The Baltimore Ravens Playoff Purple Friday Caravan made a stop at the Towson Town Center on Friday afternoon, treating more than 100 passionate fans to an afternoon of team spirit in advance of Sunday's Divisional Playoff game with the Houston Texans.
And while tickets for the game are scarce, local fans that plan to enjoy the game in the warmth of their own home still jumped at the opportunity to show their support for the home team.
"This is just a good time," said Julie Kitt of Timonium, who brought her three children — Aron Key, 5, and twins Ada and Eli Key, 4 — straight from a Purple Friday event at their school to the mall.
"We thought this would be fun, and Eli needed a new pair of shoes," Kitt said as her children had their faces painted.
"They're happy as can be," she said. "It's perfect."
Though the caravan arrived some 30 minutes after it was supposed to — perhaps the result of too much team spirit at its other stops — fans delighted in performances by the Ravens Marching Band and the team's cheerleaders nonetheless
Poe, the Ravens' mascot, was on hand to take pictures with fans, as was a live Raven, while M&T Bank and radio personalities from 98 Rock kept the fans pleased with poster and T-shirt giveaways.
Michele Szper's 4-year-old daughter, Cienna, and 3-year-old son, Quinn, remind her every Friday that it's Purple Friday, so it was only natural for them to leave their Rosedale home and enjoy the festivities at the mall.
Ed and Linda Fields of White Hall had a purpose for attending that was much more light-hearted than football. Their grandson, Jacob, lives in Georgia, and sent them a "Flat Stanley" cutout to photograph at different Maryland events.
They photographed Flat Stanley with cheerleaders, with Poe, and above the marching band's tuba — and Ed was one of the lucky attendees to win a T-shirt.
Dennis Fulton of Lutherville said he and some friends had attended the 7 a.m. kickoff event for the caravan at Alonso's in Roland Park, and had been to a few other stops along the tour before he came to the mall.
"It's a great event," Fulton said. "Obviously, everyone's excited, and they're showing it. It's good to get you pumped up for the weekend."
That it did, for all the rest in attendance, both in Towson and across the state. And the reason for a week's worth of excitement — all of the events, rallies, and preparations — eventually came into focus.
Kickoff was less than 48 hours away, and Fulton ended with a sentence already spoken by many: "Hopefully, we'll win."