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Hot festival on cool lakefront

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Evanston's 25th annual Ethnic Arts Festival continues its two-day run today on the lakefront at Dawes Park bringing together vendors, artists and shoppers to celebrate diverse cultures. (View the festival photo gallery.)

Evanston's 25th annual Ethnic Arts Festival continues its two-day run today on the lakefront at Dawes Park bringing together vendors, artists and shoppers to celebrate diverse cultures. (View the festival photo gallery.)

“Not many people have the chance to travel to foreign countries.” said Antonio Mascareno. “Going to each vender is like taking a walk around different countries added Rori Deleon, owner of Icreatings.

“The mix of music and art is stimulating” said Linda Balla. “I love how you can be listing to some jazzy Caribbean tune and the next minute it can be like polka music” said Rori Deleon

The entertainment expands beyond the performers. The people who come to support the festival take part. “You just see every kind of costume or outfit and hairdo or headdress; I mean just sitting here I’ve heard so many different languages “explained Balla

And the festival is designed to appeal to children as well. “The Family Art Activity Centers has a lot of art projects for everyone to be a part of," said Anna Keeva.

Some visitors did have quibbles about the food. “The food selection displayed disappointed me, I mean anything on a stick is just culturally insulting” said Sheila Merry.

But the lakefront location drew praise. “The location is perfect,” said Mascareno. And Dlaby Diaria owner of African Treasures, added, "Even if it’s hot you can count on the lakefront breeze”

Above: A table full of merchandise at the African Treasures booth. Matt English photo.

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