Here in Kansas City (Missouri, not Kansas—we natives feel very strongly about the distinction) we’re only known for a couple of things: Walt Disney spent his formative years here and our proud title as The City of Fountains.
The latter was started by visionary, J.C. Nicols. He took the once murky swamp of Brush Creek and turned it into the country’s first shopping center in 1923. Influenced by Seville, Spain, the architecture has a Spanish feel, with decorative tiles and mosaics, and of course, fountains around every corner.
Our holiday season kicks off with one major event—the Plaza Lighting Ceremony. On Thanksgiving night, after massive amounts of food have been consumed and the football game is over, the ceremony begins with great fanfare.
Every year is the same—people start gathering early, stamping their feet in the cold, patiently waiting. Parking is always a nightmare. There’s not a bathroom to be had. But that never deters people from showing up.
Everyone I know has a childhood story about their parents bundling them in the car, braving the traffic to find a parking spot miles away, and trekking toward the heart of the Plaza to watch the lights turn on.
I always feel a little sentimental this time of year, so this is my love letter to you, K.C. Mwah! Happy Holidays, everyone!