8 MSU students volunteer at Fantasy of Lights workshop

Sherima Ferlance, finance junior, Susan Marrs, Kiwanis sponsor, Justin Esdaille, accounting junior, and Mary Rhoads, kiwanis member and MSU graduate, clean the candy canes off with brushes during the Fantasy of Lights Workshop, Oct. 3. Photo by Rachel Johnson

Sherima Ferlance, finance junior, Susan Marrs, Kiwanis sponsor, Justin Esdaille, accounting junior, and Mary Rhoads, kiwanis member and MSU graduate, clean the candy canes off with brushes during the Fantasy of Lights Workshop, Oct. 3. Photo by Rachel Johnson

Peter Pan and Captain Hook. Cinderella and her pumpkin coach. Snow White and the seven dwarfs. Santa and his reindeer.

Just a few of the exhibits that were brought out, washed off and repainted this past Saturday, Oct. 3, at the Fantasy of Lights workshop.

Eight MSU students — and dozens of local junior high students — attended the work day and contributed to refurbishing the displays.

“We are required to volunteer 60 hours for the nursing program,” Kelsey Beaird, nursing senior, said. “I really had no idea what Fantasy of Lights was until today. I am from Oklahoma so it is neat to see what the display is all about.”

Three students in Program Planning of Recreation and Leisure Services also participated for the first time in the work day.

“Our teacher wanted us to see what goes on before and how much time is put in to preparing the display before it is brought to the university,” Cesar Adame, kinesiology and sports leisure senior, said. “Fantasy of Lights is a family event and now I am able to appreciate it more seeing what takes place before hand.”

Justin Esdaille and Sherrima Ferlance, members of Circle K international on campus, repainted exhibit light poles and candy canes at the work day.

“I saw the display last year and it was really pretty,” Ferlance, junior in finance, said. “It was awesome to work behind the scenes repainting because when I see the exhibit this year I can say, ‘Hey, I painted that.'”

This year, Raggedy Ann and Andy, Santa’s Village and the reindeer are listed to be repaired.

“The donations given help pay for supplies needed to repaint and reconstruct the displays,” Joey Greenwood, exhibit director, said. “Each display is adopted by a family or businesses in the community. The sponsorship is used to keep the exhibits updated.”

Greenwood said Fantasy of Lights is a huge part of the university and community holiday tradition.

“It is one of the largest displays of its kind in this area,” Greenwood said. “We have over 200,000 visitors each year.”

KICK-OFF

Nov. 23 at 6 p.m. Local elementary school choirs will perform and university President Suzanne Shipley will speak.

HOURS

  • Open Nov. 23 – Dec. 27
  • Sunday – Thursday, dusk until 10 p.m.
  • Friday – Saturday, dusk until 11 p.m.

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