Hundreds of people turned out at the Levy Center this afternoon to start brainstorming ideas for community improvement projects that Evanstonians could tackle to celebrate the city’s 150th birthday.

With music from the Evanston North Shore Community Choir to fire them up, and 

food from several local restaurants to keep the hunger pangs away,

residents brainstormed with their neighbors about what to suggest for the Evanston150 project.

Organizers hope residents will submit as many as 2013 ideas by July 31 that will go through a community-based filtering process to come up with at least 10 winning concepts, most of which can be implemented in time for the sesquicentennial celebration.

The Evanston Township High School Jazz Combo was among the other performance groups on hand to keep people fired up at the kickoff rally.

Whether your idea involves more ice cream, or anything else, you can submit it online at

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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