WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — It’s certainly the most wonderful time of the year, and thankfully, Midwestern State University is the place to be for all things Christmas cheer.

From illuminating light displays to open lines of communication with Kris Kringle himself, festivities can be found in all corners of the campus this time of year.

Fantasy of Lights Fun Run

Kicking the holiday happenings off, the Fantasy of Lights 5K and one-mile Fun Run will take place next Saturday, November 18, 2023, starting at the Hardin Lawn at 10 a.m.

Prepare to race down the streets of Midwestern State University decked out in your most elaborate holiday sweater for a chance to win a $25 prize for Best (or Worst) Dressed.

Plus, the fastest male and female 5K runners will also be awarded a $25 gift card, while the first 100 individuals to register will receive a free long-sleeved race T-shirt.

Registration for the 5K is $25 and $15 for the Fun Run, and both races are $15 for all MSU students. Runners may also register in person at 9:30 a.m. on the day of the race.

All proceeds will pour back into the MSU-Burns Fantasy of Lights Display.

Fantasy of Lights Display

We’re less than two weeks away from the oldest holiday tradition Wichita Falls has to offer.

The annual MSU-Burns Fantasy of Lights Display is gearing up to completely illuminate the campus through a phenomenal light show.

The new MSU Texas President Stacia Haynie will flip the switch at 6 p.m. on Monday, November 20, 2023, at the Hardin Administration Building to officially celebrate 50 years of the tradition.

Don’t miss out on the newest displays, including “Oh Deer, How Sweet,” a seven-foot reindeer and candy cane photo-op, the “Sounds of the Season,” an anime choir with 12 singing characters and many, many more.

Fantasy of Lights will be available to the public from November 20 through December 26, from dusk until 10 p.m. each night.

This Wichita Falls staple event is completely free to attend.

Fantasy of Lights Concert

Following the illumination of the displays, the MSU Department of Music will present the Fantasy of Lights concert at 7 p.m. in the Akin Auditorium.

This concert is free to the public.

For more information, please call the office at (940) 397-4267.

Polar Bear Express Trolley

Take a nighttime joy ride through the streets of the Country Club area from Thanksgiving, November 23 through Christmas Eve on the Polar Bear Express Trolley.

Sing the night away to your favorite Christmas carols while admiring neighboring lights from Thanksgiving, November 23, through Christmas night, December 25, from 6 to 10 p.m.

The trolley will run from Thanksgiving through Saturday, November 25; Friday, December 1 through Sunday, December 3; Thursday, December 7 through Sunday, December 10; and nightly December 15 through December 25.

Registration for groups under 30 people is not required, and tickets may be purchased upfront for $10 each, while children under five ride free.

Additionally, MSU students with a current ID ride free any night the trollies are in operation.

For more information, call (940) 781-0877.

Santa’s Mailbox

Those special letters to Santa may be dropped off in his very own mailbox, which will be available from next Friday, November 17 to Sunday, December 17.

Mail your wish lists at the designated spot on the Fantasy of Lights grounds near the Liberty Bell.

Don’t forget to include a self-addressed stamped envelope for Santa’s response.

And, as Christmas Eve grows closer and closer, don’t forget to keep an eye out for Santa Claus as he makes his rounds across the globe through Texoma’s Homepage’s Santa Tracker, which will be available on December 24.