An eclectic mix of artists (and equally diverse music lineup), food, non-stop activities for kids, and an EcoVillage sponsored by Whole Foods Market are among the highlights of the 41st annual “Custer’s Last Stand” Festival of the Arts on Saturday/Sunday, June 16-17.  

The annual arts event sprawls over several streets and is Evanston’s largest and oldest outdoor event.    

The fest’s diverse offerings of arts & crafts includes everything from ceramics, paintings and pottery to jewelry, wearable art, antiques, collectibles and much more. The returning “EcoVillage”—located at Sherman and Main and sponsored by Whole Foods Market—will again showcase green and organic products and services.   

Custer’s features nearly 400 artisans, including sidewalk sale vendors and antique dealers, music on two stages, a children’s park with non-stop activities and entertainment, a theatre stage and food booths featuring the cuisine of more than 30 restaurants.  

Suggested gate donation for Custer’s Fair is $1 which benefits Piccolo Theatre. The main entrance is at Main Street and Chicago Avenue. Hours are 10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. each day.

►Among this year’s stage performers is acclaimed Chicago singer/songwriter Corky Siegel (5:30 p.m. on Saturday). And NEW this year is a free U.S Tennis Association-sponsored practice/learning court (dubbed “Smash Zone”) for youths 10 years of age and younger located near Main Street and Chicago Avenue.  

The entertainment at Custer’s Last Stand offers something for all musical tastes. The Show Stage (located at Custer Avenue and Washington Street), and the Festival Stage (at Chicago and Main) will feature an eclectic lineup of folk, jazz and Native American music/dance acts (see schedule below).   

And for a fourth year running, the Piccolo Theatre will  (for kids and families) again present the “Medicine Show” featuring 20 variety acts including theatre, puppets, juggling and clowns performing throughout the fair and on the Piccolo Theatre stage at 600 Main (near Chicago Ave).

The fair started on Custer Avenue, which was so named to commemorate the heroism of Gen. George Armstrong Custer during the Civil War. 

►For more on Custer’s Last Stand, please visit or call 847.328.2204. It’s presented, in part, by ALMI Evanston and the Illinois Arts Council.

The weekend entertainment schedule is: 

Saturday, June 16

Show Stage (Custer Ave. and Washington St.)

11:00 a.m.           Native American Dance Troupe

12:30 p.m.           Hurricane Saxophone Quartet

2:00 p.m.             Kraig Kenning

3:00 p.m.             Rockin’ Johnny Blues Band

5:30 p.m.             Corky Siegel 

Festival Stage (Main St. and Chicago Ave.)

11:00 a.m.           Evanston School of Rock

1:30 p.m.             Mandy & the Bandits

2:45 p.m.             Ajoite Drummers

4:00 p.m.             DeTour Jazz

7:00 p.m.             Funkadesi

Sunday,  June 17

Show Stage

11:00 a.m.           Native American Dance Troupe

12:30 p.m.           Mark Cleveland Band

2:30 p.m.             Paul Maslin Group

4:15 p.m.             Radio Disney

5:30 p.m.             Angel d’ Cuba 

Festival Stage

11:00 a.m.           Kent McDaniel Band

12:30 p.m.           John Temmerman Quarter

2:30 p.m.             Evanston Township High School Bands

4:30 p.m.             Dee Alexander Jazz Band

7:00 p.m.             Chicago Catz