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:
- Mayor’s Tree Lighting in Downtown Overland Park – Thursday, November 20, 5pm to 8pm – Santa arrives at 5:30pm; tree lighting at 6:15pm; hayrack rides ($2) from 5pm to 7pm – carolers, bells and dancing!
- Downtown Lee’s Summit Lighting Ceremony – Friday, November 21, 6:30pm at Howard Station Park
- Zona Rosa Holiday Lighting Ceremony, Kansas City north, MO – Saturday, November 22 – and a Visit with the Kansas City Fairy Princess!
- The Legends Fourth Annual Lighting Ceremony, Kansas City, KS – Saturday, November 22
- Christmas Parade & Tree Lighting followed by the opening of the Hall of Trees at the Hall of Waters, Excelsior Springs, MO – Saturday, November 22 at 6pm
- Briarcliff Village Holiday Lighting Ceremony, KCMO – Sunday, November 23 at 7pm followed by fireworks
- Lawrence Christmas Tree Lighting – Lawrence, KS – Friday, November 28 at 5:30pm
- Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting at Crown Center – Friday, November 28 – performances by The School of Rock and more!
- Christmas Around Town – downtown Shawnee, KS and Shawnee Town – Tuesday, December 2 from 4pm to 7pm – caroling, carriage rides, Christmas Tree lighting and Santa!
- Brookside Tree Lighting Ceremony (Kansas City, MO) – Thursday, December 4 at 6pm – 63rd & Brookside Blvd. – music, refreshments, prizes and more!
- Winterfest & Olathe’s Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting – Friday, December 5 – 5:30pm – Olathe City Hall – choirs, talent and SANTA!
- Lighting Ceremony in Old Town Lenexa – lights, Santa, carols and hot chocolate! – Friday, December 5 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
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!