The 25th annual Evanston Ethnic Arts Festival offers an opportunity to experience arts and crafts by more than 125 artist vendors, music, food, family activities, and other international cultural offerings. This year’s fest will take place from noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 17 and Sunday, July 18, at Dawes Park, Sheridan Road at Church Street in Evanston. Admission is free!
The fun kicks off with the Parade of Nations at noon on Saturday, July 17 (come early and carry a flag!), followed by performances by Japanese jazz hybrid the Miyumi Project, Brooklyn-based dhol ‘n’ brass band Red Baraat, Latin ska/reggae fusion by Los Vicios de Papá, and Haitian Kompa band D-Lux Mizik.
Sunday’s central stage program opens with a Native American Mini Pow-Wow, followed by the Afro-Colombian ensemble Grupo Rebolú, a Celtic world-beat melange by An Dro, and dense textures of rhythm and chant from Kenya’s Kenge Kenge.
Family Stage programming includes Those Funny Little People, singer/songwriter Tricia Sebastian, Von Orthal Puppets, S.O.U.L. Creations, Corazon Boliviano, Il Kwa Nori, Shalechet Aviv Israeli Folk Dance Troupe folk singer Mazurka Wojciechowska, West Indian Folk Dance Company, and members of the NIU Steelband.
While enjoying the entertainment, you can browse booths featuring arts and crafts from continents throughout the globe, and sample an array of ethnic food offerings.
On Sunday, you may also want to stop by the NorthShore University HealthSystem Grand Prix bike race, taking place in downtown Evanston from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. And the fun doesn’t end when the sun goes down. Evanston SPACE will be hosting after-Fest shows featuring Leni Stern at 8 p.m. on Saturday and an encore presentation by Kenge Kenge at 8 p.m. on Sunday. Both shows are presented by portoluz as part of their year-long African Jubilee celebration; tickets are $22.