Sunsets and Kansas City Plaza lights.
We enjoyed sunsets:
And the Plaza lights:
Kansas City Plaza Lights Fun Facts:
- The Plaza Lights started with a string of 16 lights over a doorway in 1925. The first Plaza Lighting took place in 1930.
- “In 1925, Charles Pitrat, head of the Nichols Company maintenance operation, placed a single six-foot strand of sixteen colored light bulbs across the doorway of the Suydam building, the Plaza’s first building. …The tradition grew just the way the Plaza did. As buildings were added, so were lights. When the Plaza Theatre was completed in 1928, Pitrat strung lights across 47th Street to reach the theater building. The next year he outlined the buildings and towers with lights. And so it went, adding more lights to frame more buildings. Putting up those first lights took one man and a ladder. The chore is definitely more difficult today.”
- Tower lights are always one color. For example, The Time Tower, at Broadway and Ward Parkway, is always red.
- A lights test occurs on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving (the day before Thanksgiving) from 2 to 6 am, which has become a popular tradition for families to have a “sneak peek” of the Plaza Lights.
- 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, Olympic sprinter Maurice Green, Paul Rudd, Walter Cronkite, Derrick Thomas, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Marcus Allen, Buck O’Neil, Jason Sudeikis, David Cook, Lee Greenwood and Oleta Adams, Thomas Jones & Jamaal Charles and Eric Stonestreet in 2011.
- LED lights are currently used on all single-color green towers: Nichols Tower, Zoom tower, Granfalloon and Ingredient towers, the two Balcony towers and McCormick & Schmick’s dome/tower.
- Each stringer is made to fit in one exact spot – the same spot every year. The installation crew from Capital Electric uses a “secret code” on aluminum tags to identify where they belong. Each stringer has a series of numbers, corresponding to the building, the location on the building and height at which it is hung.
- Every Plaza light comes down each year and is tested individually on a work bench and inspected for damage. Installation of the lights begin in early August, they shine from Thanksgiving through mid-January and are removed by April.
- Lights are maintained daily to keep all burnt out bulbs replaced. They’re turned into souvenir bulbs that are used to top gifts at Plaza Customer Service. Several thousand bulbs have to be replaced annually.The big switch on the stage at the Plaza Lighting Ceremony really does turn on all the lights. The child chosen from the audience is always chosen at random.