Odunde Festival, Philadelphia, 2012

So yesterday was a streetfest which asI understand is part of the Odunde Festival.  I thought I posted some photos from last year but I cannot seem to find them on here, just a short video from last time:

This year was no different.  Getting out of Naval Square I was greeted with the same awesomely-loud drum-banging crowd I’ve come to expect from these events.  Great fun!

Walked up, right in time to see the ladies dance.  One thing that seems to me a pattern with African ladies is they are either impossibly thin or the exact opposite and are clearly obese.  It doesn’t stop either from having a blast onstage.

Video cameras are getting fancier and fancier these days.  I wonder what this footage is for?  This girl has no identifying marks of a reporter.  Perhaps this is for a…  Hmm…  I suppose she could be taping for a blog, but that is a bit too fancy of a camera.

Getting off the stage the just-before happy-shiny ladies are hollering at eachother already.  Fun to watch and listen!  I guess I should have been videotaping as well.  Once again, see the impossibly thin girls and their 3-metric-ton moms.

Surprisingly little diversity for such a large festival.

Philly officers, relaxing in the shade.

The street fair, this year, I found to be much less diverse as there seemed to be much less “homemade” items and much more industrialized products.  Perhaps it is just me.

Although the place is very loud and alive, the atmosphere is relaxed and chill.  I feel transported to the French Caribbean (closest I’ve been to an African country).

Mmm, chicken!  These street vendors sure do cook amazingly tasty jerk chicken.

See, thin/thick and nothing in-between.  Notice creative signage for “Dr. Foots”.

Oils and incense, jewelry, and clothing.

Paramedics on Segways.  I still do not understand these things.  They just appear so… just so lazy to me.  Incidentally, notice a normal-sized woman here.

All shaded areas are full.  People just relaxing anywhere they can find.  Rather friendly atmosphere here.

Every year I come find these guys, the street corner gang of drummers and percussionists of-sorts.  Right at 24th and Bainbridge they gather up and drum-away.  Now I really wish I brought video cam but, alas, I forgot.  Freelancing and somehow moving in/out of rhythm…  These guys are amazing.

Especially I liked this one here with the cowbell.  Smiling and happy.  Great fun!

Reporter.  I suppose for a school paper.  No, more likely the school radio or blog or something.  He looked half-professional and I wanted to get his card but somehow lost him in the crowd.  Ah, next year!  I’ll show him this post and we’ll get a laugh out of it.

Everyone is dressed rather well and in “native” attire.  I am not really sure what “native” means here and I am just enjoying looking around.  Shoes here are a good example.

Oh the couple getting out of their house and into this mess of drummers looks quite upset.  I can only imagine what it feels like inside with these drums outside of your window…

New drummers arriving every few minutes.  I imagine this will be quite a mess here in a few hours.

WOW colors.  I should just stand here and wait for a while to see who buys these.  Just out of curiosity.

$2 cell phone parts/accessories.

Everyone is quite colorful.

Some interesting musical instrument [I think].  Hmm.  Could not get the vendor’s attention to ask so this mystery will remain unsolved.

All is fun but Philly is still Philly.

Standing in line now.  This is the best part, for me, of the festival.  The chicken!

I love the attitude and complete lack of the oh-so-American “customer is always right”.

Apparently this piece of paper makes them legit.

YUM!  $15 for just a bit of chicken but totally worth it!  Best chicken in town.

And we’re off to a new adventure somewhere.

All-in-all I highly recommend for you to attend the festival if you are around but don’t make plans to come out just for it.  It is not that big and definitely not that diverse; however, there are a few things to see and definitely some great beats to hear.  And, of course, the jerk chicken!

Cheers

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