Texas Tech University

What's New: 65th Carol of Lights and 100 Years of Triumph

November 30, 2023

Let's go over some history and the agenda for Carol of Lights®.

Could Gene Hemmle, co-founder of the Carol of Lights®, ever have imagined this coming when he gathered a small group of students to sing Christmas carols and have hot chocolate in the 1950s? 

The first get-together, which would later be known as Carol of Lights®, was organized in 1959 with 5,000 lights. Since then, the event has ballooned to more than 25,000 lights, and that small group has grown to over 20,000 people. It has become one of Texas Tech's biggest and most beloved traditions.

Saddle Tramps carrying red glowing torches.

The 65th annual Carol of Lights®, presented by Coca-Cola, aims to be the most spectacular one yet. 

The Carol of Lights® is a free event that doesn't require a ticket and is open to the public. The event is on Saturday (Dec. 2) at Memorial Circle and the Science Quadrangle. The Carillon concert begins at 6:30 p.m. and the ceremony begins at 7 p.m.

Workers in a cherry picker hanging lights on a building.

Headlining this year's event is Lost Wax, the house band from the 2023 NFL Draft. The evening will also feature performances from Red Raiders, who you won't want to miss. More than 400 drones are set to light up the crisp winter night with the largest drone show in Lubbock's history.

This evening is incredibly important to many Red Raiders and the community of Lubbock. 

Workers erecting a stage.

“It's just one of those unique traditions that started out very small and very intimate and over the years, it's grown right alongside the institution,” said Blayne Beal, director of centennial coordination. “I think it's really important for us as we say goodbye to our first century, that we end on a really strong and bold note because so many incredible things are ahead for this institution.”

The event will be broadcast locally on both KTTZ-TV and KCBD-TV. It's available for streaming via our live stream page or Texas Tech's YouTube channel and TexasTech+, a streaming app available on Smart TV's with no subscription required. A clear bag policy will be enforced at the ceremony and any bags larger than 12 inches-by-6 inches-by-12 inches are not permitted. Accommodations can be made for medically essential items. Street closures will be in effect from 5-9 p.m. on the day of the event, with closure details found here. If you're planning to attend the event, make sure to grab a printable parking map to help find the most convenient spot.

Red Raiders and the community of Lubbock are encouraged to show up to help Texas Tech conclude its Centennial celebration with this milestone Carol of Lights®. 

Texas Tech Now