Ethnic arts fill Dawes Park for festival

More than 20,000 people are expected to check out the art of more than 100 vendors at the Ethnic Arts Festival on the Evanston lakefront that ends Sunday.

With 200 flags from countries around the world lining the park lagoon, the festival -- in addition to the art -- offers food and entertainment, including a family crafts area.

“We’re here to celebrate different cultures, to celebrate different ethnic heritages, and hopefully bring people together and foster tolerance and understanding,” Jeff Cory, the city's cultural arts director, said.

Karla Rindal bought a few pairs of earrings, a ring for her one bare finger, and a shawl. “It’s a really nice mix of the indigenous craft with the high end,” said Rindal, who's faciltation director at Evanston's Open Studio Project.

The jewelry offerings also extended to a wide range of necklaces.

Rachel Lafontant, who's been exhibiting original artwork from Haiti including paintings, sculptures, hand-beaded pieces and painted and unpainted metal art at the festival for over 14 years, said that this year, “The weather is perfect!”
“The heat wave broke just in time,” Cory added.
Festival hours Sunday are noon to 7 p.m.