Ethnic Arts Festival – July 18-19

On Saturday, July 18 and Sunday, July 19, noon to 7 p.m., community members are invited to celebrate the 30th annual Evanston Ethnic Arts Festival. This year the festival will return to its original location at Dawes Park, located at Sheridan Rd. and Church St.

The free, two-day event transforms Evanston’s lakefront into a Global Village to celebrate diversity world-wide and features art from a variety of countries, family craft activities, international cuisine, live music, dance, and spoken word performances.

The Parade of Nations opening ceremony, with a procession of flags from over 200 countries, kicks off the festival at noon on July 18. Following this international celebration, attendees will get to enjoy Highlander-Roma music with influences of Balkan, Latin, and Reggae from Megitza.

Similar to years past, many of the best ethnic entertainers from the metropolitan Chicago area and beyond will perform. Groups scheduled to perform on the Music Stage include Fiddle Club of the World (international), Plena Libre (Puerto Rico), Kinobe & the Wamu Spirit (Uganda), RUNA (Ireland) and more.

This year, the Music Stage will also be shared by Storyteller Linda Gorham as she presents folk tales from around the world. Gorham is known to think outside of the box by giving new twists to old stories using movement, humor and sometimes the audience!

The Field Performance Stage will include Japanese Taiko percussion and choreography from Kaiju Daiko, Pacific Island songs from Lanialoha Lee’s Uke Nation, and Punjabi dhol drummers and bhangra dancers from Chi Town Dholiz and Bollywood Groove Bhangra Dancers.

In addition to the live performances, children can enjoy art activities such as origami, Shibori banners, Aztec Codex Medallion necklaces, tree weaving, and more. Ethnic cuisine will be available for purchase, ranging from Jamaican jerk chicken and vegetable samosa to pierogis, and a variety of gourmet pies! Chilled refreshments include Italian ice and fruit smoothies.

To view the complete entertainment schedule and a list of artists and food vendors, visit or call 847-448-8264. For more information, please call/text 847-448-4311. For convenience, residents can simply dial 3-1-1 while in Evanston.

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