Mission ‘Holiday Lights’ celebration Friday includes Santa, sleigh rides, fireworks

The holiday season kicks off in a big way Friday night in downtown Mission starting with free horse-drawn sleigh rides and ending with musical fireworks.

Fire pits were the spot for roasting marshmallows and making s'mores Friday at the Mission holiday lighting ceremony, even if it was almost 60 degrees outside.
Fire pits were the spot for roasting marshmallows and making s’mores at the 2012 Mission holiday lighting ceremony.

The “Holiday Lights and Festive Sights” celebration is an annual event, usually held on Johnson Drive. This year, due to the street construction, it is moving over to Beverly Street, along the east side of the Sylvester Powell Community Center.

The fun begins at 5:30 p.m. Friday with the sleigh rides that continue all evening. The SM North choir performs at 5:45 p.m. and Santa arrives in a horse-drawn sleigh – no reindeer – at 6 p.m. to begin visits with children.

Performances by the UMKC choir at 6:30 p.m. and Funky Mama at 7 p.m. are the prelude to the musical fireworks at 8:15 p.m.

In addition, free children’s activities, popcorn, hot chocolate and s’mores will be available and Mission merchants will sell hot dogs and cider for $3. Cookie decorating and a holiday shop will be in full swing.