Downtown Evanston introduces the first of its kind, Center Stage, a musical block party for all ages happening on Saturday, Sept. 17,  11:00 am – 9:00 p.m.  Persons attending the event will enjoy a day full of live music and dancing in the street. Due to the positive feedback generated by Downtown Evanston’s dance series, “It’s Thursday! Let’s Dance!” many of the same bands have been brought back for round 2.

Downtown Evanston, the organization that manages and markets the downtown district, presents this musical block party to bring people out to enjoy the entertainment and many unique restaurants and shops.

The lineup for Center Stage is as follows:

11:00am – The Dreamtree Shakers , Playful tunes that will keep the kids moving and shaking

1:00pm – Nili Yelen , The Storybook Mom, Performing interactive storytelling for kids of all ages

1:30pm – Angel Melendez , Red hot chili pepper salsa, merengue, bachata and all rhythms Latin

3:30pm – Dance Lesson by Blaze the Floor

4:00pm – The Flat Cats , Hot swing, cool jazz, contemporary classics and timeless standards

6:15pm – Dance Lesson by Blaze the Floor

7:00pm – Shirley King , Sweet home Chicago blues in the family tradition of B.B. King

Center Stage will be taking place in downtown Evanston on Maple Avenue between Church Street and Clark Street. This section of Maple Avenue will be blocked off to cars all day to allow event attendees plenty of room to dance in the street or just listen and enjoy the great live music while sampling food and drink from local vendors. There will also be activities to take advantage of including children’s story teller Nili Yelin, The Storybook Mom performing interactive storytelling at 1:00pm. The Evanston Arts Center will be hosting creative fun for the whole family with their arts and crafts activities and Blick Art Materials will be doing facepainting throughout the day.

Attendees can purchase food from Buffalo Wild Wings and Bravo Cucina Italiana ; WineStyles will be selling red and white wines and their signature ‘winerita’; and Mickey Finn’s Brewery is coming from Libertyville to serve and sell their handcrafted microbrews. Soft drinks and bottled water have been donated by Whole Foods and proceeds of those sales will benefit the Downtown Evanston organization.

The first 500 guests in attendance will receive a free pair of sunglasses, so be sure to get there early and bring your dancing shoes. Center Stage is free to attend however there is a $5 suggested donation benefitting the Downtown Evanston organization that manages and markets downtown Evanston. More information can be found at www.downtownevanston.org .

In addition to Downtown Evanston, sponsors include: Bravo Italian Cucina, Brown Kaplan + Liss LLP, Buffalo Wild Wings, Chili’s, City of Evanston, The Evanston Roundtable, Hilton Orrington/Evanston, Make It Better, Mickey Finn’s Brewery, North Shore University Health system, North Shore Hotel, Northwestern University, Quartet Copies, Uncle Dan’s, Whole Foods and WineStyles.