Welcome to the Chicago Tafia Welsh Society!
The Chicago Tafia was born in 1999 as the result of a discussion between a couple of ex-pats wondering aloud, “why do the Irish and the Scots have some kind of setup in the States that they can turn to for help and settling into a new country and the Welsh don’t?” It dawned on us that maybe we should stop complaining and do something about it to help future Welsh ex-pats navigating the roads of Immigration and settling into the city of Chicago.
The Tafia has now been going for over a decade, and has come a long way from its early roots. Our website offers helpful links for Welsh Immigration and Travel, local British Import shops, photos of recent events, and other information about other local Welsh & Celtic Societies. Our group’s activities are wide-ranging with social get-togethers for pub nights, gatherings to watch Welsh sporting events, musicians & films, celebrating St. David’s Day, and promoting Wales at Chicago area Celtic Festivals to name but a few.
Over the years, the Tafia has also been involved with the organisation of over a dozen concerts at prominent Chicago venues for Welsh male voice choirs, including: the Pendyrus, Penrhyn, Bangor, Black Mountain, Burlington, Hogia’r Ddwylan and CF1 choirs. We have worked with many Welsh performers, bands and authors over the years including Cerys Matthews, David Llewellyn, Here Be Dragons, The Joy Formidable, Hwyl, Fflur Dafydd, Niall Griffiths & Aeronwy Thomas on performances and shows in Chicago.
The Chicago Tafia has also been involved with a number of other projects to promote Welsh awareness, including: Representing Wales at Celtic Fest Chicago that was held every September in Grant Park, Chicago from 1999 until 2010. Working with the Illinois General Assembly in the signing into law of Bill HR0149 that proclaimed March 1, 2007, and each year thereafter, as St. David’s Day in the State of Illinois and recognizing the Welsh contribution to the state. In 2008 we worked to help bring the North American Festival of Wales to Chicago. In 2009 we hosted the North American film premiere of ‘A Bit of Tom Jones’ and worked with the Welsh Rugby Union and USA Eagles on the promoting the exhibition rugby game between the USA and Wales at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois. In 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015 we partnered with the building owners of the iconic Chicago Wrigley Building to illuminate the tower red, white, and green (the colours of the Welsh flag) on Saint Davids Day on March 1. In 2011 we worked with former Plaid Cymru leader Dafydd Wigley on the S4C documentary “Murray the Hump – Dafydd Wigley and the Gangster in the Family“.
Our events are as varied as the culture of Wales, and throughout the year we are sure to have something for everyone. From waking up at 7am on a Saturday to watch rugby or staying out until the wee hours to watch Welsh bands, to a Dylan Thomas poetry reading or a Welsh Choir performing at a Chicago Cathedral, the Tafia gathers wherever something Welsh is occurring. Just look for the dragons!
We look forward to seeing you soon as one of our many events.
The Chicago Tafia Welsh Society