Robert Crown’s new turf fields will be the location for the eighth Annual Evanston Unity Soccer Festival on Saturday, July 9. Each year, this Evanston tradition brings together a diverse and spirited group of soccer players for a day aimed at celebrating the beautiful game of soccer. The wide range of cultures and diverse groups of people who live in our community come together for a festive day of soccer, music, food and community building.
What makes this festival so unique is best summed up by one of its core tenets: “The Goals are not the Goal.” Elliott Hurtig, the founder of the festival, explained the quote by saying, “The goal of the day is not to win the game, but rather to connect with people while playing the game we all love so much.” Mike Cornell, one of the organizers of the event, added, “It is quite common to see teams cheering on other teams, supporting players they just met, and admiring the sweet styles of play that each team brings to their game.”
The biggest shift for this year’s festival is moving from Kamen Park to Robert Crown.
“Moving to Crown is huge for the festival because it is such an amazing facility and it draws so many people. So it just felt natural to switch our venue and highlight what Evanston has to offer,” said Mike Muyres, who serves on the Board of the festival.
What will remain the same is the format of the games, which will be four versus four soccer with mini goals and a low cost to participate of only $50 per team. This is a non-profit event. All proceeds from the festival go toward providing need-based soccer scholarships to kids who want to play soccer in Evanston. In moving to a more centralized and larger location in Evanston, the hope is to increase the number of teams from 20 to 30.
To help build the warm community feel that the Unity Soccer Festival captures, there will be a live African Djembe Drumming group, a DJ, and food will be served, including tacos from La Principal and snacks and beverages from Curt’s Cafe.
In summing up the spirit of the day, organizer Noel Abbott said, “The Unity Cup brings together everything I’m truly passionate about: soccer, community and multiculturalism. In this tournament you not only get to play soccer with your neighbors, but you witness the joy soccer brings to all of our different cultures.”
To register or to find out more go to evanstonsoccerfestival.org
Submitted by Unity Soccer Festival