Texas Tech University

Carol of Lights ®

62nd Annual Carol of Lights®

Date: Tuesday, December 1, 2020

62 Carol of Lights

Join us virtually!

The Carol of Lights event each year is the undisputed favorite tradition of the Texas Tech University community. The theme this year is "The Matador Lights" and the celebration will be entirely virtual. We have added a few 2020 touches, and much of the ceremony will be a compilation of the "best of Carol of Lights" over the past five years.

By offering this event virtually, we can better support our efforts as a university and Lubbock community to follow COVID-19 protocols. This virtual lighting celebration can be enjoyed on December 1, 2020 starting at 6:30 p.m. and will be aired on KTTZ and streamed on https://www.ttu.edu/livestream/

There will be no in-person events associated with Carol of Lights this year, but you are welcome to drive through campus as "The Matador Lights" will continue to shine from dusk December 1, 2020 – January 3, 2021. Please join us next year on November 30, 2021, as we celebrate the 63rd Carol of Lights ceremony.

Share your Carol of Lights pictures with us by using the following hashtags: #TTURHA #TTUCOL

63rd Annual Carol of Lights Art Competition
(December 1, 2020 – April 9, 2021)

Carol of Lights® Art Contest

The Carol of Lights® Student Art Competition was created to give Texas Tech University Students the opportunity to express their creativity and love for the Carol of Lights® event through creating original artwork. You could be a part of the undisputed favorite tradition at Texas Tech if your art piece is selected! All of the submissions will be judged by a panel of judges and ranked based on the piece's creativity, style, and interpretation of the Carol of Lights®. If selected you will receive a cash prize of $250.00. Online submissions of photos of artwork and photography pieces are due by Friday, April 9, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. To enter your submission you must be a current Texas Tech University Student.

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/