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Free Friday bash to celebrate Union Station, Chiefs

September 2, 2014

An IMAX screen is tiny compared to the backdrop for a 3D animation project that will tell the story of Union Station and Kansas City at a free outdoor party Friday in front of the 100-year-old depot.

The station itself will become the screen — one and a half city blocks wide and 10 stories tall — for the production by Quixotic, a local arts organization that specializes in eclectic visual effects and performances.

“It will be something Kansas City has never seen,” promises Union Station CEO George Guastello.

Quixotic has spent months on the centennial project, digitally mapping the front of the building and selecting archival film as well as creating new animations and composing a musical score. The project will use a dozen 20,000-lumen digital projectors to throw upon the station facade images from its history.

“What we’re doing is bringing the building to life,” said Mica Thomas, project producer for Quixotic. “We’re telling the story of the 100 years of Union Station in a very abstract way.”

In addition, the Kansas City Chiefs are holding their annual Red Friday pep rally in conjunction with Union Station’s centennial party.

The result could be a crowd to rival the annual Celebration at the Station on Memorial Day weekend.

The whole thing starts off at 5 p.m. with food trucks and activities A free musical concert begins at 6:30 p.m. The Red Friday rally with Chiefs players and coaches is at 7:30 p.m. The digital animation will start at 8:45 p.m.

It will all be capped by a 4,000-charge fireworks display from the roof of Union Station.

Musical entertainment will include a New Age cellist and a violinist performing atop the 20-foot pedestal in front of Union Station that was intended for a statue that never materialized.

The entertainment is sponsored by Ivy Funds, Waddell & Reed Inc. and the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial, which is also marking the centennial this year of the war’s beginning.

Union Station’s 100th birthday is actually in late October. A gala dinner on Oct. 30 already has a waiting list. On Oct. 31, the station will unveil a new interactive and digital museum. There will be an open house and activities on Nov. 1 and 2.

To reach Matt Campbell, call 816-234-4902 or send email to