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Northwestern University Hosts Community Picnic

About 1,000 neighbors from Evanston community come for summer fun

  • Energized by partnership between Northwestern and Evanston
  • Popular food from Hecky’s Barbecue, Andy’s Custard, Northwestern Catering
  • Bounce house, balloon animals, croquet, cotton candy and face painting for kids
  • Composting collection bins, all of the serving ware was reusable

EVANSTON, Ill. --- About 1,000 neighbors and guests from the Evanston area flocked to campus this weekend to enjoy a Community Picnic hosted by Northwestern University, featuring popular food from favorite local Evanston businesses. 

The picnic on the east lawn of Norris University Center -- with Lake Michigan glistening in the sunshine nearby -- was hosted by Nim Chinniah, executive vice president of Northwestern, and the University’s office of Neighborhood and Community Relations.

Alan Anderson, executive director of Neighborhood and Community Relations, thanked attendees for coming to the Community Picnic Saturday (June 25) in celebration of the Evanston community. He noted, “We were honored to host you and are energized by the partnership we are building.”

Northwestern President Morton Schapiro and Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl joined Chinniah and Anderson to welcome attendees to the picnic. They sang the praises of the popular food provided, which included fare from Hecky’s Barbecue and Andy’s Frozen Custard, two of Evanston’s favorite eateries, and from Northwestern Catering.

Families lined up to scoop up barbecue and pulled pork. Couples ate their hamburgers, hot dogs and frozen custard at tables on the lawn and on the grass along the lakefront pathway by the lagoon beside Norris. Many arrived on bicycles and wandered among the food tents to enjoy the generous spread.

The fun activities for children included a bounce house, balloon animals, croquet, cotton candy and face painting.

In addition, the University provided composting collection bins, and all of the serving ware was reusable, setting a sustainable tone for the picnic.

“The city of Evanston and Northwestern University are inextricably linked, and our success depends upon this strong partnership,” Anderson said in a thank-you note after the event. “We pledge to be intentional in everything we do and to always strive to strengthen this important relationship with you -- our neighbors and partners.

“You helped to make the picnic a success, and we hope to see you again soon at future campus events,” he added. “Have a safe and enjoyable summer!” 

Northwestern’s office of Neighborhood and Community Relations connects people and organizations to University resources to build a stronger, more unified Evanston. Learn more about its work by visiting the Neighborhood and Community Relations website.

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