With the dawn of a new academic year on the horizon, Northwestern University and the City of Evanston will come together in mid-September for ’Kits and ’Cats Week – Go Wild!   

Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl said, “During ’Kits and  ‘Cats Week, Evanston residents and Northwestern University will focus on  the importance of education when NU student-athletes visit several elementary schools. Then we’ll get a chance to play together at the     Kick-Off event Thursday night in Downtown Evanston. I’m looking forward to a great football season for both the ETHS Wildkits and NU Wildcats.”   

The week’s celebration begins on Monday, September 16, when several of Northwestern’s brightest student-athletes will take to the streets of Evanston and do a bit of redecorating. The Wildcats and Y.O.U. participants will paint fire hydrants on Sherman Avenue between Clark and Church Streets that familiar shade of NU purple.         


     Throughout the week, Willie the Wildcat will make special surprise visits around town, so keep your eyes open for everyone’s favorite furry fanatic. In addition to providing plenty of purple paint, the Wildcat student-athletes will visit several classrooms throughout the School District 65 community from September 16-19 as part of the Read Across     Evanston initiative.   

On Tuesday, September 17, a MashUp will be held on Northwestern’s beautiful lakefront beach. Coordinated by the Chamber of Commerce, the MashUp is an opportunity to bring Evanston businesses together on a starlit evening to make great connections.   

As game day draws near, Downtown Evanston will become the place to be. On Thursday, September 19, the ’Kits and ’Cats Week Kick-Off celebration will take place on a pedestrian-friendly Sherman Avenue between Clark and Church Streets. The entire block will be closed to traffic for the event, which will take place from 5:00 to 8:30 p.m. Free     parking for the Kick-Off is available at the Sherman Plaza Self Park Garage (ticket must be validated at the event. All fans in attendance at the Kick-Off will be treated to spirited performances by NU and ETHS marching bands, as well as Northwestern’s WildPride and the ETHS cheerleaders. A slew of luminaries will be on hand at 6:00 p.m. including Mayor Tisdahl, Evanston Township     High School head football coach Mike “Buzz” Burzawa, Northwestern Vice President for Athletics & Recreation Jim Phillips, and NU head football  coach Pat Fitzgerald.   

All evening, there will be activities and games along  Sherman Avenue. City of Evanston vehicles will be on display, including the fire truck that NU donated to the City of Evanston. There will be discounts at various local businesses if you wear purple and to show their spirit year-round, Evanston’s many ETHS alumni will be able to purchase Boosters  spirit wear that evening. A live band performance will begin at 7:00 p.m.   

On Friday, September 20, the action moves to Evanston Township High School as the Wildkits varsity football team will play the Maine West Warriors at home on Lazier Field at 7:30 p.m.

’Kits and ’Cats Week will have an exciting finish on Saturday, September 21, when fans “Go Wild” as Northwestern hosts Maine on the gridiron at Ryan Field. Evanston officials will be honored on the field during the contest. For more information on tickets and game details, including game time, visit NUsports.com. In addition, various Evanston businesses are offering discounts on September 21 for fans who show their NU game ticket stub. Details will be posted at www.cityofevanston.org/kitsandcats.   

For more information, or with questions, please contact  Northwestern Athletics Community Relations at 847-467-3302 or the City of Evanston Community Engagement Division at 847-448-8041.