For the 60th anniversary of the founding of South Plains College, Levelland’s annual Festival of Lights was hosted on campus for the first time in a community-wide celebration to welcome the season with bright lights, holiday cheer, and lots of hot cocoa.
Before the event started at 6 p.m., Dr. Gary Hudson, professor of fine arts in music, led the SPC Symphonic Band as they performed familiar Christmas melodies to kick off the event in front of the Christmas light display.
While the band performed, families were given the opportunity to take photos with Santa Claus before the event moved to the town square.
The event began as the president of South Plains College, Dr. Robin Satterwhite gave remarks on the opportunity to host the festival.
“This year, we’re doing something a bit different,” Dr. Satterwhite told the community. “This year, we have the opportunity and the privilege to enjoy our first Festival of the Lights, thanks to Levelland Main Street and the Marigolds.”
Dr. Satterwhite then thanked the many organizations that participated in the organization and service of the festival, including the Grounds and Maintainance Department of South Plains College, which spent months decorating the campus.
“I’d also like to thank all of our student groups and faculty groups that will be joining in the parade today,” Dr. Satterwhite said.
Before starting the parade, Dr. Satterwhite joined Rita Reyes, the newly-crowned 2017-18 Miss Caprock Pageant winner, in connecting power to the Christmas light display on the northwest side of the campus.
“This is the neatest time of the year,” Dr. Satterwhite told the Plainsman Press. “It’s the perfect opportunity that we have as a college to do something for the community. This isn’t for us; it’s for the community. Something unique and exciting for a great holiday time.”
According to Dr. Satterwhite, Levelland Main Street first suggested the college join in the community’s celebration.
“We were delighted to do it,” he said. “Really, this is just a community gathering where everyone can get involved.”
At 6:15 p.m., following the lighting ceremony, SPC faculty and student organizations, along with Levelland community organizations, started their parade floats, and headed down Magnolia Street as they made their way to the town square, where the SPC Dance Team performed.