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Street Renamed To Honor Odunde Festival Founder Lois Fernandez

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Lois Fernandez founded the country's largest festival celebrating African culture and now the late Fernandez has a Philadelphia street named in her honor.

City officials announced the renaming of the 2300 block of South Street Saturday ahead of the 43rd Annual Odunde Festival.

Fernandez was a pillar in Philadelphia's African-American community. She passed away in August of 2017 at the age of 81.

Now her legacy, the Odunde Festival has grown to become the largest and the longest running in the country.

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Sunday's event is the first without her.

"My mother passed away about nine months ago. For me to be here, and see my mother's name going up on a street sign where people told her 43 years ago that she would never survive, that Odunde was just a joke. To be here 43 years later, knowing that a sign is going to be named after her, I guess God and her got the last laugh," said Lois' daughter, Oshunbumi "Bumi" Fernandez-West.

credit: cbs3

The event draws more than 400-thousand people from around the world. The free festival starts at 10 Sunday morning and runs until 5 p.m.

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