WT’s Festival of Lights to Kick Off Canyon’s Christmas Celebrations


CANYON, Texas — The holiday season at West Texas A&M University officially will open Dec. 1 with the annual Festival of Lights.

The event—which will feature the official lighting of WT’s Christmas lights and a winter carnival—will run from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1 on the Charles K. and Barbara Kerr Vaughn Pedestrian Mall, north of Old Main and near the Hayward Spirit Tower.

This year’s festival, held by WT’s Residence Hall Association, will be a winter carnival packed with family-friendly activities and holiday music by the WT Chamber Singers.

It’s part of a busy weekend of holiday activities in Canyon. Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum’s Christmas Open House will run 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 3, and Canyon Chamber of Commerce’s Christmas in Canyon events will kick off at 4 p.m. Dec. 3, concluding with the Parade of Lights at 6:30 p.m. around the downtown square.

Plus, the WT Symphony Orchestra’s annual holiday concert, “Music of the Christmas Season,” will be held at 4 and 7 p.m. Dec. 4 in Mary Moody Northen Recital Hall. Admission is free, but tickets are required.

“Festival of Lights is a reminder of the beauty of getting together with family and friends and spreading holiday cheer,” said Ransom Colette, RHA national communications coordinator.

The highlight of the festivities is the official lighting of the campus. Nearly 80,000 lights will twinkle all around the Canyon campus.

Festival of Lights also will include a hot chocolate bar, outdoor games, a photo booth, cookie and ornament decorating, and holiday treats.

The lighting ceremony will include remarks from WT President Walter V. Wendler, Annie Valicek, Student Government Association president; Colette; and Kennedy Fritzler, RHA vice president of internal affairs.

Student organizations participating in the winter carnival will include Hispanic Student Association, Spectrum, Black Student Union, F1RSTGEN, Student Government Association, The Wesley Foundation, Baptist Student Ministry, Alpha Sigma Alpha and the Darlings of West Texas.

Festival of Lights began in 1990 and, other than 2020, has held annually as the Residence Hall Association’s longest-running tradition.

WT’s relationship to the community is a critical maxim of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the five-year campaign — which publicly launched in September 2021 — has raised more than $110 million.



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