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Custer Fair gears up

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This year’s Custer’s Last Stand Festival in Evanston will have new features including a Wild West medicine show and a green fair section with healthy living cooking demonstrations.


This year’s Custer’s Last Stand Festival in Evanston will have new features including a Wild West medicine show and a green fair section with healthy living cooking demonstrations.

Organizers of the fair, which runs Saturday and Sunday, June 20 and 21, held a kick-off reception Wednesday night at the Main Street train depot in Evanston.

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John Szostek with the embankment landscaping design.

In addition to talk about the fair itself, Fair Director John Szostek showed off plans designed by staff from the Chicago Botanic Garden for landscaping the Metra rail embankment at the station. The non-profit Evanston Festival Theater, Inc., which produces the fair, is seeking funding for the improvements to the embankment.

Attendees at the event, including Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and Alderman Coleen Burrus, 9th Ward, also got a look at work underway on a new mural for the CTA embankment facing the Metra station.

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A rendering of the mural design.

During the fair the Piccolo Theatre will present free performances of the Theophilis Lemming Medicine Show with dozens of performers on outdoor and indoor stages recreating performing events that audiences might have seen in the days of Colonel George Armstrong Custer, with master of ceremonies Lemming peddling his patented snake oil.

The fair is centered around the intersection of Chicago Avenue and Main Street with additional booths on Washington Street and Custer Avenue.

This is the fair’s 37th year, and on the ACEStores program produced at the Evanston Community Media Center Szostek recently talked about the evolution of the event.

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