The Fountain Square war memorial in Evanston was at long last out from under its tarps this noon as the city made preparations for the annual ‘Kits, ‘Cats and Kids Block Party later today.

The free block party runs from 4:45 to 7:30 p.m. in the square at Sherman Avenue and Davis Street.

There’ll be games, arts and crafts, family-friendly activities, music, the ETHS and NU marching bands, a rousing pep rally and numerous dining options — from food trucks to local restaurants.

The first 200 hot dogs will be free, thanks to sponsorship from First Bank & Trust.

Discounted football tickets will be sold at the block party to help fill Ryan Field with a sea of purple for the Northwestern football game on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. versus Akron. Discounted tickets can also be purchased at with the code PURPLE through tomorrow.

The ETHS football game this weekend is an away game against Barrington High School at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Sherman and Orrington Avenues will be closed to vehicle traffic between Grove and Davis Streets during the event. Vehicles traveling west on Davis Street will be able to turn right onto Orrington Avenue and vehicles traveling south on Sherman Avenue will be able to turn right onto Davis Street.

Parking will be available in the Sherman Plaza parking garage, less than a block from Fountain Square, and residents can also bike or ride the CTA or Metra to the Davis Street stations. Indoor bike parking is located on the second floor of the garage at 821 Davis St.

The ‘Kits, ‘Cats and Kids Block Party is sponsored by the City of Evanston, Northwestern University, Downtown Evanston, Evanston Township High School, and Evanston/Skokie School District 65.

Work is continuing on the much-delayed Fountain Square plaza renovations, which are now expected to be completed later this fall.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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