2020 MSU-Burns Fantasy of Lights still happening amidst pandemic

local news

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A cherished holiday tradition in Wichita Falls, more than 45-years-strong, will go on this year during the pandemic.

Organizers with the Burns Fantasy of Lights at Midwestern State University are preparing for their 47th year of providing joy and memories for those of all ages.

If you’re from Wichita Falls then chances are you and your family have visited the Burns Fantasy of Lights, a display featuring 45 animated displays for all to enjoy.

“The tradition began in the late 1920s, with the Burns Family. That started with a single blue light on a Christmas tree that sat on the front porch of their family home. Over the years it expanded. New displays were added and it kind of became a fantasy land on their lawn,” Fantasy of Lights Coordinator, Dirk Welch said.

Fast forward to 2020, and the Fantasy of Lights is still going strong, but Welch said they were questioning their ability to open this year due to the pandemic.

“A lot of thought went into, and discussions about how to have a season safely and the following protocols and being safe, health in mind so it was always at the forefront of every decision we made,” Welch said.

Officials decided to go ahead and open up this year, with guidelines in place.

“The important factor will be individuals practicing social distancing, we ask that folks do when they come out and then facial coverings will be required,” Welch said.

Welch said the fact that the event is outdoors helped with their decision to go ahead and proceed with opening, and with something new.

“We are extremely excited to debut another new display, this will mark the 11th new display since 2017 and it’s called Santa’s Toys,” Welch said.

Something that Welch said wouldn’t be possible without community support.

“All of the displays do either have families, organizations, and businesses that can adopt the display. That adoption is so vital to being able to carry forth with this tradition each and every year,” Welch said.

A tradition that will live on, being a beacon of hope and joy for families during these dark times.

The 2020 Fantasy of Lights will still be walk or drive through, the opening ceremony will take place on Monday, Nov. 23rd at 6 p.m.

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