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With less than two days until the summer solstice, Evanston is already in official summer mode: School is out, the lakefront enchants, farmers’ markets beckon on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and Starlight Concerts invite us to savor the season.

Fishing for kids is under way at Lovelace Park.

This weekend, the Custer Fair leads the way into a season of art festivals, followed by the Fountain Square Art Festival, the Ethnic Arts Festival and the Lakeshore Arts Festival. Downtown dancing returns next week, with It’s Thursday, Let’s Dance! (two opportunities, morning and evening, on June 26).

All of these show off Evanston in a big way. The YWCA’s annual Race Against Hate, as an example, drew more than 5,000 runners, and the Fourth of July parade has been called one of Illinois’ best.

While all these – and more, year-round – are wonderful outward examples of Evanston, we see strength in Evanston-centered efforts: Evanston Swims!; more bike lanes, more school and community gardens, the Geometry in Construction class that taught more than mathematical skills; and the nascent but potentially transformative Evanston Cradle to Career Initiative.

We also see the strength of the community in smaller things, such as the “back-fence” communications in neighborhood list-serves, ongoing block parties and spontaneous get-togethers.

In this issue we feature the efforts of a neighborhood on the golf course actively supporting that community gem and Artruck, the Ashland/Crain celebration of art and community.

Last week we saw a house driving up Dodge Avenue.

What was it driving?

Community spirit.