Nearly 200,000 people are expected to drive through a display of 500,000 lights and 275 animated displays in Jackson County this season.

Jackson County Parks and Recreation is putting on “Christmas in the Park” for the 33rd year. It is the one event that survived a blanket cancellation of Parks and Recreation activities during the pandemic.

This year, families are invited to experience the tradition from the safety of their cars until Dec. 31. The entrance is at Longview Farm Elementary School, 3901 S.W. Longview Park Drive in Lee’s Summit.

Visitors can experience an extended 100-foot entrance tunnel and a new display called “Santa at the Barbecue Grill.”

“We figured that was fitting for what we consider a barbecue capital right here at home,” said Michele Newman, director of Jackson County Parks and Recreation.

Donations benefit at least 39 charities in the Jackson County area. Charitable gifts will be collected at the exit.

Apart from donations, the event is free. The lighting display is turned on every night from 5:30 to 10 p.m.

“Thanks to the generosity of our community, we’ve been able to donate more than $1 million to over 1,000 charity organizations right here at home,” Newman said about three decades of light displays.

The holiday tradition has been viewed by over 2 million people since its debut in 1987.

  • Community reporter, fall 2020 Studying photojournalism Reach me at, or in the newsroom at 882-5720

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