November 7, 2020

By Julie Cook

To ensure a safe holiday experience for all, there will not be an in-person program and gathering for the annual Mayor’s Tree Lighting in Downtown Lee’s Summit. Guests are welcome to drive or walk through downtown to enjoy the holiday lights, live window displays, and holiday shopping from 6-8 p.m. on November 20th. A virtual program featuring greetings from Mayor Baird and Santa & Mrs. Claus will be broadcast via Facebook Live at 5:45 p.m. on the Downtown Lee’s Summit page.

“The Mayor’s Tree Lighting has been a community tradition for over 30 years. To keep our community safe, we changed the format of the event to allow families to safely experience the magic of the holiday lights, either from their home, vehicle, or while walking through downtown,” shared Donnie Rodgers, Jr., the Executive Director of Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street.

Live windows and light displays
Over a dozen storefronts will come alive with live window displays, including animated lights, a polar express model train set, and familiar scenes from classic holiday movies. “This is the perfect year to put the kids in their pajamas, grab a mug of hot cocoa, and jump in the car to cruise through downtown to see the lights,” said Melissa Wuennenberg, owner of Very Violet Boutique and Ivy & Sparrow in Downtown Lee’s Summit. Santa & Mrs. Claus will be set up in the windows at Ivy & Sparrow for families to stop and wave or take photos. Many downtown restaurants offer take out and curbside pick up, and some shops will be open late for holiday shopping as well. Visitors are asked to wear a mask and socially distance from other patrons while shopping or dining.

Starting at 6 p.m., the Lee’s Summit Robotics Team, Team Driven, will premiere an animated light display in City Hall Plaza. Both the holiday lights and the animated display will run from dusk until dawn throughout the holiday season until the first week of January.

Tune in online
New this year, families can watch a virtual program on the Downtown Lee’s Summit Facebook page starting at 5:45 p.m. on November 20th. Tune in for a special message from Santa & Mrs. Claus, and watch live aerial coverage of downtown when Mayor Baird “flips the switch” at 6 p.m.

Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the revitalization and preservation of historic Downtown Lee’s Summit. For more information about the Mayor’s Tree Lighting, visit