Evanston and Northwestern University's Athletic Department will partner to host an inaugural celebration -- Evanston Day -- that they hope will become a new tradition for Wildcats fans.
The celebration will include a pep rally that will encourage people to "paint the town purple" as well as unite the university and the local community and continue with festivities on game day when the Wildcats take on the defending Mid-American Conference football champion Central Michigan.
Evanston Day festivities will be held at Ryan Field on game day, Sept. 25. The pep rally, which will feature coaches, players, cheerleaders and a marching band, is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 23 in front of Rotary International's world headquarters.
"The Wildcat teams, those are Evanston's teams. And as more and more members of this wonderful town come out, they support their teams," said Morton Schapiro, Northwestern's president.
"It just makes us feel better," he added. "We play better on the field, and it shows everybody that the town and the gown, at least in Evanston, are one."
People are encouraged to wear purple to the pep rally ang game to support the team. Local businesses will be offering promotions to individuals wearing Wildcat colors.
Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl said the city will literally paint at least some of the town purple, such as a number of fire hydrants.
Residents can purchase half-price tickets to the Evanston Day game at http://www.NUsports.com using the promotional code "purple." Game-day activities such as face painting and games will begin two hours before kick-off.
The Evanston Township High School band will perform, the mayor and other dignitaries will be honored, and city officials will be on hand to display a new fire truck that Northwestern recently purchased for the city.