The annual Purple Power Play celebration began Thursday night in Manhattan City Park. Students, community members, and alumni gathered to show their support for the Kansas State Wildcats before the football team’s season opener Saturday.
The Kansas State University Marching Band, directed by Frank Tracz, performed K-State gameday favorites alongside the Classy Cats and cheerleading squad.
Following the band’s performance, head football coach Bill Snyder spoke to the crowd.
“My appreciation goes out to all of you … each and everyone of you contributed to environment we have at Kansas State football, and we appreciate you,” Snyder said.
Snyder said the community was one of his main influences when coming to work for the university.
Beyond serving as a pep rally for the 2018 kickoff game, the event brought together students and the community, something Drevel Taylor, graduate student in public administration and permanent , said he supported.
“You see a lot of conflict between students and the permanent population,” Taylor said. “Students [should] understand that, ‘Hey you’re a guest in our house, treat it with respect.”
To help build those connections, City Park was filled with local businesses and organizations engaging in promotional activities.
Former Manhattan resident Richard Cofer, said he appreciated businesses’ support of the event because it showed their connection to the K-State and Manhattan communities.
Country band Big Time Grain and local dance company Bates Dance Studios also performed.
Purple Power Play continues tonight at 6:30 in City Park.