The Kansas City Chiefs and 100-year old Union Station today jointly announced plans for "KC Celebrates at the Station," a centennial celebration of music, lights, fireworks and football at the city's storied Union Station on Friday, Sept. 5 that is free and open to the public. As part of the festivities, the Chiefs will host their annual Red Friday Pep Rally downtown outside of the Kansas City landmark.
Kansas City Chiefs volunteers spread across the city Friday morning to celebrate Red Friday and collect money for The Ronald McDonald House.
For the 22nd consecutive year, the Chiefs will celebrate Red Friday, the official kickoff to the start of the football season. In 2014, the team is partnering with the community as the city celebrates 100 years of Kansas City's iconic monument that connects not only the people of Kansas City, but also links the greater metropolitan area to the surrounding region.
"This Red Friday Pep Rally will be one of the most unique celebrations we've had in the past 22 years of our Red Friday tradition," Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said. "Union Station, just like the Chiefs, is a time-honored part of the fabric of Kansas City, and we are delighted to be able to help celebrate the centennial of this Kansas City landmark in conjunction with the start of the 2014 football season."
The free event opens to the public at 5 p.m. with food and beverages available for purchase. The on-stage celebration begins with a live concert at 6:30 p.m. The Chiefs will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. for the club's annual Red Friday Pep Rally, which will include appearances by a number of Chiefs players, coaches, cheerleaders, staff and other team personalities, such as KC Wolf.
Following the Chiefs Red Friday Pep Rally, Quixotic – the Kansas City-based innovative performance company – will display Union Station Revealed: The Monument Comes Alive in Breathtaking Multimedia Outdoor Digital Show presented by Ivy Funds, Waddell & Reed, Inc. and National World War I Museum. The laser-based video show displayed on the façade of Union Station will begin at 8:45 p.m. and pay tribute to a century of Kansas City history based around the iconic structure.
The special celebration will conclude with a spectacular fireworks extravaganza.
"September 5 marks the start of 60 days of celebrating our 100th anniversary and it's an honor to have the Kansas City Chiefs joining us," Union Station President and CEO George Guastello said. "This evening outdoor event will offer something for everyone as we bring together history, music, a breathtaking digital 3D show, fireworks and the tremendous energy of the Chiefs Red Friday Pep Rally. We invite all of Kansas City and those throughout the region to come celebrate. Something like this only happens once every 100 years and we are anticipating an unforgettable evening."
In addition to the 100-year anniversary of Union Station, 2014 marks the beginning of the centennial of the outbreak of World War I. The National World War I Museum, which houses the most diverse collection of Great War artifacts in the world, is uniquely connected to its neighbor across the street as more than half of all soldiers who served in World War I passed through Union Station.
"No places in Kansas City are better loved than Union Station and Liberty Memorial on the grounds of the National World War I Museum – two iconic structures united in their ties to servicemen and women that serve as community gathering places," National World War I Museum President and CEO Dr. Matthew Naylor said. "We are thrilled to be joining with Union Station and the Chiefs to celebrate the 100 years of the Station as we enter the 100 year commemoration of the Great War."
The Red Friday celebration continues a long-standing tradition started by Chiefs Founder Lamar Hunt and a group of volunteers more than two decades ago as they sold a special-edition newspaper on street corners around the city to build excitement for the start of football season.
About Union Station
Built in 1914, Union Station is celebrating its centennial anniversary with year-round events in 2014. Originally opening her arms with 850,000 square feet of amazing space that featured 900 rooms, she accommodated hundreds of thousands of passengers each year in her prime as a working train station. During WWII, an estimated one million travelers – many of them soldiers – passed through the Station. The North Waiting Room (now Sprint Festival Plaza) held 10,000 people and the complex included restaurants, a cigar store, barber shop, railroad offices, the nation's largest Railway Express Building (used for shipping freight and mail) as well as a powerhouse providing steam and power. So many stories of farewells, reunions and day-to-day vibrancy still echo in her walls.
Union Station Kansas City, Inc. shall be recognized as the region's finest educational and cultural resource committed to the preservation and interpretation of Kansas City's regional history and the promotion of innovation, research and discovery in science and technology through the development of collections, exhibitions and other educational programs for all citizens of and visitors to the Greater Kansas City metropolitan area. For complete details about September 5th and centennial events visit http://www.unionstation.org/100years/.