Chiefs fever is building, and Hamilton mayor Julie Hardaker is proudly wearing yellow, black and red stripes on her face in the hope it is contagious.

Ms Hardaker is challenging the city's businesses to encourage their staff to wear face-paint in the Chiefs' colours on Friday as the city gears up for the big match against the Sharks on Saturday night.

People in the hospitality industry are also being encouraged to wear Chiefs colours on Saturday.

Ms Hardaker and deputy mayor Gordon Chesterman have been tapping their contacts over the past few days to try to get as many companies and institutions on board as possible and so far more than 30, including Subway, Waikato University, Wintec, BNZ and the Gallagher Group, have agreed.


Mr Chesterman said face paint could be bought cheaply from $1 and $2 shops.

"We are hoping to recreate the moment that was built up during the America's Cup when people went crazy on red socks.

"It's a challenge to the community to get behind the Chiefs by painting the three colours on their cheeks or brows."

* Plans - pending council approval - to have a fan zone in Hood St on Saturday night
* A best dressed window display for businesses run by the Hamilton Central Business Association
* Victoria Bridge lights will be switched to yellow, black and red
* Family day from 12pm in Garden Place with face painting and free tickets for best-dressed supporters
* Fan walk from CBD to stadium with entertainment on the way
* Sanzar is bringing the Super 15 Rugby trophy with hopes it will be on display in Garden Place on Saturday.