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Northwestern University’s Athletic Department and the City of Evanston are once again teaming up to Paint Evanston Purple. “Evanston Day” at Ryan Field is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 10, when the Wildcats meet Eastern Illinois in the home opener.

In anticipation of the event, a pep rally encouraging the community to “Paint Evanston Purple,” will be held Thursday, September 8, at Independence Park, from 6 to 7 p.m. Once again, this year, Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and NU President Morton Schapiro will be joined by Director of Athletics and Recreation Jim Phillips and Wildcat Head Football Coach Pat Fitzgerald in kicking off Wildcat season in Evanston with a fun and free Pep Rally!

“Last year, I had a great time at the Pep Rally and the game. I am excited to see all the Evanston residents coming out to show their support for the Wildcats on Evanston Day at Ryan Field. I am proud to see our community work together,” said Mayor Tisdahl.

Fans and residents attending the pep rally are encouraged to wear purple as select businesses will be offering promotions to individuals sporting the Northwestern-specific color. Northwestern t-shirts and Wildcat gear will be available for sale at a booth at the Pep Rally.

This year a group of NU Football players will be partnering with area school’s the week leading up to the game to read and play with the students. “Reading Across Evanston” is a great addition to this collaborative and I know the kids will be thrilled to have story time with our very own Wildcats. Go Cats!” said Mayor Tisdahl.

Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald commented about Paint Evanston Purple,”It’s a great way for Northwestern and the Evanston community to come together and celebrate our family and do it around a party, in this case a football game. Whether it’s having our student athletes visit local schools to read to the kids or entertaining them on game day, we look forward to giving back to those who are most generous to us, the Evanstonians. Hopefully, they have a lot of fun.”

Game Day festivities begin two hours before kickoff at Wildcat Alley, located adjacent to Ryan Field. The family-fun zone will offer a range of activities, including face painting, games, appearances by the marching band, drinks, food and much more. After the game, attendees will be able to use their ticket stub to take advantage of the promotions being offered by select businesses.

Evanston residents can purchase end-zone tickets to the Eastern Illinois game online at NUsports.com for half price with the promotion code “purple.” Kick-off is set for 2:30 pm.

For more information, click visit www.cityofevanston.org/purple or call 847/859-7833.