Posted Nov 15th, 2018

Mayor Sly James to ‘Flip the Switch’ this Thanksgiving, kicking off the Holiday Season

The 89th annual KCP&L Plaza Lighting Ceremony will take place Nov. 22. This year’s honored guest, Mayor Sly James, will “Flip the Switch” to illuminate Country Club Plaza. This year’s event will also feature a final performance by beloved hometown band The Elders, who are retiring at the end of the year. After the ceremony, the lights shine daily from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. through January 13, 2019.


“The Plaza Lighting Ceremony has been an important tradition in Kansas City for nearly 90 years,” said Mayor 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.”

Country Club Plaza General Manager Meredith Keeler said, “We are honored to have Mayor James lead Kansas City into the holidays as the honorary flipper of the switch. 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.”




This year’s ceremony features:

  • Gary Lezak with KSHB-TV as emcee for the ceremony.
  • Musical performances by current and former “The Voice” contestants Rachel Byerley, Casi Joy and Jake Wells.
  • The Americana Soul and Mexicana Groove of Maria The Mexican.
  • Performances by local musical groups KC A Cappella and Blue Valley High School Chamber Singers.
  • The talented young dancers of the KC Ballet Second Company.
  • The KCP&L Plaza Lights singers and dancers.
  • The Elders.


Following the flipping of the switch will be:

  • Three fireworks displays – above the main stage (Nichols and Pennsylvania above Tesla), at the Time Building (near Lululemon) and at the InterContinental Hotel.
  • A farewell performance by Kansas City Americana and Celtic folk-rock band The Elders, who are retiring after 20 years together.


Best Views and Parking

Best views of the main stage are at the Nichols and Pennsylvania intersection, and along Nichols Road between Pennsylvania and Broadway. Several nearby garages will offer free parking. Garages may be found at:

  • 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.
  • NOTE: The Granada Garage will be closed.


Partner Information

  • Main sponsor –­ Kansas City Power & Light. This is the 19th year that KCP&L has sponsored the Plaza Lighting Ceremony.
  • Broadcast partner – KSHB. In addition to event coverage, a ‘behind-the-scenes’ special will air Nov. 21 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Live entertainment partner – Harvest Productions. It’s the ninth year that Harvest Productions has entertained audiences with a fantastic live show.
  • Lighting partner – Capital Electric. Handled exclusively by Capital Electric, the Plaza lights are installed from August to Thanksgiving, and removal takes place from mid-January through March.


“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.”


Social Media

Follow KCP&L Plaza Lights and Country Club Plaza on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  




Media Broadcasting and Parking

  • Filming: All media outlets are welcome to cover the pre-show from 5-5:30 p.m., as well as the post-show beginning at 7 p.m. You are also welcome to come before 5 p.m. if you’d like. There will be a designated platform in front of the bus barricade (see details below) where media can capture footage. For media outlets looking to cover the event from 5:30-7 p.m., please film from outside the event barricades. Filming of the event from inside the barricades from 5:30-7 p.m. is reserved for the ceremony media partner, KSHB-TV.
  • Parking: Media parking is available on Pennsylvania south of Nichols Road right at the bus barricade.
  • Credentials: There will be an officer near the bus barricade to check credentials and assist with parking. Please share with Jenny Stasi, jstasi@trozzolo or 816.842.8111, by 3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20, the names of reporters and staff from your company who will be covering the Lighting Ceremony; that way, we can be sure to protect and accommodate them.