year she introduced me to awesome t-shirt vendor, Innovative Design USA.
Though Odunde is marketed as a one day marketplace there are events throughout the week. They hold story telling, African Business Roundtable, Potter Class. On Saturday June 7, 2014, Odunde attempted to set the world’s largest Zumba class with the Guinness Book of World Records.
This Saturday Odunde is sponsoring a free yoga class from 10 – 11 am at Marian Anderson Recreation Center (740 South 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146). All you are required to do is register and enjoy the fun.
For more information on this week’s events go to www.odundefestival.org