For more than 30 years, Custer’s Last Stand Festival of the Arts has been an Evanston summertime tradition. On June 19 and 20, locals enjoyed this block party-style festival. The fair is peppered with vendors who sell exotic dresses, perfume, jewelry and artwork, including stone statuettes from the Shona tribe in Zimbabwe, as captured on  Evanston Now. Attendees were entertained by street performers, as well as dance troupes and musicians who played everything from country to traditional Native American music. The aromas of a diverse range of food vendors permeated the fair.

We have preserved these audio snapshots as a way to welcome immigrants and visitors to one of the Chicago area’s more unheralded treasures: A shared summer in the city.

Enjoy the slideshow that captures some of the sights and sounds of the fair and then click on the photos below to hear “snapshots” of festival-goers with rich stories about their immigrant backgrounds and experiences. We hope you enjoy exploring the Summer Snapshots as much as we did. Please share your stories with us as well.

Audio Snapshots