WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Despite Thanksgiving being three days away, the Christmas spirit is alive and well on the Hardin Lawn at Midwestern State University.
As of Monday night, November 20, the annual Fantasy of Lights celebration is officially underway.
From little kids dazzled by the dozens of displays to full-grown adults who looked like kids in candy shops, hundreds of attendees admired all of the twinkle and sparkle of each of the 50 displays.
For the past 50 years, the Burns family and Midwestern State University have hosted an abundance of Christmas decorations, 20,000 lights to be exact, lighting up Hardin Lawn.
This year, the family paid homage to those 50 years with 50 different Christmas displays and paid tribute to the Burns family with a blue bulb: The symbol that started it all.
“Well, being our 50th season, we are excited that we have reached 50 displays in year 50,” Fantasy of Lights director Dirk Welch said. “When folks come around, they’ll see 21 of the original displays that were on the Burns’ family lawn. And, since then, since 1974, we’ve been blessed to add 29 to it. Our 50 displays in year 50 — we’re so proud of that. We’re also doing blue bulbs in 50 of the trees to represent that 50 years as well. “
Displays range from huge displays of lights and color to simple odes to Christmas icons. No matter how old you are, there is a decoration for you.
When asked if she’d seen all the displays Fantasy of Lights has to offer, third grader Adalyn Nelson said “Not yet,” but said she was most excited to see “Probably the Christmas Carol one because I’m in it at Wichita Theatre.”
Friends, families and the like were all out and about for opening night to kick off the month-long celebration of Christmas.
One community celebrity was excited to be able to see the unity amongst community members to continue this tradition.
“I like being able to know that it was built by people that are here,” Buddy the Elf said. “It’s also being funded by the community as well. It’s everybody jumping on. This is very community-based, so why not try to give it back to us here?”
In addition to all the Christmas lights on display, MSU had a very special appearance from Santa, so all the kids could get a sneak peek of whether they were naughty or nice this year.