'Tis the Season: Christmas and holiday events around Lubbock and the South Plains

·9 min read

The Christmas and holiday season are in full swing around Lubbock and the South Plains.

From Texas Tech's Carol of Lights and Lubbock Christian's University's Big Blue Christmas on Tuesday to Santa Land in December, here's a look at the festivities and events lined up to celebrate the season around the Hub City.

Carol of Lights

Texas Tech University's Residence Halls Association in collaboration with University Student Housing and Hospitality Services, will host the 63rd annual Carol of Lights: “Walking in a Winter Raiderland” on Tuesday, Nov. 30, at Memorial Circle. At 6:30 p.m. a carillon concert will be performed by Gregory Brookes at the Administration Building's west tower. At 7 p.m., Raider Red, the Saddle Tramps and the Masked Rider will begin the torch light processional.

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Formerly known as “Christmas Sing,” the Carol of Lights has been a favorite tradition at Texas Tech since it was established by students in 1959. While the name has changed, the sentiment has not. Each year, more than 25,000 colored lights illuminate buildings around Memorial Circle, the Engineering Key and the Broadway entrance to campus. In addition, a 38-foot Christmas tree located behind the Texas Tech seal on Broadway also is lit. Last year's Carol of Lights was hosted virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but this year's event will be held in person.

The Carol of Lights is a Texas Tech tradition featuring such university mascots as Raider Red and the Masked Rider.
The Carol of Lights is a Texas Tech tradition featuring such university mascots as Raider Red and the Masked Rider.

Wayland Christmas musical

The Wayland Baptist University School of Creative Arts is inviting the community to join in a special Christmas celebration at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 30.

The fun begins with cocoa and cookies in the hallway of Harral Memorial Auditorium. Attendees will be treated to some solo musical performances. At 7 p.m., the celebration will move into the auditorium where the Wayland choirs will present a Christmas concert, complete with traditional favorites, new arrangements of Christmas songs and caroling.

“It’s going to be festive and lively,” said Dr. Sarah Herrington, director of choirs at Wayland. “There will be a variety of ensembles, singers and instrumentalists and there will be audience participation in the carol singing.”

Santa Claus is also scheduled to make a visit.

Herrington said the event is family focused and will be fun for all ages.

Big Blue Christmas

Lubbock Christian University will host its annual Big Blue Christmas from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 30.

The event features a Christmas Dinner from 5 to 6:45 p.m. at the LCU Dining Hall. The cost for the meal is $7.75 for adults, $6.75 for children 4-10 and free for those under 4. There will also be caroling and outdoor music throughought the event in the Outdoor Mall, with a variety of events occuring around campus. A full list of events is available on LCU's website, https://lcu.edu/event/big-blue-christmas-2021

LCU Cheer and LCU Softball are teaming up with the United States Marine Corps to collect toys for Toys for Tots. Guests are encouraged to meet LCU's cheerleaders, softball players, and give the gift of giving this Christmas.

Betenbough Christmas

Betenbough Homes invites the community to join it for a Christmas event - Jingle Bell Rock, a live, in-person Christmas celebration. For every photo take with Santa & Mrs. Claus, Betenbough Homes will donate $1 to CASA of the South Plains. The event, set for 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at two Betenbough locations in Lubbock, will include:

· Free Christmas photo with Santa and Mrs. Claus

· Complimentary hot cocoa bar

· Complimentary sweet treats

· Complimentary popcorn

· Complimentary crafts

The locations are: South Lubbock New Home Center, 13715 University Ave. and West Lubbock New Home Center, 6517 82nd St.

South Plains College tree lighting

South Plains College will host its annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. on Thursday (Dec. 2) at the entrance to the college.

Musical entertainment will be presented by the Fine Arts Department, directed by Dr. Gary Hudson. The band will begin playing at 5:30 p.m.

Dr. Robin Satterwhite, President of South Plains College, will light the tree prior to kicking off the showcase of holiday lights adorning buildings across campus.

The event is free and open to the public. The Office of Student Life will provide inflatable bounce houses and hot chocolate downtown.

“The Grinch” will be on hand during the tree lighting to collect toys for needy children. He will begin on the SPC campus before traveling to downtown Levelland for the Festival of Lights Christmas on the Square.

For more information, contact Josh Meredith, director of Student Life, at (806) 716-2377.

Nativity and Musical

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is holding its annual Nativity and Musical event Friday, Dec. 3, and Saturday, Dec. 4, at the 7014 Frankford Ave. church building. Doors open at 6 p.m. with the musical performances beginning at 7 p.m. each night. There is no cost for entry.

The event involves showcasing nativity sets from around the world and inspiring musical talent including performers from Texas Tech.

Miracles Christmas Parade

The Grand Marshall for the 16th Miracles Christmas Parade will be new Texas Tech Head Football Coach Joey McGuire, according to 2021 Parade Chairman Jason Davis. McGuire will take over his new head coaching duties in January but is making the popular Lubbock lighted parade one of his priorities on Sunday, Dec. 4.

“We are very thrilled to announce that new Texas Tech Football Coach Joey McGuire has accepted our invitation to be a part of our parade on December 4th,” said Davis. “This will be a great opportunity for our parade participants and more than 30,000 spectators to see McGuire up close, as he supports our very popular night-time parade,” Davis continued. “This is another reason for the public to attend our free parade and possibly enjoy some parade-gating during the event, cooking and celebrating the parade, and seeing the LISD Mass Marching Band of more than 600 students in one formation,” Davis said. Davis also said this is going to be one of the best and most popular parades Lubbock has experienced.

The parade will begin at 6 p.m. at 34th Street and Avenue Q, marching west to Indiana Avenue. It will last approximately two hours and is open for free viewing along this route. Parade watchers will begin finding their spot to watch this parade around 4:00pm. All viewing space is claimed on a first-come-first-served basis, according to Parade Wranglers, a group of local volunteers who produce the parade each year.

Parade theme this year is “World of Snow” and participants in the parade can decorate their floats, cars, tractors and walking units with thousands of lights to support the theme. Complete parade information is available at www.miraclesparade.com

While Coach McGuire will lead the parade, Santa Claus and the United States Marines will be the last unit of the parade and they will collect unwrapped toys for their Toys For Tots Campaign from the public as they move down the parade route.

Thanks to the new North Ronald McDonald House in Spokane, which opened in March 2020 across the street from the original facility, families have yet to be turned away due to capacity.
Thanks to the new North Ronald McDonald House in Spokane, which opened in March 2020 across the street from the original facility, families have yet to be turned away due to capacity.

Carol of Lights Run

West Texas Endurance will host its annual Carol of Lights Run featuring a 5K race (3.1 miles) or a 1-mile run Sunday evening on the Texas Tech campus.

Participants are encouraged to enjoy the spirit of the season with an evening run on the campus of Texas Tech University. This family-friendly event will have participants seeing the more than 25,000 colored lights that illuminate many buildings on campus.

Photos: The 50th Downtown Appleton Christmas Parade

The longer course (5K) will have runners enjoying a lap through Jones AT&T Stadium. Carolers will entertain the runners along the course. After crossing the finish line, participants can have a cup of hot chocolate.

Donations: Please consider bringing an item for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Southwest. Online registration continues through Saturday, with run-day registration occurring on site. Pre-registration for the 5K is $35 for adults and $25 for those 12 years of age and younger. The one-mile run is $25 for all ages. More information is available through their website, westtexasendurance.com.

The Barton House is one of the featured structures during Candlelight at the Ranch during a pioneer Christmas at the National Ranching Heritage Center. This year's event is scheduled for 6:30 to 9 p.m. Dec. 10 and 11.
The Barton House is one of the featured structures during Candlelight at the Ranch during a pioneer Christmas at the National Ranching Heritage Center. This year's event is scheduled for 6:30 to 9 p.m. Dec. 10 and 11.

Candlelight at the Ranch

Candlelight at the Ranch has always been about celebrating a frontier Christmas, but four generations of volunteers in 43 years have made this event a Lubbock tradition as visitors gather for a pioneer Christmas from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Dec. 10 and 11 at the National Ranching Heritage Center.

To avoid long lines, Candlelight uses an “open range” concept that allows visitors to choose in what order they view the historic structures and what path they take through the 19-acre historic park. Pathways are wheelchair and stroller accessible.

Visitors who come on Friday night will have the added advantage of walking to the nearby Texas Tech International Cultural Center from 5:30 to 7:30 to participate in Weihnachtsfest, a Celebration of German Holiday Traditions. Both events are family-friendly, free and open to the public. The ICC is located at 601 Indiana Ave. within walking distance of the NRHC.

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Many community and campus organizations as well as musical groups will welcome guests to Candlelight at the Ranch. Visitors can purchase refreshments in the decorated 1908 Four Sixes Barn while they listen to Brazos West play Christmas music with a Texas swing. Kettle Korn will be available on the patio, and Santa Claus will be receiving visitors in the Pitchfork Pavilion. He will, however, leave promptly at 9:30 p.m.

The Rhinestone Quartet and the Lubbock High School Madrigal Choir will serenade visitors at different locations throughout the park, and Ranch Host volunteer Ken Baake will play his banjo inside the 1888 Matador Half Dugout. A Tap Snap Photo booth will be located in the main gallery of the indoor museum to provide free visitor photos.

The NRHC is located adjacent to the Texas Tech University campus at 3121 Fourth St. Candlelight at the Ranch is free to the public with a minimum suggested $5 donation per family.

For more information, call (806) 742-0498 or view ranchingheritage.org.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will greet visitors at Santa Land every night through Dec. 23 in Mackenzie Park.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will greet visitors at Santa Land every night through Dec. 23 in Mackenzie Park.

Santa Land

Join the City of Lubbock Parks and Recreation Department for a Lubbock tradition as it kicks off its 65th Annual Santa Land. The Santa Land festivities will begin Friday, Dec. 10 and will continue though Thursday, Dec. 23. Visitors can stop by daily from 6 to 10 p.m. at 600 Cesar E. Chavez Drive. Parks and Recreation brings this annual event to the children and families of West Texas at no charge.

Last year's Santa Land was a drive-through event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it will be hosted in person this year.

For more information, contact the City of Lubbock Parks and Recreation Department at 806-775-2673, or visit its website at www.playlubbock.com.

The event traditionally features some live music, snack and photos booths as well as wood fire pits to stay warm.

Are we missing something? Please let us know by emailing us at newmedia@lubbockonline.com.

This article originally appeared on Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: See Christmas happenings in and around Lubbock

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