Sponsorships bring light to Texoma Tradition


WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - If you drive past the administration building on Taft at Midwestern State University, you'll notice the lawn coming to life with the displays of the Burns Fantasy of Lights.

"It seems like each family has their favorite display," said Dirk Welch, coordinator of the Burns Fantasy of Lights.  "I think a lot of those favorite displays are from when the parents were young."

The Texoma tradition started in the 1920s by the Burns family at their home on 10th street in Wichita Falls.

Every year more displays went up, and it drew attention from the community.

Mrs. Burns passed away in 1971, and three years later the Texoma Tradition made its way to MSU.

"We've carried that tradition on and kept in going in Burns' memory for the benefit of the community," said Welch.

More than 40 years later, those original displays and some new ones light up every Christmas, thanks to sponsors in the community.

"Virtually every penny raised each year goes back to maintaining and refurbishing and showcasing," said Welch.

One group making sure kicking a popular toy castle up a notch is the students at the Wichita Falls Independent School District Career Education Center.

They are revamping Mickey's, Toy Castle.

"We thought it was a really good challenge," said Scott Little, the construction technology coordinator for the CEC.  "We have completely re-engineered it.  We've made it look like a castle so we were pretty excited about being able to make a change."

Beau Cook is a student in the class was excited to work on such an iconic display.

"It makes me happy knowing that me doing something for the community," said Cook.  "(It) is going to give most of the people a smile and something they can enjoy with their kids."

Welch hopes the generosity of the community will continue.

"We just want to really embrace the community share in the holiday cheer," said Welch.  "We want to bring festivities to life and this has been a wonderful way to do it."

Sponsorships from this year allowed 3 new displays to make their debut this Christmas.

For more on how you can become apart of this tradition click here.

The lighting ceremony for the MSU Burns Fantasy of Lights is November 20 on the lawn outside of the administration building.

It will run until December 25.

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