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The Evanston Art & Big Fork Festival introduces a weekend-long celebration of local art and flavorful fare in downtown Evanston from Aug. 17-19. More than 130 of the country’s top artists will showcase and sell original work in a variety of categories including ceramics, glass, furniture, photography, jewelry, mixed media, drawing, fiber and more. There will be kid-friendly activities, artist demonstrations, and booth chats to learn more about the artists and their work at this free festival that kicks off at 4 p.m. on Aug. 17 and continues through the weekend.

Live music will fill the streets all weekend long from bands such as Recorded Music, Saturday June Band, Indika, Cirrus Falcon, The Noize, and Class of 68 from 4 to 9 p.m. on Aug. 17, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Aug. 18 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 19. Local restaurants will offer a variety of  food choices, as well as beer and wine.

New this year is the Amdur Productions “Hands Together” Mural Project. Kids and adults of all ages are invited to add their hand print to a community mural from noon to 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Each participant will get an 8-by-8-inch square and a choice of paint colors to create a hand print. The hand prints will become part of a 4-foot-by-8-foot mural that will be displayed in the community. Patrons are reminded that painting can be messy and to dress accordingly.

 Attendees who are 18 years and older are invited to take photos during the fest anytime between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. and submit them via email to FestPhotoChallenge@amdurproductions.com. All photos must be taken during that time to be considered. The first-, second- and third-place winners will receive gift certificates to purchase art at ArtZipper.com.

Those wishing to be part of the art can step right into a famous painting and take a free selfie at Amdur Productions’ Art Zipper booth where a special “green” screen will be in place for attendees to be part of such world-renowned pieces as Paris Street; Rainy Day by Gustave Caillebotte, Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh, Whistler’s Mother by James Abbott McNeill Whistler, and several others.