While Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is known for its 4th of July celebrations, June presents a great chance for summer fun and festivals in the city as well. The second weekend in June annually hosts three large festival events, all of which are worth checking out. These festivals present great opportunities to buy unique craft items, enjoy delicious food, celebrate culture and learn about history. So why not plan on spending the weekend checking out all three events?
1. Odune Festival
The 35th Annual Odunde Festival will take place June 13, 2010 in the Grays Ferry section of Philadelphia, PA. It is one of the nation’s oldest African American street fairs and features terrific food, entertainment, and craft items celebrating African, Caribbean and Brazilian culture. The festival originated with the Yorba people of Nigeria, West Africa, and celebrates the coming of a new year for African and African-descended peoples.
Admission is free, and one of the highlights of the event is the early-morning procession from 23rd and South Streets to the Schuylkill River. Fruit and flowers are offered there to Oshun, the Yoruba goddess of the river. Stay late through the afternoon and early evening to enjoy all aspects of the festival, which brings out everyone from the neighborhood and far beyond in traditional African attire. The event spreads beyond the main event space (South Street between 21st and 23rd Streets extending to Grays Ferry Avenue and Christian Streets) into the surrounding area.
2. Flag Festival 2010
Flag Festival takes place June 12 & 13, 2010 at the Betsy Ross House at 239 Arch Street in the Old City area of Philadelphia, near Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Events begin both days at 10am with a Victorian-style Street Fair along Arch Street. Vendors of hand-crafted items, musicians, jugglers, and puppeteers will all be there for entertainment and shopping. A Patriotic Pet Parade Saturday morning will feature pets done up in their best red, white and blues. Old-fashioned carnival games will take place along the Flag Fest Midway, and you can bring old flags for retirement or appraisal as well. Admission to the Flag Festival is free.
3. Gay Pride Parade and Festival
On Sunday, June 13, Penn’s Landing plays host to Philadelphia’s annual Pride Fest. This year’s theme is “It’s Always Sunny in Gay Philadelphia” and surely the event will be full of fun, great entertainment, and celebration of community pride. A parade will kick off events, beginning at noon at 13th & Locust Streets, and winding through the city up to Penn’s Landing. The festival at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing will run from noon until 6pm and will feature an afternoon full of music, vendors, food, and information from GLBTQ support organizations in the greater Philadelphia area. It’s a fun environment to mingle, learn, support important groups doing good work and celebrate, whether one is gay or an open-minded gay-ally. Jennifer Coolidge will be headlining the event.
Admission to Penn’s Landing is $10 for the festival, but you can watch the parade for free anywhere along the route.
* Odunde Festival – When & Where
* Betsy Ross House: Programs
* Philly Pride Presents – Annual Events
* Personal experience