By Joey Bunch
The Denver Post
The second Taste of Ethiopia Festival has a new day and place: Aug. 3 at Central Park in Denver’s Stapleton neighborhood.
This year’s event joins Denver Days, Mayor Michael Hancock’s week-long tour of events across the city intended to “help neighbors get to know each other and get involved with their communities,” according to the city.
The Taste of Ethiopia, which runs from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., includes not just food and drinks, but cultural performances, vendors and music.
Last year, thousands turned out on the last Sunday in July to dine at the first festival, which took place at Laredo Elementary School in Aurora.
Lines lasted until the food — prepared by a team of volunteer cooks with Ethiopian lineage — ran out. There was standing room only for the cultural performances in the school gym.
“As a vibrant and growing community in Colorado, we want to share our best values and culture with Colorado,” said festival organizer Nebiyu Asfaw. “We have a very rich heritage and culture that greatly emphasizes community and sharing.”
Asfaw said the food will be prepared with fresh ingredients “and lots of love.”
Alongside the cuisine will be fresh-brewed Ethiopian coffee. Communal coffee is a mealtime custom, Asfaw said, and the conversations over coffee can last for hours.
“The Taste of Ethiopia will enable us not only to share our food but also to share our culture, including music, dancing, clothing, arts and our sacred coffee ceremony,” he said.
He noted the local popularity of Ethiopian food, with more than 20 Ethiopian restaurants in the metro area.
Central Park is at 8801 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Denver Days run Aug. 2-10.
For information, contact organizers at denverdays@ denvergov.org.