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KC Mayor Sly James to ‘flip the switch' at KCP&L Plaza Lighting Ceremony

Posted at 4:59 PM, Nov 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-15 19:17:10-05

KANSAS CITY, MO. – Final checks of thousands of lights are underway, production meetings are in full swing and performers are holding their last rehearsals ahead of the 89th annual KCP&L Plaza Lighting Ceremony.

This year, Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Sly James will be the honored guest and will "Flip the Switch" on Nov. 22nd to light up the Country Club Plaza to kick off the holiday season.

“The Plaza Lighting Ceremony has been an important tradition in Kansas City for nearly 90 years,” said Mayor Sly James. “It is an honor to be chosen to ‘flip the switch’ this year, and I look forward to sharing that special moment with the City and my family.”

Live television coverage begins at 4 p.m. Thanksgiving evening on 41 Action News, the exclusive broadcast partner for the ceremony. 

Chief Meteorologist Gary Lezak will once again emcee the event.

“What a tradition and what an honor to once again be the official broadcast partner of the KCP&L Plaza Lighting Ceremony,” 41 Action News Creative Services Director Randy Thurman said. “This year’s telecast will be commercial free thanks to KCP&L and streamed live all over the world on our website and digital platforms. We know we will capture the energy and excitement for those unable to make it there in person.”

The KCP&L Plaza Lighting Ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. and will feature a performance by hometown Celtic folk-rock band The Elders, who are retiring at the end of the year after 20 years together.




After the switch is flipped, The Elders will play until 8 p.m. as a final farewell performance.   

Other musical performances include current and former “The Voice” contestants Casi Joy, Rachel Byerley and Jake Wells, as well as Maria The Mexican, KC A Capella and the Blue Valley High School Chamber Singers.

Guests will also see performances by the KC Ballet Second Company and the KCP&L Plaza Lights Singers and Dancers. Three firework displays will again light up the night sky once the switch is flipped.

The best views of the main stage are at the Nichols and Pennsylvania intersection, and along Nichols Road between Pennsylvania and Broadway. Several nearby parking garages will offer free parking, including:

  • Valencia Garage (by H&M) on the north side of 47th and Pennsylvania
  • Neptune Garage on Wornall near 46th Street
  • Seville Garage (near The Capital Grille) behind the main stage on Jefferson and Nichols Road
  • Time Building Garage north of Hogshead on Pennsylvania 

“We are honored to have Mayor James lead Kansas City into the holidays as the honorary flipper of the switch,” Country Club Plaza General Manager Meredith Keeler said. “From this time-honored tradition to all of the special guests and performances, we are thrilled to continue to host this beloved Thanksgiving tradition in Kansas City.”

“Nothing says the holidays in Kansas City like the Plaza Lights,” said Chuck Caisley, KCP&L senior vice president marketing and public affairs and chief customer officer. “We are proud to help bring the Lighting Ceremony to Country Club Plaza for another year.”

The lights will shine daily from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. through January 13, 2019.