The annual Christmas in the Park begins tonight with a fireworks extravaganza, music and a holiday stage show.
For 17 years Christmas in the Sky has been the opening night celebration for the holiday display, which features 300,000 lights and 175 animated displays in Longview Lake Park.
Gates open at 5 p.m. Nov. 27 for the free event at Longview Lake Beach, which is about two miles south of Interstate 470 on Raytown Road.
The 6 p.m. event will include carols from the music group Elead, the arrival of Santa and the First Gift of Christmas, and a holiday stage show with more than 100 singers and dancers from Monica’s School of Dance. Fireworks are scheduled to start about 7:30 p.m.
For the season, holiday lights display will be open 5:30-10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 5:30-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Admission is free, with exit donations that are accepted to benefit 35 local charities.
A new display is added each year, and this year visitors will see Santa flying 30-feet above the ground in an airplane delivering gifts to anxious children. When Santa’s not delivering gifts he’ll be making a 120-foot golf shot.
Since Christmas in the Park began in 1987, more than two million visitors have driven through the holiday displays at Longview Lake Park, two miles south of Interstate-470 off View High Drive.