Center Stage, a musical block party for all ages sponsored by Downtown Evanston, will fill Maple Avenue with music on Saturday, Sept. 17.

The event runs from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. between Church Street and Clark Street.

Maple Avenue will be blocked to cars during the event to leave plenty of room for people who attend to dance in the street, or just listen to the live musice.

Many of the bands performing have also appeared at the It’s Thursday, Let’s Dance events over the summer.

The performance lineup:

  • 11:00 a.m. – The Dreamtree Shakers, Playful tunes that will keep the kids moving and shaking.
  • 1:00 p.m. – Nili Yelen, The Storybook Mom, Performing interactive storytelling for kids of all ages.
  • 1:30 p.m. – Angel Melendez, Red hot chili pepper salsa, merengue, bachata and all rhythms Latin.
  • 3:30 p.m. – Dance Lesson by Blaze the Floor.
  • 4:00 p.m. – The Flat Cats, Hot swing, cool jazz, contemporary classics and timeless standards.
  • 6:15 p.m. – Dance Lesson by Blaze the Floor.
  • 7:00 p.m. – Shirley King, Sweet home Chicago blues in the family tradition of B.B. King.

In addition, the Evanston Arts Center will host creative fun for the whole family with arts and crafts activities, and Blick Art Materials will be doing facepainting throughout the day.

Attendees can purchase food from Buffalo Wild Wings and Bravo Cucina Italiana, WineStyles will be selling red and white wines and their signature ‘winerita,’ and Mickey Finn’s Brewery is coming from Libertyville to serve and sell their handcrafted microbrews.

Soft drinks and bottled water have been donated by Whole Foods and proceeds of those sales will benefit the Downtown Evanston organization.

The first 500 guests in attendance will receive a free pair of sunglasses

Center Stage is free to attend however there is a $5 suggested donation benefitting Downtown Evanston, the organization that manages and markets downtown Evanston.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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