85th Plaza Lighting Ceremony features a dash of KC royalty

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated.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. -- Coming off a baseball season complete with an American League championship, Royals left-fielder Alex Gordon and general manager Dayton Moore helped launch Kansas City into the holiday season.

They flipped the switch Thursday night at the 85th Annual Plaza Lighting Ceremony, and plenty of baseball fans were in the crowd cheering them on.

“It just makes you feel so proud of your city,” said Royals fan Jerry Pilarz. “If you’re a Kansas Citian, this is where you need to be on Thanksgiving night.”

A quick scan of the crowd and it wasn’t hard to spot other baseball fans who showed up to this year’s lighting just to get a glimpse of royalty.

“It’s pretty cool,” Royals fan Matt Johnson said of seeing Gordon. “He’s a rock star in Kansas City.”

For these fans, the Plaza Lights shine bright, but the royal blue ones shine brightest as they remembered a playoff run that rejuvenated the entire city.

“It really was awesome the way it brought the whole city together,” Pilarz said. “You see it and everyone’s just been so happy ever since and it just rolled right in to the holiday season and I think it’s a great uplift for everybody.”

So while Thanksgiving marks the countdown to Christmas for many, hardcore baseball fans are already counting down to Opening Day.

The holiday lights will continue to illuminate the Plaza until Jan. 11, and Opening Day will be on April 6.