Celebrating 100 years with MSU Texas: Fantasy of Lights

Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 7:11 PM CST
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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 an event full of fancy lights, displays and holiday cheer.

The MSU-Burns Fantasy of Lights are officially on for the 49th season.

”One of the things that MSU is so proud to be able to host is this event each year,” Dirk Welch, MSU Burns Fantasy of Lights coordinator, said. “We really like to create our own fantasyland on the front lawn, and help support this, and be a kind of a hub of holiday activities in the Falls and north Texas, and just create this atmosphere, and so we hope people will come out to enjoy it.”

Every year, around 200,000 people visit. You can either drive through or get out and walk the grounds. For a lot of people, spending time at the Fantasy of Lights is an annual tradition. For others, it’s a chance to see their favorite display.

If you have never been, this year is a great time to start.

“I decided to bring my little out here,” Jacelyn Lassiter, attendee and News Channel 6 morning anchor, said. “At first we decided to stay in the car, but of course Daniel wanted to get out. He wanted to get up close and personal, so I think it’s pretty cool. One thing I do like is how they took different movies like that kids can relate to, to like put lights together. I think it’s pretty cool.”

The MSU-Burns Fantasy of Lights are officially on for the 49th season.
The MSU-Burns Fantasy of Lights are officially on for the 49th season.(KAUZ)

Celebrating 100 years with MSU Texas: Fantasy of Lights preparations

The displays first went up along Taft Blvd in 1974, but it really began decades before with the Burns family and a single blue bulb on a Christmas tree on their front porch. This year, MSU Texas is paying tribute to that beginning.

”So spaced throughout the displays on a Christmas tree we’ll have a single blue bulb,” Welch said. “So there are several that folks can look for with a single blue bulb as it was their very first Christmas together. We also do this because it’s the hundred year anniversary, it’s the centennial of our university, and we thought it would all come together nicely.”

And if you’re counting, 23 of these lights are spread throughout the displays on Christmas trees. Also new this year are informational signs that will be added within the next couple of weeks.

”So in 1974, 21 of the original displays were given to MSU,” Welch said. “Since that time, we’ve added another 25 displays. What we will have on all of the display signs was is it an original display or when it was added to the collection. For instance, in 1977, little engine that could debuted out here at the fantasy of lights so that’s something that everybody that comes out can be looking for, just a little bit of history about each of the displays.”

And no matter your age, for many Texoma families the MSU-Burns Fantasy of Lights prove to be magical year after year.

”I love them, they’re awesome,” attendee Daniel Bachman said.

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

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