Country Club Plaza Lights Bower RA

What started with a single strand of Christmas lights strung over a store entrance in 1925 has turned into a living legend as the most spectacular holiday lighting display in the nation.

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The Kansas City Plaza Lights 2013

A local tradition for 84 years, Plaza Lights is a 15-block holiday spectacle on the famed Country Club Plaza, featuring thousands of glimmering, jewel-colored lights that accentuate every dome, tower and window of the Spanish-inspired shopping district.

The KCP&L Plaza Lights shine daily from 5:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m., Thanksgiving through Sunday, January 12, 2014. All Plaza parking garages will be open and accessible throughout the KCP&L Plaza Lights season.

While enjoying the lights, shoppers can peruse the detailed window displays while listening to the clip-clop of the horse drawn carriages and the holiday songs of carolers.

Find: Plaza Shopping | Hotel Deals Near the Plaza


Early Holiday Beginnings

Country Club Plaza Lights_052_AA.jpgWhat started with a single strand of Christmas lights strung over a store entrance in 1925 has turned into a living legend as the most spectacular holiday lighting display in the nation. The first Plaza Lighting Ceremony took place in 1930.

Putting up the lights is no small task. Starting after Labor Day each year, a crew of four electricians from Capital Electric begins stringing the lights while the weather is still warm.

Special trucks with lifts let workmen reach tall places. To ascend the domes and towers, workers use ropes and shoes just like mountain climbers to keep their footing.

As Thanksgiving approaches, midnight “light runs” test the lights to guarantee they all come on at once. During the holiday season, workmen are kept busy replacing the many thousand bulbs that burn out. Removal of the lights begins right after the holiday season ends, this season on Jan. 13.

All lights are down by March and taken into the shop where they are checked, coiled, tied, wrapped and cataloged for storage until the next year’s event.    

The only time the Plaza lights were not in operation occurred in 1973 when President Nixon called upon all Americans to curtail the use of Christmas lights to reduce dependence on foreign oil imports.


Fun Plaza Lights Facts

  • The Plaza Lights started with a string of 16 lights over a doorway in 1925. The first Plaza Lighting took place in 1930.
  • Tower lights are always one color. For example, The Time Tower, at Broadway and Ward Parkway, is always red.
  • The lights don’t stay up all year long. The hard-working crew from Capital Electric begin hanging the lights in August and take them back down starting in mid-January through the beginning of March.
  • The big switch on the stage at the Plaza Lighting Ceremony really does turn on all the lights.
  • The child chosen to help turn on the lights from the audience is always chosen at random.
  • A lights test occurs on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving (the day before Thanksgiving) from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m.
  • The only time that the Plaza lights were not in operation occurred in 1973 when President Nixon called upon all Americans to curtail the use of Christmas lights to reduce dependence on foreign oil imports.
  • Guests that have been invited to turn on the Plaza Lights include: George Brett, Trent Green, Kate Spade, "Fastest Man in the World" Maurice Green, Paul Rudd, Jason Sudeikis, Eric Stonestreet, Walter Cronkite, Derrick Thomas, Marcus Allen, Buck O’Neil and Oleta Adams.
  • All of the Plaza’s parking garages are free and open to the public.
  • Best viewing options for the Plaza Lights include Halls rooftop, which would allow you to see the actual ceremony. Other roof tops with good views during the season of lights include McCormick & Schmick’s, Starker’s Reserve Restaurant, The Intercontinental Kansas City Hotel and the second floor of Barnes & Noble.
  • The Plaza’s shops have extended hours during the holiday season.
  • The best time to take a carriage ride on the Plaza is during the holiday season. Two carriage companies operate all-year. Surrey’s Carriage Company at 816-531-2673 and Pride of Kansas City at 816-531-1999.

Deals on Hotels near the Plaza

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$279 Romance Package

Courtyard by Marriott Country Club Plaza

Category: All Hotels | Location: Country Club Plaza Area

$75.00 Grand Street Cafe Certificate, $50 Plaza Gift Card, Champagne with rose petal turndownJuly 09, 2014 - December 31, 2014

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Romance package including a king suite. Hot buffet breakfast for 2. $75.00 Grand Street Café Certificate, $50.00 Plaza Gift Card, Champagne with rose petal turndown services. Rate: $279, plus tax. Based upon availability. Please book directly with the hotel or www. marriot.com/mcicp. 48 hours booking prior to arrival and 48 hours cancellation required.

Information:
Phone: 816-285-9764
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Romance is Invited

Sheraton Suites Country Club Plaza

Category: All Hotels | Location: Country Club Plaza Area

Enjoy daily breakfast for 2, sparkling wine, and more.January 01, 2014 - December 31, 2014

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Enjoy a romantic getaway at Sheraton Suites Country Club Plaza. Book now and receive complimentary breakfast for two daily, chocolates and sparkling wine upon arrival, and a 4PM late checkout (based on availability). Call 1-866-716-8134 and mention promo code R1M.

Information:
Phone: 1-866-716-8134
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Starting at $164: Zoo Package

Sheraton Suites Country Club Plaza

Category: All Hotels | Location: Country Club Plaza Area

Enjoy four tickets to the Kansas City ZooJanuary 01, 2014 - December 31, 2014

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Book our Family Zoo Package and enjoy four complimentary tickets to the Kansas City Zoo! Reserve online or call 1-866-716-8134 and ask for rate plan LCPKG.

Information:
Phone: 1-866-716-8134
Book Online Now!

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Starting at $169 : Pay Rates Equal to Your Birth Year on Second Night!

Sheraton Suites Country Club Plaza

Category: All Hotels | Location: Country Club Plaza Area

Save Big on Second Night!November 28, 2013 - December 31, 2014

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We're celebrating the year you were born. With this special offer for two or three night stays, you'll receive rates equal to your birth year! Book your first night from $159, receive your 2nd and 3rd night at rates equal to your birth year (If you were born in 1948, you'll receive your 2nd night at $48). Valid for two or three night stays. To make a reservation click Book Now or call 1-866-716-8134 and ask for promo cod...more

Information:
Phone: 866-716-8134
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Starting at $179 : Mini Shopping Package

Courtyard by Marriott Country Club Plaza

Category: All Hotels | Location: Country Club Plaza Area

Includes $50 Country Club Plaza Gift CardFebruary 01, 2014 - November 23, 2014

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Your package includes deluxe accommodations, Double Queen or King guest room. $50.00 Plaza Gift Card. We are located directly on the Country Club Plaza within steps to shopping and dining. Based upon availability. Must book 48 hours prior to arrival and 48 hour cancellation required.

Information:
Phone: 816-285-9755
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Starting at $299 : Wine and Dine Package

Courtyard by Marriott Country Club Plaza

Category: All Hotels | Location: Country Club Plaza Area

Includes Dinner for Two at Capital Grill Steakhouse!May 09, 2012 - December 31, 2015

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Overnight accommodations in King Suite, Dinner for two with exclusive menu at The Capital Grill Steakhouse, Breakfast for two and rose petal turn down service. Please book your romantic reservations by calling our sales office 816-285-9764. Must be booked at least 48 hours in advance. Must be cancelled at least 48 hours in advance and booked prior to 48 hours arrival.Based on availability.

Information:
Phone: 816-285-9764
Book Online Now!

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Starting at $299 : 'It's A Girl Thing' Package

Courtyard by Marriott Country Club Plaza

Category: All Hotels | Location: Country Club Plaza Area

Includes $100 Country Club Plaza Gift Card & $25 M&S Grill Gift Card!May 08, 2012 - December 31, 2015

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It's A Girl Thing, package includes deluxe accommodations for four people, a $100 Plaza gift card, $25 M&S Grill Gift card, hot deluxe breakfast for four. For your fun weekend make reservations with the hotel directly at 816-285-9764. Based on availability. 48 hours booking prior to arrival and 48 hours cancellation

Information:
Phone: 816-285-9764
Book Online Now!

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Starting from $209: Shopping Package

Sheraton Suites Country Club Plaza

Category: All Hotels | Location: Country Club Plaza Area

Enjoy a $50 Plaza gift card and more!November 11, 2013 - December 31, 2014

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Reconnect and enjoy all Country Club Plaza has to offer with our Shopping Package. Book now to receive a $50 Plaza gift card, complimentary breakfast for two, complimentary hotel self-parking, sleep in with a late check-out. Book online or call 1-866-716-8134 and ask for rate code LAPKG.

Information:
Phone: 1-866-716-8134
Book Online Now!

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Stay 2 Nights and Receive 5,000 Marriott Rewards Bonus Points!

Courtyard by Marriott Country Club Plaza

Category: All Hotels | Location: Country Club Plaza Area

Receive 5,000 Marriott Rewards Bonus Points!July 09, 2014 - December 31, 2014

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Stay 2 nights Thursday through Sunday and receive 5,000 Marriott Rewards Bonus Points. Not a Marriott Rewards member? We can sign you up, it's FREE and easy to do, come enjoy The Courtyard Marriott and The Country Club Plaza.

Information:
Phone: 816-285-9755
Book Online Now!

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