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Don’t Sleep On These 8 African-American Music & Food Festivals

ODUNDE FESTIVAL Philadelphia, PA Self-proclaimed as the largest African street festival in the US, Odunde is an annual celebration that spans 15 blocks from Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River to 23rd and South Street. With 45 years under their belt, this well-attended, Yuroba-inspired event celebrates the coming of another year. It kicks off annually with an offering of fruit and flowers for Oshun, the Yoruba goddess of the river. As attendees stroll the streets of Philly, they’re greeted with live music, cultural performances, an expansive African marketplace, food, and plenty of educational opportunities. For example, a drumming session isn’t strictly for entertainment. The follow up may be a historical conversation that touches on the significance of the beats played.

BROCCOLI CITY FEST

Washington, DC Calling all millenials and Gen Z’ers! Here’s an event that specifically celebrates the younger generations and “provides opportunities, education, and resources to create meaningful Black change.” Envision the sound of Black joy as street games are played, delicious food is consumed and music takes center stage. Think Childish Gambino,  H.E.R., Cardi B, Daniel Ceasar, and Miguel. Now layer that with the Broccoli Con Career Expo, the BC 5K & Fitness event, The BC Small biz marketplace, and the BC All Night Pre-Party and you have Broccoli City Festival in a nutshell. This four-day DC event is subtitled “Black Change Weekend” for a reason.

BLACK FOOD TRUCK FESTIVAL

Charleston, South Carolina Like the Bayhaven Wine and Food Festival, The Black Food Truck Festival is relatively new and shares a similar mission: to socially impact the community by showcasing and investing in Black-owned businesses. Marcus Hammond launched this semi-annual festival in 2021, and in two years, it quickly grew from eight food trucks to 25 food trucks, including the addition of a “Vegan Village”. Hammond is presently contemplating increasing the number of food vendors for their Fall 2022 event. This Charleston street dining experience is family-focused and offers the perfect balance of adult-friendly and kid-friendly fun. Here, attendees can enjoy a cigar and hookah lounge, a kid zone with inflatable games and archery, two bars, a lounge area, and the main stage for live music and local performances.
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