Odunde festival tests Philadelphia law on parade costs

    New law prevents city from charging for extra police coverage

    This weekend brings the first event to test a new law limiting how much Philadelphia can charge festivals and parades to recover the cost of extra police. The Odunde Festival is expected to bring up to a half million people to the Ben Franklin Parkway.

    Odunde is a celebration of African American Culture and up to 500,000 people are expected to come to the Ben Franklin Parkway for it. A year ago, the festival was billed more than $50,000 for city services. Bruce Crawley is a Odunde board member, he’s happy to not have that kind of bill hanging over him this year.

    “The economic impact for Odunde has been estimated at 25 million dollars people who buy food, people who use public transportation, people who do all kinds I want, the people at Odunde want the city the city’s leaders to look at this as an investment, an investment in economic return.”

    Crawley says he’s still negotiating with the city over the 2009 bill. Administration officials say they are trying to figure out the financial impact of Thursday’s veto override. That action by city council limits the police costs the city can charge to parade and festival organizers.

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