Photos from Chicago: Ethiopian Cultural Festival and Soccer Tournament

Tadias Magazine
Photos by Nolawi Petros

Updated: Saturday, July 3, 2009

Chicago (Tadias) – The Week-long annual Ethiopian Soccer Tournament, which opened in Chicago on June 28, will conclude this weekend with a cultural festival and the final games to be held at Lane Tech Stadium.

Although we don’t have actual numbers, the crowd in Chicago seems smaller than the 2008 turnout in Washington D.C.; the festivities however are just as upbeat. Organizers are gearing up for their signature Ethiopia Day Celebration, a popular and colorful cultural display of music, dance and food. Last year’s event featured Ethiopian music legend, the late Tilahun Gessesse. The 2009 ceremonies honor another cultural icon and musician, Mulatu Astatke, among others.

As for the soccer competition: So far over 45 games have already been held involving 27 teams representing various cities from the U.S. and Canada. Four teams have advanced to the semifinals including San Francisco, Atlanta, Seattle and the defending champions, Washington D.C.

The following images were captured by Nolawi Petros for Tadias Magazine.

25 Responses to “Photos from Chicago: Ethiopian Cultural Festival and Soccer Tournament”

  1. 1 Helina Jul 4th, 2009 at 2:17 am

    There were more ppl in D.C. because the surrounding states such as Virgina, Maryland, Pennsylvania, etc have more Ethiopians than Chicago. But the tournament is much more efficient than the past. They have new leadership so let’s give them a chance. Love the photographs…especially the artistic photos of the players.


  2. 2 Abas Jul 4th, 2009 at 9:33 am

    I like the pictures. It would be better if you make videos of different events and interviews.

    I appreciate Tadias magazine. Keep it up!


  3. 3 K.T boston Jul 6th, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    Everything was good at the Chicago Ethiopian soccer tournament, except most people were disappointed at the Jul 3rd Ethiopian day ceremony because they set the stage faraway from the people that were in the stadium.

  4. 4 Yodit Jul 6th, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    This is like splitting hair. I could add that they should have given us binoculars, except that I would sound ridiculous.

    It was a wonderful event and I had a good time. Here is from ESFNA’s website about Ethiopia day:

    “It was certainly a day that carried the most anticipation and excitement. The stadium was well up to capacity and more, with thousands attending. Thousands had filled the stadium seats watching the day’s games and events, while thousands more were at the vendor sections eating/chatting/buying or simply people watching. It was quite a colorful and noisy spectacle – a feast for the eyes!

    The Ethiopian Day event started with a “moment of silence” for Artist Tilahun Gessesse and a sentimental song dedicated to Tilahun and sang by Artist Mehamud Ahmed.
    Following that the featured Ethiopian Cultural group and Chicago area youth entertained the crowd with traditional songs, dances and skits that reflected Ethiopia’s ethnic and cultural diversity. There was also an “Ethiopian Idol” contest that was held – complete with judges and all!

    After the stadium events people had a multitude of choices to go to for their entertainment and culinary pleasure.”

  5. 5 me Jul 7th, 2009 at 10:31 am

    Where are the pictres of food vendors?……you didn’t take enough picutres of all participants of the event.

  6. 6 Liya and her freinds from LA Jul 7th, 2009 at 11:15 am

    If anybody knows the guy who was making temporary tattoos and stickers at the Chicago soccer tournament, please we need his address. He has a very interesting Ethiopian designs for temporary tattoo. We want to thank Tadias mag. Help us.

  7. 7 Sara from Florida Jul 7th, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    This is for liya. I googled his address. This is his web: I see that everybody got his tattoo. I bought 20 tattoos from him. He has nice designs. He is a smart guy. We had a very nice time in Chicago. Thank you ESFNA and all Ethiopian people. And thank you Tadias Magazine.

  8. 8 Amare Jul 8th, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    It was well done. I would suggest in the future the organizers prepare a section on their site where people attending the tournament can enter their names and where they are coming from so that lost friends could meet.

  9. 9 chicago stand up Jul 8th, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    It was my first Ethiopian festival and it was nice for me. Anyways, I was reading your comments and i wanna reply to user name Liya and her friends from LA. I know the guy who was designing the tattoos. He is my friend’s brother in Chicago. If you want to ask me any question, you are more than welcome. Thank you Tadias Mag for postin’ these. Love all you Ethios.

  10. 10 Hiwot Jul 9th, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    Wow, I do have his Tattoo. I bought several…he was selling 4 tattoos for $ 5.00 on the final day. I think everybody likes his tattoos, especially “Born in Ethiopia”. Liya, this is his no: 773 818 3083.

    I liked Chicago. We had lots of fun with my friends. Thanks everybody.

  11. 11 Abel from DC Jul 11th, 2009 at 10:54 am

    Ethiopian Temporary Tattoos? okay those are nice i saw them but where is going to be the next ethio fest ? Chicago was nice.

  12. 12 Solomon Jul 12th, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    Did anyone else buy those African mix cds selling for $5 from one of the boots. Five of my friends and I went home to find they were blank. I’m sure it was an accident, but kind of frustrating even though they were only $5. Has anyone else encountered this?

  13. 13 anonymous Jul 15th, 2009 at 11:58 pm

    Does anybody ever wonder why the tournament does not include contests for women? Women valley-ball would be nice.

  14. 14 paul chellappa Oct 27th, 2011 at 10:36 am


    I would like to know if any student who studied in wollamo Soddo high school during 1972 to 1976. If so please email me to


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