Celebrating 100 years with MSU Texas: Fantasy of Lights preparations

Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 6:00 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - News Channel 6 is celebrating a century with Midwestern State University, and we’re continuing our tribute to the university’s past, present and future with the hard work put in for one of the university’s biggest events of the year.

Before the crowds can gather and enjoy the 49th annual MSU Burns Fantasy of Lights, volunteers from the community and student body come together to clean and prepare displays used during the event.

“This is the first part of a segment of workdays and bringing things out in a about three weeks to the lawn to all set up, so this is an important endeavor,” Dirk Welch, MSU Burns Fantasy of Lights coordinator, said. “We have folks, volunteers out here of course from the community, MSU students, the Priddy Scholar’s program and the Kiwanis affiliated club.”

“It looks fun. We’ve been here cleaning since around eight in the morning,” Edwin Abalos, MSU Texas freshman, said. “It’s fun right now, I’ve been enjoying it.”

Volunteers were wiping off, vacuuming, and even painting the displays. We caught up with a Priddy Scholar who was at the event.

“It’s a great way we get involved on campus and we do a lot of community work,” Ashlyn Payne, MSU Texas sophomore, said. “We also helped with the HHH, but I really like doing this event because it’s great to see our work on the front lawn.”

In honor of Mr. and Mrs. L.T. Burns and the MSU Texas centennial year, a new element has been added to Fantasy of Lights this year.

“The story has long been told that Mr. and Mrs. LT Burns, their first Christmas together, there was a single blue ball on their Christmas tree on the front porch,” Welch said. “We are paying tribute to that in several of the Christmas trees scattered throughout the MSU Burns Fantasy of Lights. We’ll have a single blue bulb paying tribute to that beginning.”

And while the opening day is still over a month away, everyone is excited for the holiday season.

“Since it’s my first time, all of the displays here look really cool so like I want to see them come to light and all that stuff,” Abalos said.

“I love Fantasy of Lights,” Payne said. “I think it’s a great way to get the community to come together and celebrate the Christmas spirit.”

“It is an important time at the university,” Welch said. “We’re proud to be able to do the blue bulb as a tribute and to showcase and recognize the hundred years, so it’s a great, exciting time.”

The MSU Burns Fantasy of Lights festivities are set to kickoff on Monday, Nov. 21.

All MSU Texas centennial celebration stories can be found by clicking here.

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