Tribune Photo/Charlie Mizell

November 4, 2023

With the holidays fast approaching, the magic of the season comes to life for thousands at Jackson County Parks + Rec’s 26th Annual Christmas in the Sky and 36th Annual Christmas in the Park holiday events.

On Wednesday, Nov. 22, Christmas in the Sky will kick-off at Longview Lake Beach. Gates open at 5 p.m. The holiday state show begins at 6 p.m. Fireworks conclude the show at 7:45 p.m.

This holiday fireworks spectacular, courtesy of Parks + Rec and 99.7 The Point, has provided the opening night festivities for Jackson County’s Christmas in the Park since 1997.

The free event includes a holiday stage show featuring 100 talented singers and dancers from Monica’s School of Dance in Lee’s Summit, who have performed at this event for all 26 years, plus the cast of the Quality Hill Playhouse holiday cabaret, “Christmas in Song,” Soul Harpist Calvin Arsenia and the Dickens Carolers. Look for Santa’s arrival to present the “First Gift of Christmas” to a Dream Factory child ahead of the colorful fireworks show, which will be synchronized to holiday music on 99.7 The Point.

Topping off the evening, 1 million lights and 200 animated displays will illuminate your magical drive through Jackson County’s 36th Annual Christmas in the Park.

What is new this year? Parks + Rec Director Michele Newman shared, “Every year we are looking for new ways to add to the excitement at Christmas in the Park. Last year, we received a letter from a father who shared that his family’s drive through Christmas in the Park is a highlight of their year. On their drive, his son, who is autistic, asked ‘Why aren’t there any penguins in the park?’ Evidently, penguins have a calming effect on many in the autistic community. So, this year, our talented crew has created a fun and engaging new display of penguins sliding and splashing in the park. Guests will also see an expanded Candy Land area and a few fun additions to the drive into and exiting the park.”

“The thrill of transforming an idea from one of our cherished visitors into a reality, thanks to the dedication of our exceptional Parks + Rec team, is truly exciting,” said Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. “It embodies the genuine spirit of joy and unity that we look forward to sharing with our community every holiday season through Christmas in the Park.”

Since opening in 1987, three million people have made the drive through Jackson County’s Christmas in the Park a part of their annual holiday experience. Christmas in the Park welcomes 300,000 visitors annually. The Parkd Department thanks their media partner, FOX4, for their continued support of this popular holiday attraction.

While there is no charge for this drive-thru event, voluntary exit donations are accepted, with a portion of the proceeds divided among 40 area charities. Thanks to the generosity of Christmas in the Park patrons, Jackson County has been able to give over $1.2 million to more than 1,000 local charities since the event’s inception.

The display is open Wednesday, Nov. 22 through Sunday, Dec. 31. Hours are Sunday – Thursday, 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. and Friday – Saturday, 5:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

The drive begins at the Frank White, Jr. Softball Complex located at3901 SW Longview Park Road (Two miles south of I-470 off View High Drive).

Click here for more information and directions.