Merry & Bright

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This holiday season, you can tour the city and feast your eyes upon the magical wonder of the best in holiday lighting displays, and also bring affordable elegance and class to your home with dazzling outdoor holiday lighting.

Story by Ann Butenas




As residents of Kansas City, the holidays hold special meaning for us. After all, this is the place where the city lights up its skyline, tree lines and thoroughfares with the celebration of the season, almost as if someone has waved a magic wand across the sky, creating a festive and delightful ambiance for all to enjoy.

For most of us, thoughts of the Country Club Plaza quickly come to mind when thinking of holiday lights. Back in 1925, there were just 16 lights over a doorway to mark the season, with the first official lighting ceremony taking place five years later. Fast forward to 2015, and the Plaza continues to be one of the city’s crown jewels of holiday lighting displays. As buildings were added to the shopping district, so were additional lights. Eventually all of the buildings and towers were outlined with lights. What initially took just one man and a trusty ladder to accomplish now requires a fully orchestrated team.




Then we have the magic of Zona Rosa, the shopping and entertainment district near KCI Airport. This area supports a newer holiday tradition by suspending large lighted crowns over the street ways. However, those crowns come with a rich history, as they were a legendary fixture of downtown KC for nearly three decades until they fell from the limelight nearly 25 years ago. The family-owned company that initially designed those crowns has since constructed new crowns based on the original blueprints that weigh 2,000 pounds and are 17-feet wide. These eye-catching crowns join forces with a 14-foot wreath and a 50-foot Christmas tree for the Northern Lights of Zona Rosa.

And it just wouldn’t be Christmas without the Mayor’s Christmas Tree. A century-old tradition, this is an integral fixture at Crown Center and Hallmark Cards. Outfitted with more than 7,200 white lights during the winter holidays, it stands proud at 100 feet tall, beating out in stature the trifecta of other famous Christmas trees in the United States: the National Christmas Tree, the Rockefeller Christmas Tree and the White House Christmas Tree.




With all of these (and so many more!) local holiday lighting attractions, it just might inspire you to become a part of the tradition, so why not consider lighting up your own home with some of the best in holiday lighting this year?

Holiday lighting truly brings unique flavor to a home, and the experts at Winter Illuminations can help you ring in the season with just the right touch. Current trends in the holiday lighting arena still give a nod to the traditional use of white lights, for their seamless and sophisticated appeal, but pops of color are making their presence known. Winter Illuminations will work with each customer to coordinate that perfect look that effortlessly blends with the façade of the home.

“A combination of alternating red, white and green lights looks great on a monotone-colored house,” noted owner Roxxy Schnellbacher. “Whereas alternating white and green lights really accent a dark brick home with white trim. The end result is classy and elegant. Our homes are a source of joy, especially during the holiday season,” she smiled. “It’s exciting to come home to a place that is lit up in celebration of the season.”

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