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Experience the sounds, tastes, colors and aromas of other cultures and distant continents at the 28th Annual Evanston Ethnic Arts Festival. The event is a two-day trip “around the world” at Dawes Park in Evanston. Festival-goers will celebrate the diversity of our planet from noon to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 20 and Sunday, July 21. Dawes Park is located at Sheridan Road at Church Street.   

The Evanston Ethnic Arts Festival transforms Dawes Park,ca shady, serene lakefront park, into a colorful, exciting global village.  The lagoon and fountains will be surrounded by the flags of over 100 nations while 125 artist vendors representing the heritage and traditions  from countries around the world will showcase their wares.   

Many of the best ethnic entertainers from the  metropolitan Chicago area and beyond will perform on two stages. Groups scheduled to perform on the Central Stage on Saturday are: Guitarra Azul (sounds of North Africa and the Mediterranean), Magic Car pet (music of the Middle East, India and African), Isle of Klezbos (fun-loving powerhouse all-gal Klezmer), and Matuto (Appalachia-gone-Afro-Brazilia).   

Groups scheduled to perform on Sunday on the Central Stage are: The Barefoot Hawaiian (dance and music from Hawaii, Tahiti and Polynesia), Bollywood Groove (Indian Bollywood and Bhangra), Las BomPleneras (all-female Puerto Rican Bomba and Plena), Ras Kwame Bediako (reggae) and Occidental Brothers Dance Band (international-classic and West African dance music).   

Family Stage entertainment will include performances by Irish Music School of Chicago, Mexican Folkloric Dance Company, Indonesian Performing Arts Chicago, Kuumba Lynx Performance Ensemble (Hip-Hop), the Phillippine American Cultural Foundation, Chicago DanzTheatre, S.O.U.L. Creations, Kalapriya (classical Indian dance) and Il Kwa Nori (traditional Korean percussion).   

Art activities for children include origami, face painting, papel picado, Morocan clay drums, maraca-making, tie-dye, Mehndi, and Lithuanian folk motifs. Ethnic cuisine ranges from Jamaican jerk chicken to tilapia tacos and gyros, tamales and crab rangoons to gelato and smoothies. Vegetarian options will be available.   

Complete entertainment schedules and a map of artist booths will be available at the fest and posted in advance at www.cityofevanston.org/ethnic. Free parking is     available at the Northwestern University lot, three blocks north of Dawes Park. Free shuttle buses will transport festival-goers between the parking lot and Dawes Park. For more information, please call 311 (847-448-4311 outside of Evanston) or 847-448-8260.