Dozens of local non-profits will benefit from Jackson County’s annual Christmas in the Park program at Longview Lake.

Dozens of local non-profits will benefit from Jackson County’s annual Christmas in the Park program at Longview Lake.

County legislators on Monday approved two actions related to the event, which kicks off the evening before Thanksgiving with the annual Christmas in the Sky program that includes fireworks and other entertainment.

Christmas in the Park, Nov. 21 through Dec. 31, consists of dozens of holiday lighted displays put up at Longview campground. People drive through in the evening to see the displays, and the event draws long lines. It’s free, but volunteers stand at the exit gates, passing out candy and taking any donations people choose to make. The donations are split evenly at the end of the season so a group that works on an off night – say bad weather – isn’t short-changed.

“This is one of the best events that Jackson County has, so we hope to see everyone out there,” said Legislature Chairman Dan Tarwater.

The county gets many applications from local nonprofits and chooses the winners randomly. This year’s 41 groups, who stand to make $1,000 each, include Project Graduation at Truman High School, the wrestling team and the band boosters at Fort Osage High School, four local Scout groups, the Community Services League, the American Red Cross and two local Kiwanis Clubs.