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Enjoy the LED glow of the Plaza lights

When the switch is flipped on the Plaza lights, Kansas City will be dazzled with LED bulbs that use only five percent of the energy of older lighting.

For 86 years, the Country Club Plaza has opened Kansas City’s holiday season on Thanksgiving night at the annual KCP&L Plaza Lighting Ceremony. Last year, 85 percent of the incandescent bulbs were replaced with energy-efficient LEDs, providing a 95-percent energy savings every night they are lit from November 26 to January 17. The display is created with 250,000 bulbs that cover 80 miles of string lights.

The only year that the lights were not turned on was in 1973 because of a national energy crisis. During that holiday season, President Richard Nixon called on all Americans to curtail Christmas lights, turn down the thermostat and drive a little slower to reduce dependence on foreign oil. Today with increasingly more efficient options, traditions like the Plaza lights continue with less of an environmental impact.

The festivities will feature a tribute to the World Champion Kansas City Royals, musical performances and fireworks. The pre-show begins at 5 p.m. and the lights will be turned on at 6:45 p.m. by Kansas City native and Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn. For more information, visit


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