Philadelphia's Odunde Festival returns for full week of in-person, virtual events

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- It's an annual festival that celebrates African Caribbean culture with music, dance, food and tons of festivities.

After a year of canceled events, Philadelphia's Odunde Festival is returning this weekend.

This time, they're making it a full week of celebrations with events for all ages and interests and comfort levels.

Of course, they were hoping to gather people on South Street, with a huge party like they've had in the past. But for the 46th Annual Odunde Festival, organizers are now blending live and virtual events.

"We decided that we wanted to highlight small businesses," says Bumi Fernandez-West, the CEO of the Odunde Festival. "We know that small businesses have suffered during this pandemic, so we wanted to highlight them."

It all kicks off Sunday with a free pretzel and water ice giveaway at Fred's Water Ice in West Philadelphia.

Other events include designing and fitting African crowning headwraps, breakfast with Bumi, who is the daughter of the festival's founder, and a women's roundtable discussion.

"We're going to talk to women and see how they sustained their business through the pandemic," Fernandez-West says. "We know that a lot of women lost their jobs due to the pandemic or had to stay home with their children. We want to talk about how women made it through the pandemic."

There are also African cooking classes, yoga and more.
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