SILVER SPRING, MD. – More than 15,000 people are anticipated to gather for a vibrant celebration of Ethiopian culture and to strengthen the bridge between the United States and Ethiopia at the 2nd Annual Ethiopian Festival in Silver Spring on July 22.
The event will take place from 11am to 9pm, rain or shine, at Veterans Plaza in Silver Spring (One Veterans Place, Silver Spring Maryland, 20910). The festival will be easily accessible from the Silver Spring Metro Station and nearby Metro buses. Public parking is also available.

“This festival will bring the DC Metro area together to connect with the people, personalities and culture of Ethiopia,” said Tebabu Assefa, founder of the Ethiopian Festival. “Come dance with us! Come eat with us! Enjoy our music, our art and our passion for our heritage and community.” 

Festival-goers will be able to enjoy Ethiopian music, shop traditional crafts and art, watch a fashion show and enjoy food from local Ethiopian restaurants at the day-long event. They’ll also get a chance to participate in a staple of Ethiopian culture, the coffee ceremony, where they can see the process of brewing, preparing and serving the coffee from start to finish.
Both U.S. Senator Ben Cardin and Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley serve as co-chairs of the Festival’s Honorary Committee, along with U.S. Congressman Bobby Rush, Maryland Senator Jamie Raskin, Maryland Delegate Tom Hucker, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and Montgomery County Councilmember Valerie Ervin. U.S. Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Maryland Delegate Heather R. Mizeur, Takoma Park Mayor Bruce Williams, Montgomery County Councilmembers Geroge Leventhal and Hans Riemer, and Takoma Park Councilmembers Seth Grimes and Terry Seamens also serve on the committee. Festival sponsors include Ethiopian Airlines, VIP Communications and Dukem Ethiopian Restaurant. Blessed Coffee, a benefit corporation founded by Tebabu Assefa, is also sponsoring the event.

For last year’s inaugural Ethiopian Festival, more than 12,000 packed into downtown Silver Spring to enjoy the festivities. Another 8 million people around the world got the chance to watch the Festival when it was broadcast by Ethiopian Broadcasting Services. A vast majority of the Ethiopian-American Community’s 750,000 person presence resides in the Washington, DC, Metro region. The community keeps close ties to their country of origin. Ethiopians living abroad sent back to Ethiopia more than $1.5 billion last year. The United States is Ethiopia’s fourth-largest trade partner, with a U.S.-Ethiopia trade balance of $545.5 million in 2011.

“The bond between Ethiopia and the United States is strong and we want to share and celebrate Ethiopian culture together,” Assefa said.  “I hope every person, Ethiopian by heritage or not, who comes to our festival will leave with a greater love and a better understanding of where we come from and where our community is going.” (for the last Year Event please see Zethiopia newspaper

Gibe II resumed operation
Gilgel Gibe II hydroelectric power station resumed service after it suspended operation for 11 months following appropriate maintenance, the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation said.

The resumption n of the power station will alleviate shortage of power supply in the country, Public Relations Head with the corporation, Misikir Negash said Monday.

He said the dam stopped operation soon after it started service earlier last year due to the collapse of a section in the headrace tunnel at a point 9 kms from the outlet.

He said Gibe II have the capacity of producing 420 Megawatts of electricity.(ENA)

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