KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tens of thousands of people attended the 89th KCP&L Plaza Lighting Ceremony on Thursday.
The annual event featured live music from local choirs and bands and Mayor Sly James flipped the switch, turning on the thousands of lights that line the buildings in the 15-block shopping district. Fireworks also lit up the night sky.
Many who attended appreciated the good weather; temperatures were in the 50s. They also said the ceremony is about tradition and community.
“We left with six inches of snow,” said Sally Getsy, who was visiting from Pennsylvania. “So, I am definitely loving this weather.
“There’s nothing as thrilling than when those lights come on,” said David Schmalz, a Kansas Citian who’s been attending the ceremony since the 1970s. “Hearts get warm when those lights come on.”
“It brings people close and this is what we need in,” said Volonda Jones, a Kansas City native who was at the ceremony with her grandson. “We really do.”
The lights on the Plaza date back to 1925 when a businessman put a single strand of lights over a store front. The first Plaza lighting ceremony happened five years in 1930.
The lights are on daily from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m., through mid-January.