Mayor Invites Kevin Strickland to Light Tree at Crown Center

Freed prisoner Kevin Strickland will join Mayor Quinton Lucas at the lighting of the Mayor's Christmas Tree today at Crown Center (Photo by Crown Center)

Today’s lighting of the Mayor’s Christmas Tree at Crown Center will have a special guest, recently-freed prisoner Kevin Strickland.

“We are honored to have Kevin Strickland turn on the lights for the Mayor’s Christmas Tree tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. at Crown Center,” Mayor Quinton Lucas Tweeted on Thanksgiving Day.

“God bless him. Please join us to show our love for him.”

Strickland, 62, was freed from jail on Tuesday after serving more than 42 years for a horrendous crime he didn’t commit. A GoFundMe account established in his name Wednesday already has raised $1.1 million.

Kansas City Chiefs player Tyrann Mathieu originally was scheduled to help the mayor switch on the 100-foot tall tree at Crown Center, but had to bow out earlier this week because of a schedule conflict.

The tree is a symbol of the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund, which is dedicated to assisting the people of Kansas City during the holiday season.

Kevin Strickland was freed Tuesday from prison after serving 42 years for a crime he didn’t commit. (Photo from Kevin Strickland GoFundMe page)

The program begins at 5:30 p.m. and there is no admission fee. Members of the Kansas City Chorale will perform during the ceremony.

Throughout the day there will be outdoor ice skating at Crown Center and sales of the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Ornament to benefit the holiday charitable fund.

Ornaments are available for purchase at the Visit Crown Center Customer Service desk, Level 2, of Crown Center Shops.

The Mayor’s Christmas Tree, one of the nation’s talles, will shine on Crown Center Square today through January 3, 2022.

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, according to a release from Crown Center.

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