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You Inspire Us!

On Thursday, July 4, Byline was proud to join with local business and civic leaders in support of the 31st Annual Haitian Community Festival in Evanston. The community event, which took place from 2:00 pm to 10:00 pm at James Park, was a salute to our nation’s diversity on its traditional birthday.

The Festival began 31 years ago as a relatively small event at a park on McDaniel and Dempster. This was very near to the home of the late Andrea and Jules Vital Daye, two early pioneers of Evanston’s now-robust Haitian Community. The Dayes were pivotal characters in developing awareness around the culture’s unity and rich character and were locally famed for their openness and inclusivity, keeping their doors open to anyone.

The Festival began as an embodiment of this attitude within the Haitian Community in Evanston—that everyone is welcome and should be celebrated for their place as a part of the larger fabric of the community, just as they were at Andrea and Jules’ home.

Now led by Gerald Dye, the Festival has enjoyed increased community participation and growth each year and now features live local, national and even international music and dance performances, as well as a soccer tournament, 3-on-3 basketball, water games, face painting, kids’ bouncy houses, a raffle and more.

This year, Chicagoland’s north suburban Haitian Festival included musical headliners Nelson Gill, D-Lux Mizik, DJ Fire and DJ Hool, who celebrated in style and gave exposure to new and rising Caribbean entertainment acts.

It’s this exact spirit of recognition, inclusivity and promotion that the Dayes so actively promoted within their community, and local branch Byliners were proud to fly our banner at the event as a part of the community celebration as thousands of celebrants from across the city came together to celebrate our Nation’s independence together.

Byline has been a proud part of Chicagoland for over 100 years, and we take our responsibility to our neighborhoods very seriously. It’s an honor to be a trusted bank where we live and work, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to give back to the people who keep each of our diverse communities strong and vibrant. We’re just where we want to be.

To find out how Byline could support your event, contact us.