Of course, there will be more than just red and yellow lights on the Country Club Plaza this holiday season, but Thanksgiving night’s lighting ceremony will have an extra Chiefs flavor.
Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson and quarterback Alex Smith will be the honorary switch-flippers for the Plaza Lighting ceremony, which has been known to draw up to 100,000 people.
“I’m honored to have this opportunity,” Smith said in a news release. “This is a great Kansas City tradition. And my family and I couldn’t be more excited to help light up the Plaza with the Kansas City community and kick off the start of the holiday season.”
This is the 88th annual lighting ceremony.
“I know what the KCP&L Plaza Lighting Ceremony means to Kansas City, and to be a part of it this year, with family, friends and teammates standing near, is very special,” Johnson said in a release.
The two Chiefs players will flip the switch at 6:54 p.m. and fireworks will follow. At 7 p.m., the Elders will play a one-hour concert. The ceremony main stage will once again be located on Nichols Road and Pennsylvania. Other performers include Smithville’s Casi Joy, who in April made it to the playoff rounds on NBC’s “The Voice.”
According to a news release, the “recommended nearby parking garages” include Valencia Garage on the north side of 47th and Pennsylvania; Neptune Garage on Wornall near 46th Street; the Seville Garage on Jefferson and Nichols Road and the Plaza III Garage on Pennsylvania.
KSHB will broadcast the ceremony from 6 to 7 p.m.
The lights will be lit each day from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. until Jan. 14.
Who has thrown the switch?
2016 Jack Sock
2015 Gillian Flynn
2014 Alex Gordon and Dayton Moore
2013 Rob Riggle
2012 Matt Besler, Jimmy Nielsen and Kei Kamara
2011 Eric Stonestreet
2010 Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones
2009 Jason Sudeikis
2008 David Cook
2007 Hometown soldiers from each branch of the U.S. military
2006 Bobby Bell, Willie Lanier and Clark and Tavia Hunt
2005 Dick and Carol Vermeil
2004 Mickey and Minnie Mouse
2003 Kate Spade
2002 Trent Green
2001 Tony Gonzalez
2000 Maurice Greene
1999 George Brett (again)
1998 Paul Rudd
1997 Marcus Allen
1996 Buck O’Neil
1995 Roy Williams
1994 Derrick Thomas
1991 Oleta Adams
1990 Lee Greenwood
1989 Dee Wallace
1983 Nicolette Larson
Others: Walter Cronkite, Tom Watson, William Christopher.