Zumba Class, African Dignitaries, ODUNDE365 and Hip Hop Legend to Headline 38th Annual ODUNDE Festival

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Festival to focus on Liberian, Senegalese and Yoruba cultures.

ODUNDE Inc.

ODUNDE is the cornerstone in celebration of African and African American culture, in the city of Philadelphia.

The organizers of the ODUNDE African and African-American Festival, an annual cultural event whose programs reach audiences of up to 500,000 persons, today announced the remaining schedule of events, in celebration of its 38th Anniversary.

Major highlights in the scheduled programs will be the African Business Roundtable, which will feature presentations from ambassadors and representatives from Senegal, the Republic of Cape Verde, Liberia and Guinea, discussing how to do business with countries in Africa and the economic and cultural impact of the continent on the global economy; the VIP African Diplomatic and Ambassador Reception; the ODUNDE365 parent celebration and student music and dance performances; Vivant Art Gallery “Art Soiree,” showcasing an exhibit and discussion on African art and cultural artifacts; and the free Zumba aerobics class, on June 8th at 8:00am, at the Althea Gibson Tennis Center, 1000 W. Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, wherein more than 500 people are expected to participate. Pre-registration for the Zumba session will be posted on http://www.odundefestival.org.

According to the Odunde Festival’s CEO Oshunbumi Fernandez, “ODUNDE is the cornerstone in celebration of African and African American culture, in the city of Philadelphia. Each year, we strive to provide positive programs, for adults and youth, creating an open discussion on education, race, politics and building our local economies, while also fostering business opportunities and relationships with dignitaries and ambassadors of foreign entities, including countries in South America and Africa.” She continued, “It is a fact that Philadelphia is home to one of the largest African and West Indian populations in the United States; it has the second largest Trinidadian, Tobagonian-American and Jamaican-American populations in the country. Relationships with those nations not only uplift the cultural uniqueness of Philadelphia but also provides an opportunity for economic empowerment and impact, both here and abroad.”

The remaining ODUNDE activities are as follows:

June 6, 2013    
Universal Parent Celebration
Our community partner, Universal Companies, will be hosting an event honoring local parents who are making a difference in the community. Fashion Show presented by I AM B.U.M.I., a youth mentor organization for school-aged girls, representing Beautiful, Unique, Magnificent Individuals (B.U.M.I.)
COST: FREE    
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM    
Audenreid High School – 3301 Tasker Street Philadelphia, PA

June 7, 2013    
V.I.P. African Diplomatic and Ambassador Reception
Ambassadors expected to be in attendance:

  •     His Excellency Cheikh Niang, The Republic of Senegal
  •     Her Excellency Maria Veiga, The Republic of Cape Verde
  •     Honorable Gurly T. Gibson, Trade Representative, ‘The Republic of Liberia
  •     Aly Camara, Consul, The Republic of Guinea

This event is by invitation only    
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM    
City Hall – Mayor’s Reception Hall

June 7, 2013
ODUNDE365 and Vivant Art Gallery “Art Soiree”
Come and enjoy the “First Friday Art Gallery Crawl,” with a twist. Guest will experience cultural art, wine, music and good conversation.
COST: FREE    
8:00 PM – 10:00 PM    
Vivant Art Gallery - 60 N. 2nd Street Philadelphia., PA

June 8, 2013
Free Zumba Class    
COST: Free    
8:00am Registration
9:00 am Class Begins
Althea Gibson Tennis Center- 1000 W. Girard Avenue Philadelphia, PA

June 8, 2013    
African Business Roundtable
This program allows businesses and entrepreneurs to gather information about economic opportunities in Africa.
Ambassadors expected to be in attendance:

  •     His Excellency Cheikh Niang, The Republic of Senegal
  •     Her Excellency Maria Veiga, The Republic of Cape Verde
  •     Honorable Gurly T. Gibson, Trade Representative, ‘The Republic of Liberia
  •     Aly Camara, Consul, The Republic of Guinea

COST: FREE    
10:00 am – 12:00 pm NOON
The Enterprise Center - 4548 Market Street Philadelphia, PA

June 9, 2013
Odunde Festival    
10:00 am – 8:00 pm    
23rd and South Streets Philadelphia, PA

The activities will culminate on Sunday, June 9, with the annual centerpiece, the ODUNDE Festival, itself, which will take place, as it always has, along South Street, here, from 20th to 24th Streets, and from 23rd and Lombard, to Grays Ferry Avenue and Christian Street.

The free, outdoor festival, whose central theme is rooted in the traditions of the Yoruba people of Nigeria, will feature a wide variety of vendors, craftspeople and artists. Highlighted performances include traditional African rhythm, songs and dance by students and participants of ODUNDE365, and special guest, Grammy Award-winning rapper, Big Daddy Kane.

As has been done throughout the 38-year history of the ODUNDE festival, Sunday’s event will begin, at noon, with a procession from ODUNDE’s Grays Ferry headquarters to the Schuylkill River. Once offerings of fruits, money, flowers and other items have been cast into the river, the procession will make its way back down South Street for the official start of the festival.

Initiated by Fernandez and Ruth Arthur in 1975, the ODUNDE Festival has spawned a vital organization with a year-round schedule of programs and events.

Further information on ODUNDE’s programs publications and calendar of events may be obtained by calling the ODUNDE office at (215) 732-8510 or by visiting: http://www.odundefestival.org.

Sponsors of this year’s activities include, The Philadelphia Traditions Fund, Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, Keystone First, Pennsylvania Lottery, Philadelphia Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Philly360.com, Universal Companies, University of Pennsylvania Medicine, Exelon, AMTRAK, Art Splash presented by PNC, GEICO, Pennsylvania Multi-Cultural Affairs Congress and AARP.

ODUNDE Origin
ODUNDE has gained a national reputation as one of Philadelphia's brightest cultural jewels. The word ODUNDE originates with the Yoruba people of Nigeria, West Africa, and means "Happy New Year.”

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Jennifer Chapple

Oshunbumi Fernandez
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