KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Country Club Plaza lights are a Kansas City tradition, 84 years and counting. But in addition to the display being treasured tradition, the lights are a lot of work to put up and take down.
The Country Club Plaza, a Spanish-inspired shopping district, popular for its holiday lighting display started as a single strand of holiday lights strung over a store entrance in 1925, but now the display is knows as one of the best in the country.
Every tower, dome, window accentuated with glimmering, jewel colored lights that all must be taken down this time of year to be repaired and stored.
Matt Deardorff, an electrician with Capital Electric, took advantage of warmer weather on Tuesday to catch up on what he calls his “biggest project.”
“This is what I`d prefer every single day,” said Deardorff about the weather on Tuesday. “It (usually) gets pretty cold.”
Deardorff says the lights are three-fourths of his job.
“It`s always a daily stress worrying about dropping something all day every day,” said Deardorff.
Deardorff spends months stringing holiday lights, and then spends months taking them down.
Deardorff calims there’s a method to his madness. On Tuesday location he worked on taking the lights down off the tower above Restoration Hardware.
“We like to take all the lower bulbs down first and leave the higher ones until later in the year,” said Deardorff.
The bulbs are stored in the district, in a secret space called “the Dungeon.” It’s so secret, that Deardorff wouldn’t let FOX 4 show viewers where it is.
“It`s a secret place not much bigger than your living room probably,” said Deardorff.
Strings of lights, which are rusted and busted, are repaired, replaced then stored in the space.
“And then hang them back on the rack, ready to hang for next year,” he said.
For Deardorff, next year starts this summer. He says he started taking down the plaza lights in January, and hopes to have them all down by mid-April.