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The Weekender

The bulbs have been twisted in and tested on, now it's just time to flip the switch. Everyone is hoping the predicted light rain blows through before the 86th annual Plaza Lighting Ceremony tonight. (Credit: Country Club Plaza)
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It’s a long holiday weekend. Emphasis on the “long.” Sure, we all love spending time with family, but we also love getting out of the house. Unfortunately, there’s really only two things to do this weekend: shop or avoid shopping. If you are in the latter group, Flatland has a few ideas for you.

LIGHTING

It’s one of Kansas City’s oldest and fastest traditions. Thanksgiving night, thousands will pack our city’s most famous shopping district to watch a switch being thrown at the 86th Annual Plaza Lighting Ceremony. There’s music, including Hembree and The Snow Globes, a video tribute to our Royals, and author Gillian Flynn will flip the switch at 6:54 p.m. Dress warmly, take the bus or be prepared to park and walk, and don’t blink or you’ll miss it.

If that’s not enough lighting for you, get down to Crown Center on Friday night to watch the lighting ceremony for the Mayor’s Christmas Tree with Sly James and Santa and fireworks finale.

ACTING

There’s seasonal theater, of course. The Coterie is presenting “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Theater for Young America will stage The Best Christmas Pageant Ever!, and for the 35th year, the KC Rep will be presenting “A Christmas Carol.”

“On Shoulders Now” A Christmas Story?” is a very grown-up play for the season, and is being presented at the Just Off Broadway Theater.

JOYFUL NOISING

For an unconventional Thanksgiving night, get to the Uptown Theater for The Schwag, a Grateful Dead tribute band. What better day to be grateful? Friday night you can see the Kansas City Symphony, along with guest conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto, performing Prokofiev’s dramatic Fifth Symphony. Saturday night, get down to the Blue Room where local jazz legend Ida Mcbeth, is celebrating her birthday in song. Sunday you can get your rock on in the spirit of the season. When you purchase a ticket to see Lights and The Mowgli’s at The Midland, you’ll get a second ticket free with your donation of a canned food item.

BUMPING AND BANGING

For something that has nothing to do with the season, save for the men in red hats, go see our suddenly resurgent Chiefs play the Bills at Arrowhead. There’s college basketball too. If you have never seen the UMKC Roos, catch our local Division I club against South Dakota State on Saturday afternoon on their home court. Sure, the match-up isn’t that great, but it’ll be warm inside the arena. Besides, anything is better than fighting crowds at the malls.

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