The holiday season is here

On a balmy 70 degrees late Dec. afternoon, West Texas A&M University officially lit up the campus with Christmas lights as they have been doing since 1990 in the Festival of Lights, hosted by the Residence Hall Association.

WTAMU campus has been preparing for the festival since the end of Oct. with the placement of lights on Old Main, Jack B. Kelley Student Center, Hayward Spirit Tower and other buildings around campus in the spirit of Christmas. More than 82,000 lights, per the official WT newsroom, will be on display around the Canyon campus.

Canyon, TX – Dec 2, 2021: The WT Chamber Singer perform Christmas melodious to inspire watchers to join in on the holiday essence. (Marcus Rogers)

The WT Chamber Singers annual holiday concert held a preview of their later concert for attendees as they serenaded into the softening fall sky. If you wish to attend the “Music of the Christmas Season” concert, it will be held at two times, 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Dec. 5 in the Mary Moody Northern Recital Hall.

Speakers at the event include WTAMU President Walter Wendler, Canyon Mayor Gary Hinders, and Student Body President Bryan Garcia.

“This truly is a season of thanksgiving and rejoicing,” Hinders said. “We all have daily issues. We all have things that we have to deal with each day. But let’s all work to have a spirit of rejoicing and during this time of year, Merry Christmas.”

Canyon, TX – Dec 2, 2021: Raquel Mercado throws up the WTAMU hand sign with (right) Ronny Hall and (left) Abby Betts photobombing while waiting in line for hot drinks. (Marcus Rogers)

In the past, the Festival of Lights was shorter, but this year the event had a hot chocolate and apple cider bar, gingerbread cookie decorating and games. Campus organizations, such as the WT Alumni Association, Hispanic Student Association and several other organizations are placed in different areas of the mall for fun activities for attendees.

“You guys all contribute in some way to making our student life something to be really proud of,” Garcia said. “Thank you for being here as we get nearer to the end of the semester, I would love nothing more than for everybody to have a great finals week, and an even better holiday season.”

Canyon, TX – Dec 2, 2021: From right to left, Sara King, Kyla Sellers, McKenzie Ragland, Andrea Hernadez and Jenna King enjoy the recently lit up campus. (Marcus Rogers)

WTAMU’s Festival of Lights is part of a busy weekend of holiday activities in Canyon. The Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum’s Christmas Open House will run 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 4, and Canyons Chamber of Commerce’s Christmas will kick off at 12:30 p.m. Dec. 4, concluding with the Parade of Lights at 6:30 p.m. on the downtown square.

“As we close out this season, getting ready to end the school graduation coming up, we’re looking forward to all of it,” Wendler said. “I encourage each of you, as you get ready to finish strong to get ready to come back in January.”

Canyon, TX – Dec 2, 2021: Walter Wendler wishes students, faculty and guests in attendance a merry Christmas and good luck on finals. (Marcus Rogers)

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