November 28, 2011
The 20-foot wreath is usually constructed a week before the Carol of Lights.
Both beginning in 1959, the Carol of Lights and Women’s Service Organization (WSO) have benefitted from each other for years.
Every December, 25,000 red, white and orange lights illuminate the Texas Tech Univeristy campus, but another staple of the holiday decorations includes a 20-foot wreath made of fresh-cut pine limbs. WSO members are asked every year by the Residence Halls Association (RHA) to conduct the wreath set up.
During the week of Nov. 28, a round metal structure is set up on the Science Building, and with a cherry picker and ties, WSO members spend two days attaching the pine to create the garland for the Dec. 3 ceremony.
Jessica Temple, WSO president, said while the organization provides RHA with help, Carol of Lights provides WSO with a fun opportunity to give back to the university.
“WSO is honored to be part of such a warm tradition. We’re always helping the Lubbock community, so Carol of Lights is a refreshing way to serve our university during the excitement of the holidays,” she said. “The wreath is a focal point of the night and it’s nice to be asked to create an important aspect of the celebration.”
This year both the organization and holiday ceremony celebrate 53 years in the making.
“As long as they keep asking us to help, WSO will accept willingly,” Temple said.
Texas Tech will host the 53rd annual Carol of Lights celebration “Light up the Night” on Saturday Dec. 3. The outdoor ceremony, in the Science Quad and Memorial Circle, will begin with carillon at 6:30 p.m. and will be followed by the official ceremony at 7 p.m.
The Tech Trombone Choir, directed by Jim Decker, and the Texas Tech University Combined Choir, led by Karl Dent, will play a fanfare and sing. Dent will sing “Silent Night” immediately before the lights are illuminated.
The University Police Department will close off vehicle access to Memorial Circle and the Broadway entrance at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 3 for the ceremony. Parking in the Quadrangle will also be cleared by 5:30 p.m.
The lights will be turned on from dusk until midnight through Jan. 1, 2012.