Colorado’s Taste of Ethiopia will be more flavorful — both in food and culture — than its previous three celebrations.
The fourth annual festival is set for 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday at Parkfield Lake, 15555 East 53rd Ave. in Denver.
Besides an array of food, including more gluten-free and vegan options this year, the festival is expected to feature 17 professional Ethiopian folk music performers who will travel to Denver. They will play only traditional Ethiopian instruments.
During the festival, 15 Ethiopian immigrants will become U.S. citizens in a 2 p.m. naturalization ceremony.
Taste of Ethiopia organizers also will present awards to “Ethiopians in Colorado who have broken barriers or made significant contribution to the community”:
- The first three Ethiopian restaurants in Colorado (of 22 today), The Ethiopian Restaurant in Denver, Ras Kassa in Boulder and Queen of Sheba Restaurant in Denver.
- The Ethiopian Food Truck, Colorado’s first Ethiopian food truck.
- Denver Tana Sports Club, the Ethiopian soccer team that has been active for 28 years.
At 4 p.m. Sunday, the festival will host the Ethiopian play “The Emperor Tewodros II” in Amharic at Hinkley High School in Aurora.
“The Denver metro area is becoming one of the most diverse places in the United States, and Denver is growing to become an international city,” said Capt. Tewolde Keresemo, a Denver resident of Ethiopian descent who serves in the U.S. Air Force. “The Ethiopian community is playing a key role in the unprecedented renewal of Denver metro as entrepreneurs, consumers, taxpayers, public servants and patriotic neighbors who play by the rules.
“The Taste of Ethiopia showcases the contributions of Ethiopians and the assimilation of our culture to mainstream America. Taste of Ethiopia contributes to the cultural vitality and ingenuity of Denver, as the city transforms into a major international hub that is prosperous, connected and a successful place to live for all.”
On July 25, the festival was recognized in the Congressional Record by U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora.
“The Taste of Ethiopia is a celebration as well as a cultural immersion to showcase music, food, art, crafts, culture, fashion show, and Ethiopian dance,” the congressional commendation states. “It allows visitors a taste of Ethiopia without ever leaving Colorado, and also serves to bring all Ethiopians together. It is a celebration that combines fun and education.”
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