Hundreds of smiles line the faces of kids excited to meet Santa

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - For 20 years, kids in Kansas City have been getting toys and meeting Santa thanks to the Twelfth Street Heritage Corporation and other community partners.

They've handed out more than 17,000 toys in two decades, and Wednesday night it happened again. Hundreds of kids lined up with their parents in the freezing cold for this pre-Thanksgiving tradition at 12th and Brooklyn.

The night is about more than presents and Santa. It's a night to make memories and meet new people.

"We need that- so many bad things happen all the time and it's just nice everybody gets together and gets along," said Marquita Gaston.

"It's about putting smiles on kids' faces for the Christmas season," said Tony G.

The smiles come out as soon as Santa and some of his helpers show up on the sleigh to open up Santa's wonderland.

R&B singer Trevor Jackson performed a brief concert, much to Santa's delight, then the kiddos were welcomed up to say their hellos. After meeting Santa, kids met Kansas City Chiefs players like Dwayne Bowe and picked out one toy.

"It's a blessing to- just to be a part of something special- put a smile on kids' faces that don't think nobody cares about them- and somebody's always thinking about them," Bowe said.