(Kansas City, Missouri) — Kansas Citians will join together to light the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Friday evening. Prior to the lighting of the tree, 2014 Olympic Gold Medalists in Ice Dance, Meryl Davis and Charlie White, will perform a short exhibition skate at 3:00 p.m. and sign autographs at the Crown Center Ice Terrace from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. The official Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Crown Center Square.
In anticipation of the 2017 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships taking place in Kansas City on January 17-22, 2017 at Sprint Center, Meryl Davis and Charlie White, have been invited to be the featured celebrities at this year’s ceremony. The pair became the first Americans to win an Olympic Gold Medal in Ice Dance from the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia. They are also Two-Time World Champions, Six-Time National Champions, and 2010 Olympic Silver Medalists. The Michigan-based duo has skated together for nearly 20 years and continues to skate together in shows around the world.
The Lighting Ceremony will also include a performance from the Musical Theater Heritage group and a fireworks display will immediately follow the event.
The 100-foot-tall Mayor’s Christmas Tree, one of the nation’s tallest, is the centerpiece of the holiday celebration. The douglas fir is taller than both the White House Christmas Tree and the tree at Rockefeller Center in New York. There are about 7,200 white lights and more than 1,200 ornaments on the Mayor’s Christmas Tree.
The tree is a symbol of the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund, which is dedicated to assisting the city’s less fortunate. Donations to the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund are used to provide gift cards to qualified applicants, holiday parties and gifts for needy children, and additional support to local charities and their holiday efforts. Donations can be made to the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund via Paypal by directing payments to .
After the holidays, the wood from the Mayor’s Christmas Tree is made into commemorative ornaments, which are sold the following year to benefit the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund. The 2016 ornament goes on sale Friday at the Crown Center Customer Service Center for $13.95. All proceeds from the ornament sales go to the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund. Donation boxes for the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund are also located inside the Crown Center Shops.
“The Mayor’s Christmas tree continues to serve as a symbol of the generosity of Kansas Citians and the compassion they have for their fellow neighbors in need. It represents the very best of our city – the heart of its people,” said Mayor Sly James. “Each year our city displays a tremendous amount of support for this wonderful holiday tradition and I am grateful that our citizens continue to give back to those in our City who need it the most.”