KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The drive-thru holiday tradition, Winter Magic, is moving from Swope Park to Kessler Park in the Historic Northeast part of Kansas City.
The Parks and Recreation Board approved the move a few weeks ago.
But the move caught some residents and business owners by surprise, hearing about the event that could draw 12-15,000 people from friends and neighbors.
“I still really don’t know the ins and outs or the ups and downs of it,” said Candy Fasone. “I just know that if it comes off, which apparently it’s going to, they’re going to come out right in front of my house.”
Fasone lives right at the eastern end of Cliff Drive where it meets Gladstone Boulevard. She said she isn’t opposed to the plan, but she isn’t overly excited about it either because she doesn’t know what to make of thousands of cars driving by her house late into the evening for two full months.
A few blocks away, PH Coffee owner Eric Rosell has a more complicated view.
One on hand, it’s a great chance to show off the neighborhood, his coffee shop, and a park that is sometimes considered a place where dangerous and illegal things happen.
“We were like, ‘Oh my God, it’s going to be on Cliff Drive, there’s going to be a que, we’re going to take advantage of this,” Rosell said.
That’s why his shop is tentatively planning to be there with treats, food, and drinks for people waiting in line.
That line is the potential problem.
Thousands of cars, on old streets, in a densely packed part of town don’t always mix.
“This is an old neighborhood, this is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Kansas City, so there are a couple of one-way streets, there are a couple of very narrowly-packed streets,” Rosell said.
Maps show the one-mile route on Cliff Drive will have a roughly half-mile set aside for a line for cars waiting to get in. Planners think that will be enough room to hold all the cars in line but Rosell isn’t so sure.
“I think you’re going to find out there’s going to be a que that snakes through the entire neighborhood,” Rosell said.
Jolt Lighting puts on the show and President Aaron O’Dell told FOX4 that Cliff Drive has enough room for this year and to expand in the future.
Residents like Fasone are ready to see what happens.
“I won’t say it’s scary, it’s just kind of,it ought to be interesting.”
Winter Magic will run from November 3, 2022, through January 1, 2023, from 5 p.m. to approximately 10 p.m. every night.
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