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Alex Smith and Derrick Johnson Flip the Switch at the Plaza Lighting Ceremony

Posted Nov 24, 2017

The Chiefs took part in a Kansas City tradition on Thanksgiving night

A pair of Kansas City institutions came together on Thanksgiving night, as Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterback Alex Smith and linebacker Derrick Johnson flipped the switch at the 88th Annual KCP&L Plaza Lighting Ceremony.

Smith was excited about the opportunity beforehand.

“It’s one of the many traditions in this area that’s just awesome,” Smith said. “I live close to the Plaza, so I’ve gone down there and watched it with my kids every year since I’ve been here. It’s really special to be a part of this and to do it with my family.”

It was also a special moment for Johnson, who has been a part of the Kansas City community since 2005.

“I know what the Plaza Lighting Ceremony means to Kansas City,” Johnson said. “To be a part of it this year, with family, friends and teammates standing near, is very special.”

It’s the first time the Chiefs have taken part in the event since 2010, when running backs Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones kicked off the holiday season by flipping the switch.

Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt and his wife, Tavia, did the honors in 2006 along with Chiefs’ Hall of Famers Bobby Bell and Willie Lanier.

Other Chiefs to take part in the event include former Head Coach Dick Vermeil (2005), quarterback Trent Green (2002), tight end Tony Gonzalez (2001), running back Marcus Allen (1997) and linebacker Derrick Thomas (1994). 

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