Dates: Father's Day Weekend: June 15-16, 2019
Location: Chicago Avenue and Main Street, Evanston, Illinois
Hours: 10AM-9PM both days
Demographics: Primary: A25-54, upscale, educated white collar families
Beneficiary: Evanston Festival Theatre
Theme: Celebration of visual and performing arts
Evanston's largest, and one of its oldest outdoor events, is celebrating its 47th anniversary in 2019. This unique, eclectic art festival takes place on the weekend of the Summer Solstice, the longest days of the year- and has become one of the harbingers of summer to Evanstonians. It's ranked as one of the region's top art festivals, but as any visitor or local will tell you — it is so much more than the average art festival.
Known as the Custer Fair by locals, the event is art-centered, featuring more than 250 high quality arts and crafts booths offering a diverse mix of ceramics, paintings, pottery, photographs, jewelry, graphic arts, wearable art, home crafts, antiques, and collectibles. Each of the arts and crafts vendors are selected by a panel of experts. More than 130 commercial booths are added to this mix, and approximately 30 food booths offer a wide variety of international cuisine. (By comparison, the Taste of Chicago averages approximately 120 vendors.)
Unique is the operative word when describing the Custer Fair. Over its 47 years, the event has developed many colorful, unique traditions that set it way, way apart from other large events. For starters- where else can you experience a variety of high-end theater both indoors and outdoors in the middle of a huge street festival, for free, for two straight days?
On opposite sides of the event site two entertainment stages are in full operation. The Festival Stage features continuous live music in a variety of formats- jazz, rock, classic rock, folk and fusion. The Show Stage offers a more intimate experience with a lineup that includes the thrilling music of an authentic Drum Circle, and performances by musical greats such as Corky Siegel, Zak Brach, Chris Greene and more.
All of this unique festival fare makes the Custer Fair Festival of the Arts a destination not only for Chicagoans, but for families throughout Northern Illinois.