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 Evanston Township High School Wildkits and NU Wildcats.”

The week’s celebration begins on Sept. 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 participants from Youth Organizations Umbrella will paint fire hydrants on Sherman Avenue between Clark and Church streets that familiar shade of NU purple.

Throughout the week, everyone’s favorite furry fanatic, Willie the Wildcat, will make surprise visits around town. In addition to providing plenty of purple paint, the Wildcat student-athletes will visit several District 65 classrooms between Sept. 16 and 19 as part of the Read Across Evanston initiative.

There will be a MashUp on the NU beach on Sept. 17. Coordinated by the Chamber of Commerce, the MashUp will bring Evanston businesses together on a starlit evening to make connections.

Downtown Evanston will become the place to be as game day draws near. On Sept.  19 from 5:00 to 8:30 p.m. 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. Free parking for the Kick-Off will be available at the Sherman Plaza Self Park Garage (ticket must be validated at the event).

NU and ETHS marching bands, as well as Northwestern’s WildPride and the ETHS cheerleaders, will treat fans to spirited performances. Such luminaries as Mayor Tisdahl, ETHS head football coach Mike “Buzz” Burzawa, Northwestern Vice President for Athletics & Recreation Jim Phillips and NU head football coach Pat Fitzgerald will be on hand at 6 p.m.

The band ‘stache!’ will play at 7 p.m. This cover band brings a unique twist to everything from today’s pop hits to 80s rock anthems.

Throughout the evening, there will be activities and games along Sherman Avenue. City of Evanston vehicles, including the fire truck NU donated to the City, will be on display. Various local businesses will offer discounts to those wearing purple, and Evanston’s many ETHS alumni will be able to purchase Boosters spirit wear that evening. A live band performance will begin at 7 p.m.

On Sept. 20, the action moves to ETHS, when 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 Sept.  21, when fans “Go Wild” as Northwestern hosts University of Maine on the gridiron at Ryan Field. Evanston officials will be honored on the field. More information on tickets and details, including game time, are available at Various Evanston businesses will offer discounts on Sept. 21 for fans who show their NU game ticket stub. Details will be posted at

Further  information is available from Northwestern Athletics Community Relations at 847-467-3302 or the City of Evanston Community Engagement Division at 847-448-8041.