Evanston Ethnic Arts Festival Energizes Lakefront July 21-22
Experience the colors, sounds, tastes, and aromas of other cultures and distant continents at the Evanston Ethnic Arts Festival, a two-day trip “around the world” at Dawes Park in Evanston. Festival-goers will celebrate the diversity of our planet at this 27th annual event, which will be held from noon to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 21 and Sunday, July 22. Dawes Park is located at Sheridan Road at Church Street.
The Evanston Ethnic Arts Festival transforms Dawes Park, a shady, serene lakefront park, into a colorful, exciting global village. The lagoon and fountains will be surrounded by the flags of over 100 nations and 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 include: Sidi Toure (guitarist from Mali), Toby Foyeh & Orchestra Africa (Nigerian Highlife and Afrobeat), Nahui Ollin (ceremonial Aztec dancers), Runa (Irish, Scottish, and Canadian), Renato Anesi Trio (Brazilian), Evanston Escola de Samba and S.O.U.L. Creations (Afro-Brazilian dance and percussion), and Zamin (Hindi vocals).
On Sunday, July 22, Young Chicago Authors (YCA), recently featured in the acclaimed documentary film Louder Than a Bomb, will present music, dance, and poetry with special guest, award-winning performance poet Roger Bonair-Agard. A poetry slam team consisting of Evanston teens will participate in the YCA performance.
Family Stage entertainment will include Armenian Dance Company of Chicago, Bollywood Groove Dancers, West Indian Folk Dance Company, The Barefoot Hawaiian, Marilyn Price's puppets, a Chinese puppet show by Ginger Lozar, and a dance and music performance by the Chinese Fine Arts Society.
Art activities for children include origami, Chinese calligraphy, Lithuanian wands and weaving, international spice pots, Aztec headdresses and Mexican paper flowers. Ethnic cuisine ranges from Jamaican jerk chicken to tacos and gyros, chilled refreshments include Italian ice and fruit smoothies.
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 or 847/448-8260.
By Martha Logan