Texas Tech University

Carol of Lights ®

Carol of Lights Banner

Future Dates

The 59th annual Carol of Lights® is expected to be held on Friday, December 1, 2017.

The 60th annual Carol of Lights® is projected to be held on Friday, November 30, 2018.

Our official hash tag will be #TTUCOL!

Carol of Lights® Art Contest

Join Us!

With the flip of a switch, more than 25,000 colored lights illuminate 18 buildings around Memorial Circle, the Engineering Key and the Broadway Entrance to the campus during Texas Tech University's Carol of Lights®.

The 59th Annual Carol of Lights® will be held on Friday, December 1, 2017. The Carillon Concert will begin at 6:30 p.m. before the ceremony, with the Carol of Lights commencing at 7:00 p.m. The Masked Rider, Saddle Tramps Torch Light Processional, and High Riders will begin the ceremony at the University Seal on Broadway and follow the luminaria lighted route around Memorial Circle to the Science Quadrangle.

The Tech Trombone Choir, under the direction of Jim Decker, will accompany the Texas Tech University Combined Choirs.

The lights will be turned on every night from dusk (approximately 6:30 p.m.) until midnight from December 2, 2017 through January 1, 2018.


History and Fun Facts

This annual event, sponsored by the Texas Tech Residence Halls Association, is attended by over 20,000 Tech students and local residents. The Carol of Lights® is one of Texas Tech's largest and oldest traditions. The event brings together both the Texas Tech and Lubbock communities during its ceremonies.

In the 1950s, Dr. Gene Hemmle, co-founder of the Carol of Lights®, got together with a small group of students in the residence halls. They gathered at Memorial Circle to sing Christmas carols and drink hot chocolate. The first Carol of Lights® was organized in 1959, with 5,000 lights. In 1961, the event was officially named the Carol of Lights and had grown to 16,000 lights. The ceremony has continued every year except in 1972, when Texas Tech canceled the event because of the university's energy conservation policy.

In 1992, the Carol of Lights® received a Certificate of Registration from the State of Texas.

In late September, a team from the University Physical Plant begins securing lights on the buildings. They work daily for over a month (in both good and bad weather!) to have the buildings ready for the celebration.

2014 marked the first year that 100% of the bulbs used were LED. This 5 year transition of bulbs is estimated to reduce energy consumption needed to light the bulbs by roughly 84%.

A 38-foot Christmas Tree (and 5 foot star) was updated in 2014 to include all white LED bulbs. The tree purchased in 2014 is also sturdier and more reliable.

Members of the Women's Service Organization (WSO) will set up the 20 foot wreath made of fresh cut pine limbs on the Science Building. The pine branches used to adorn the wreathe are cut by the TTU grounds crew on the TTU campus.

ALPHA PHI OMEGA and CHI Rho placed 3,000 luminaries around Memorial Circle the night of the ceremony.

Read more about the history of this tradition at Texas Tech Today:

Questions and Concerns

The Carol of Lights is possible through the cooperative efforts of many student organizations on the Texas Tech campus. We appreciate any effort you can make to publicize this event. If you have any concerns or questions regarding the Carol of Lights®, please contact us at housing@ttu.edu.

Broadcast Information:

Last year, over 7,000 people watched the Carol of Lights® through one of the broadcast options.

  • KTXT-FM "The Raider" will broadcast the event live on 88.1 FM in Lubbock
  • KTTZ-TX will broadcast the event live on Lubbock area PBS stations
  • Texas Tech will stream the event live on Facebook from http://www.ttu.edu/livestream/

Driving and Parking On Campus

  • ADA parking will be provided in the R1 parking lot, which is located near the intersection of 15th Street and Detroit Avenue.
  • Parking for the general public will be available in most faculty/staff "R" parking lots after 5:30 p.m. Please check signage when entering a lot.
  • No guest parking will be permitted in residence hall "Z" parking lots. Ticketing is enforced in these lots 24/7.
  • Campus streets around Memorial Circle will experience some lane restrictions and street closures beginning at approximately 6:00 p.m.

57th Annual Carol of Lights® Video