Evanston’s 40th annual Custer’s Last Stand street fair opened today under sunny skies with mild temperatures.
At the intersection of Chicago Avenue and Main Street, a huge crowd gathered around a giant performance stage that filled the street from curb to curb.
Music blasted as people greeted each other and observed the band.
Artists and shopkeepers set up tents that lined the streets that thousands of people roamed.
It was the first time selling her jewelry at Custer for Shontay Patten. “Everyone always talked about the Custer Fair and how great it was for business, so I set up my tent this year for the first time, Patten said. “It’s been pretty busy so far, but it’s still early. later today I bet more people will come around.”
Fair hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. today and Sunday.
Other vendors said the sunny weather brought out one of the largest turnouts they’ve seen at years in the event.
Street performers and face painters added to the festive atmosphere. One fire breather dressed as a jester captured his audience of toddlers with his tricks. Afterwards he made it a point to say to each toddler “you’re the best one” as he collected quarters for his show.
An estimated 70,000 people are expected to attend this year’s fair before the tents come down on Sunday night.
Slightly warmer weather, with a chance of thunderstorms, is forecast for Sunday.