Christmas in the Sky
By John Sharp
A holiday stage show Wednesday, November 21, followed by the 22nd annual Christmas in the Sky fireworks show will kick-off Jackson County’s 31st annual Christmas in the Park drive-through event at Longview Lake Park featuring more than 300,000 lights and 175 animated displays.
Gates will open to the stage show at Longview Lake Beach, 11101 Raytown Rd., at 5 p.m., and the show will start at 6. The show will feature more than 100 singers and dancers from Monica’s School of Dance, plus performances by the Southside Singers from Olathe South High School and local recording artist Crystal Clayton.
Santa will arrive on a mule-drawn sleigh to present the “First Gift of Christmas” before the fireworks show synchronized with holiday music begins at 7:30.
“Every year we add an exciting new display to the Christmas in the Park experience,” said Michele Newman, Jackson County Parks & Recreation director. “This year, we’ve added a spectacular 50-foot lighted drive through entrance arch that will be programmed to sequence a variety of dazzling colors, patterns and effects.”
Christmas in the Park will be open every night from November 21 through December 31. Hours are from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and from 5:30 to 11 p.m. Friday-Saturday.
Since opening in 1987, more than two million people have experienced Christmas in the Park. There is no charge for the event, but voluntary donations are accepted, and a portion of the proceeds are given to local charities. More than $1 million has been given to area charities since the event started.