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Jamie Squire

Sporting KC to Flip the Switch for KCP&L Plaza Lighting Ceremony

Sporting Kansas City stars Matt Besler, Kei Kamara and Jimmy Nielsen will “Flip the Switch” as honored guests at the KCP&L Plaza Lighting Ceremony. 41 Action News Chief Meteorologist Gary Lezak will host the ceremony, which will feature a performance by The Elders, followed by a free hour-long concert from The Elders immediately after the ceremony. The ceremony is held on Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 22nd, from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. at a new location on the Country Club Plaza.

The ceremony main stage has been moved to a brand new location on Nichols Road and Pennsylvania, near Brio Tuscan Grille and Burberry. The stage will be located on Nichols Road, just west of Pennsylvania, and will face east. The new location features a larger gathering area that will allow for more attendees to have great views of the ceremony’s exciting onstage entertainment and the Flip of the Switch.

Best views of the ceremony stage will be in the Nichols & Pennsylvania intersection, and along Nichols Road between Pennsylvania and Broadway. Several nearby garages will provide free parking close to the stage.

The program begins at 6:00 p.m., with the flip of the switch at 6:50 p.m. by Besler, Kamara and Nielsen. Fireworks displays begin immediately after the flip of the switch, behind the main stage over the parking garage by Bank of America and atop The InterContinental Hotel. In addition to Besler, Kamara and Nielsen, look for appearances by many other Sporting Kansas City players. The ceremony wraps up at 7:00 p.m. Kansas City favorite The Elders will perform a free concert immediately following the ceremony on the main stage.

Incredible community performances will fill the ceremony from beginning to end. The Elders will perform during the ceremony (and at the post-ceremony concert). Choirs from KSHB-TV’s “Sounds of The Holiday” will kick-off the entertainment with holiday favorites. Along with them will be finalists and previous winners from the KC Superstar singing competition, sponsored by the Jewish Community Center.

Recommended nearby parking garages include Valencia Garage (by Gap and H&M) on the north side of 47th and Pennsylvania, Granada Garage (behind Standard Style) on Pennsylvania just south of 47th Street, and Seville Garage (near Capital Grille and Bank of America) behind the main stage on Jefferson and Nichols Road.

KCP&L is pleased to bring such a beloved tradition to Kansas City for the thirteenth year running. KCP&L employee volunteers will be raising money for Salvation Army’s Season of Giving. Listen for that familiar sound of jingling bells.

Follow the KCP&L Plaza Lights on Facebook and Twitter all season long to stay connected with Plaza Lighting Ceremony details, holiday trivia, contests and promotions. The pages will go live on Monday, October 22.

Sporting Kansas City is currently in first place in the Eastern Conference and preparing for the MLS Cup Playoffs. Nielsen, a team captain, and Besler, an Overland Park native, have led the team to 14 shutouts this season. Kamara leads the team in goals this season with 11, his single-season career high.

KSHB-TV is the broadcast partner for the lighting ceremony. KSHB-TV will broadcast live from the Plaza starting with the evening newscast at 4:30 p.m., with the full hour-long ceremony shown in its entirety from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

The hanging of the KCP&L Plaza Lights is handled exclusively by Capital Electric. The crew installs the thousands of lights from August to Thanksgiving and completes the removal by the end of February.

Harvest Productions returns to produce this year’s live entertainment for the Plaza Lighting Ceremony.

The KCP&L Plaza Lights shine daily from 5:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m., Thanksgiving through Sunday, January 13, 2013. All Plaza parking garages will be open and accessible for the lighting event.

Highwoods Properties is the owner of the Country Club Plaza and the proud producer of the 83rd Annual KCP&L Plaza Lighting Ceremony.