In anticipation of this Saturday’s football game, the first of this season against South Dakota, K-State fans from Manhattan and surrounding areas amassed at Manhattan’s City Park for K-State’s annual public pep rally, Purple Power Play in the Park Thursday evening.
During Purple Power Play in the Park, representatives from businesses and organizations from around Manhattan and neighboring towns run informational and promotional booths, at most of which pep rally goers could participate in activities for prizes.
“It’s a great way for us to, obviously, get out into the community and meet a lot of people,” Erik Stone of KMAN Radio, said. “It’s just kind of a great way to kick off the year and just say, ‘Happy new sports year or new school year’.”
Previously, Purple Power Play was held on Poyntz Avenue, but last year, the event underwent a change in setting, bringing its usual vendors and attendees with it.
“Poyntz Avenue is a great venue downtown, but I think in the park, there’s a little bit more space, and I think people just really appreciate being able to walk around in more of a relaxed setting,” Stone said.
Chudney Williams, Manhattan resident, said not only did she appreciate the family atmosphere of Purple Power Play, but also the contagious excitement surrounding the event leading up to the beginning of a new season in sports for K-State.
“I have a little 10-year-old son here running around, and he is in love with K-State,” Williams said. “He loves football, and he loves basketball, so we like being out here. And I love the marching band, the football players, the vendors; everything is so exciting. It’s just the spirit. Everybody has that K-State spirit.”
Professionals in heightening that K-State spirit, the K-State Marching Band, joined by K-State Cheerleading team and the Classy Cats performed at Purple Power Play, preceding the brief athletic program, which included speakers such as John Currie, K-State athletic director and head football coach Bill Snyder.
“The best part is the energy,” Christine Vavra, sophomore in flute performance and marching band member, said. “Everyone is all psyched up and it’s like rookies kind of get this experience of, ‘Oh my gosh, people care about the band,’ and it’s really just this awesome, massive energy everywhere.”
In his address to fans on the upcoming football season, Snyder explained the impact K-State fans have on the football team.
“Our players are invested in you,” Snyder said. “They appreciate you above and beyond what you will ever believe.”
Photos from Purple Power Play: