Thursday, May 31, 2012

Odunde 2012

What is the ODUNDE festival?

 ODUNDE attracts UP TO 500,000 people annually and is one of the largest community- based street  festivals held in the United States. The festival, whose concept originates from the Yoruba people of Nigeria, West Africa, celebrates the coming of another year for African Americans and Africanized people around the world.  It is an occasion highlighted by a colorful procession from  23rd and South Streets to the Schuylkill River where an offering of  fruit and flowers is made to Oshun, the Yoruba goddess of the river.  ODUNDE is also known for its authentic African  marketplace featuring vendors from around the  world selling merchandise  from many African nations, the Caribbean and Brazil.
Each year, the second Sunday in June, ODUNDE, one of the nations oldest African American street festivals takes place.  ODUNDE will be celebrating its 37TH year in its traditional south Philadelphia location near 23rd and South streets. The festival started in 1975 with a $100.00 grant and neighbors from Fernandez's South Philadelphia community.  In two years the ODUNDE Festival exploded.  The eclectic mix of vendors, entertainment and music started to draw people from around and beyond the region and each year continues to be no different.  

ODUNDE is not only one of the nation's oldest African American street festivals, it is one of the nation's largest street festivals of any kind.  The area of the festival, including the hundreds of vendors covers over 12 city blocks. The attendees come not only from Philadelphia and the tri-state area of Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey, but fully a third of the attendees come from further away. It is phenomenal. This year there will be a special emphasis on events and entertainment connected with Bahia, Brazil. 

Special Events include: Coffee Tasting next week at Reading Terminal Market...Coffee from Bahia, and AMMA choclate from Bahia... In honor of 100 years of Jorge Amado who wrote about coffee, "numa xicara de cafe, pode-se colocar a beleza do mundo. Numa xicara de cafe, pode -se sentir o sabor amargo e doce da vida ... in a cup of coffee, one can put all the beauty in the a cup of coffee, one can feel the bitter and sweet taste of life. " Salve Jorge....June 7th..come have coffee.

Special Thanks to Dr. Ken Dossar, Suzana Silva, and Julio Casoy whose hard work helped to bring many Brazilian dignitaries and FIFA World Cup officials to the City of Philadelphia this year!!!!

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