KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Thousands of twinkling lights covered the Country Club Plaza Thursday night as the Evergy Plaza Lighting Ceremony kicked off for the 94th year.
Kansas City native and hip-hop artist Tech N9ne was featured as the special guest who flipped the light switch.
Quixotic, DJ Kirby and The Elders also performed, and the night ended with a fireworks show.
These festivities are also on the heels of the possible sale of the Plaza to a Dallas-based firm.
But KSHB 41 found what keeps Kansas Citians coming back to this landmark each year is tradition.
"This year was really special because my daughter is singing," Laura Petersma, a Kansas City native, said. "Family is so important, and close friends, so spending the day together and just coming and sharing these traditions."
The Petersmas even brought Thanksgiving dinner to the Plaza this year.
"Turkey and cheesy potato casseroles, rolls, and pie. We're camping out," Petersma said.
Kansas Citians have watched the Plaza take on highs and lows over the years.
"Came here all through my childhood until I was like 10. And then stopped, so as an adult I've been coming the last few years," Indigo Accardo said.
Accardo has watched this firsthand. But even the sale of the Plaza isn't enough to stop her from reveling in the magic.
"Kind of trying to recapture that magic," she said. "As an adult, the magic goes away. You have to start creating it for yourself, because your parents don't do it for you."
Generations of people stopped to capture that magic Thanksgiving night.
No matter what's ahead for the Plaza, tradition is what flips on the lights, and continues to bring Kansas Citians home.