Fantasy of Lights Opens

The Burns Fantasy of Lights opened Tuesday on the campus of Midwestern State University with two new lighting displays.

The annual event has been a Texoma tradition for over 70 years.  One of the reasons Randy Canivel, Director of Fantasy of Lights says he volunteers to help organize this event each and every year.

"It's all about the memories, "said Canivel.  "A lot of people come to Fantasy of Lights -- 20,000 people annually come to our event, because they remember coming out here when they were kids. We just want the tradition to keep going. "

The tradition first started by the Burns family has now taken its own life. Private partnership and donations from the community is what Canivel says keeps this tradition alive.

"It's all privately funded. We don't charge people to come to see Fantasy of Lights," said Canivel.  "We just accept people's donations as they come through and also we solicit donors every year. "

This year the Ernst family donated one of the two new lighting displays, 'A Toys' Christmas' based on Disney's franchise trilogy Toy Story.

"We were driving home one day right down Taft.  I looked over and the displays were still out in December, looked over and said Paul [her husband] they haven't added one [new Christmas display] in some years," said Sue Ernst, Fantasy of Lights donor.

And this year's new edition was a sure treat for all ages. Liz Flores, a resident of Wichita Falls brought her granddaughter Makayla. She was ecstatic when she saw the new Toy Story display. Liz says coming to Fantasy of Lights is a family tradition.

"I bring my grandkids and I brought my kids when they were little," said Liz

One reason why the Ernst family says the nine months of hard work they put into building this Christmas display paid off.

Burns Fantasy of Lights will be open every night until the New Year and will be open weekdays from dusk to 10pm and until 11pm on weekends. It is located outside MSU's front lawn of the Hardin Administration Building at 3410 Taft Blvd.

Jimmie Johnson, Newschannel 6