Winter Wonderlands: Kansas City, Missouri

Martha Stewart Living, December 2002

This city's Art Deco architecture has been the cornerstone of its vibrant revival. But Kansas City's style turns over-the-top at Country Club Plaza, with its Moorish towers, intricate tile work, and Greek-god and nymph statues that appear in 15 fountains. It's an extraordinary sight during the holidays, when some 280,000 bulbs light Country Club Plaza. Every year 200,000 people crowd into the plaza's 14 square blocks for the moment on Thanksgiving night when the switch is thrown.

The plaza doesn't have a monopoly on Kansas City holiday decorations, though. Union Station, a recently restored Beaux Arts masterpiece, has become a holiday center. In 2002, pastry chef John Lovitch made a gingerbread village 5 feet wide and 85 feet long, with 260 buildings and a miniature electric train running through it. Still, for most visitors, the lights that twinkle on the plaza's clock towers and iron scrollwork every December night are the city's holiday emblem. In fact, the plaza is so popular that a local chocolatier, Annedores, re-creates the landmark each year.

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