Kick Off the Kansas City Holiday Season with Lighting Ceremonies 2008

Posted November 20, 2008 2:22pm by Kiran

It’s that time of year when Kansas City lights up the night sky with millions of Christmas lights! Obviously, the granddaddy of them all is the Plaza Lighting Ceremony. Sponsored by KCPL, this year (2008) marks the 79th year for the annual tradition. The switch will be “flipped” on at 6:30pm on Thanksgiving night (Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008) by none other than David Cook, American Idol winner and Blue Springs, MO native! The show, which runs from 6-7pm, features several local music acts and fireworks immediately following the flip of the switch.

Did you know that the Plaza lights started with a single string over a doorway in 1925? If you haven’t yet taken your kids to enjoy this Kansas City tradition…this might be a great year to start! For those who like to watch things from the comfort of their own homes…you can tune in to the lighting ceremony live on KCTV Channel 5.

Other 2008 lighting ceremonies around the Kansas City metro include:

Other light displays not to miss:

  • Christmas in the Park, Longview Park, Kansas City, MO – November 26 thru December 31 – over 300,00 lights and almost 200 animated figurines make this Christmas light display an event not to miss!
  • “Christmas Place” in the Terrace Place subdivision, 131st Place and Antioch, Overland Park
  • “Christmas Card Lane” in Olathe, KS, north of 151st St. and west of Ridgeview (Ridgeview and Frontier)
  • Not sure if this one’s still going on…but I remember Mom and Dad driving us every year to a fantastically decorated, completely over-the-top house in Prairie Village, KS. It was located off of 75th Street and Falmouth, just east of Mission Road. You could peer into the attached garage-turned-Santa’s Workshop and also see hundreds of glass ornaments suspended from the ceilings of every room in the house. Readers, who remembers this? Is it still lit up?
  • Another cool place to drive by is located off of 63rd Street, west of State Line Road. This is more of a modern light display–long lines of white lights, zig-zagging from treetop to ground and back up to rooftop.
  • I recently drove by Vince & Associates, at 102nd and Metcalf in Overland Park. I can’t say that I’ve seen this display “turned on” yet, but it looks like it’s going to be bright. There’s not an inch of landscaping that hasn’t been covered by a light. Or lighted penguin, Santa or snowflake. Should be interesting!

If you know of another “don’t miss” neighborhood light display – please share it in the comments below!

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21 Responses to “Kick Off the Kansas City Holiday Season with Lighting Ceremonies 2008”

  1. Amber Sexton says:

    This is a great list! And yes, the house on Falmouth still has a display every year. We live just a few blocks away, it’s a traffic nightmare!

  2. J says:

    The Olathe Christmas Tree & Winterfest is actually on December 5 @ 5:30pm.

    Also, another cool (and different) display is in Overland Park around 133rd & Metcalf. I don’t have the house’s exact address, but it’s in the Deer Creek Golf Club subdivision. The house is located on 131st St. It looks like this:, only bigger! It is programmed to music that you can listen to on your car’s radio.

  3. Kate says:

    Thanks for the heads up on the Olathe date (I had last year’s link and date originally). It is fixed!

    And I was trying to remember where that house was that was set to music! Deer Creek! My kids LOVE that one…

    Thanks awesome readers! Any other displays we shouldn’t miss? Northland? Lee’s Summit?

  4. Penny Pace says:

    Called the Chicago Street lights. In Blue Springs, Mo. An entire neighborhood is one way only on traffic, and every yard has lights and the story of Christmas, along with traditional lights. Not sure of where to turn in, but the city has signs directing, and it is off of 7Hwy. and turn east by Aldis.

  5. Jenni says:

    Also in Olathe, there’s a house at Indian Creek Parkway & Mur-len that is covered in blow-up penguins – Paulie’s Penguin Playground:

  6. Keith says:

    The Falmouth display is still up and has new displays every year. The new one this year is a pond with turtles and frogs. has photos and details.

  7. Keith says:

    I don’t believe they do the lights on 63rd west of State Line anymore. There were few last year, and none when I drove through there the day after Thanksgiving, last week.

  8. ibnanaof9 says:

    just a question.
    do they still have the lights in the park at shawnee mission, i think it was. i have been away from KC for 7 years so i might have that park wrong. the one i am thinking of is not longview, though. thanks.

  9. Kate says:

    Thanks for the updates Keith! And I love the pictures on your site.

    Nana of 9 – I don’t think they’ve got lights at Shawnee Mission Park this year – I checked the JoCo Parks & Rec site and didn’t see any mention of them. But check out Longview!

    Does anyone else know of a park light display that Nana of 9 might be thinking of?

  10. Keith says:

    The Shawnee Mission Display discontinued a few years after the Longview one started. They were similar in scale.

    The nearest drive thrus that I know of on the Kansas side are Memory Lane (about 8 miles from Ottawa) and Winter Wonderland in Topeka.

    Thanks for the kind words, Kate. And thanks for the list you prepared here.

  11. Tiffany says:

    When I was a child we would make our annual visit to the house on Falmouth and to a neighborhood that transformed itself into Candy Cane Lane. It was off 79th and Outlook I think. Does anyone know if that neighborhood still does a display?

  12. Keith says:


    The Candy Cane Lane display really dropped off for several years, but this is the 50th year for it and this year’s display is very nice.

  13. ibnanaof9 says:

    thank you for the information. We were in KC around Christmas last year and we went to Longview. i was looking for a different one this year. We have also been to the one in Blue Springs. I recommend that one to anyone.
    thanks again.

  14. Keith says:

    I hope I haven’t posted too many times, but this is a subject I enjoy. This discussion inspired me to make aa new guide to Johnson County Christmas Displays:

  15. Jennifer says:

    Where is candy cane lane located? A friend of mine at work was telling me about it but she doesn’t remember the location.

  16. JHR says:

    Nanaof9 – the one your talking about in Shawnee is at the Lake in the campgrounds its from 6pm to 10pm and its $7.00 per car.

  17. Keith says:

    You are confusing two places with similar names. There is a display at Lake Shawnee in Topeka. But Nanaof9 was asking about the display that used to be at Shawnee Mission Park in Lenexa.

    Candy Cane Lane in Prairie Village is on Outlook, south of 79th Street.

  18. teresa says:

    I live in Independence missouri and on the weekends Fri Sat and Sunday nights bout 5pm-9pm this house has their whole house lit up you can see if off of Kentucky road going towards 24 highway off whitney road. You will go down Kentucky from 291 like you are heading to 24 highway then see Whitney by the elmementary school then turn left you will see the lights trust me

  19. Kelly says:

    Last night I found an area of Brookside that has a nice display.

    It is between Ward Parkway & Wornall around Romany and 70th Street.

    Check it out.

    I miss the big display in Mission Hills, but I’m sure they got tired of us poor folk driving thru at all hours!

  20. Lida says:

    We used to visit our family in Fairway at Christmas and there were lights everywhere near that area that looked like they had been shot up into the trees. It was fantastic! Do they still do that? And does anyone know HOW they did that?

    We live in Maine now, and would love to do that in our small mountain village on the “common.” But how??

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