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Murray State College Santa Night set for December 5 at Johnston County Fair Barn

November 20, 2019


For more than 10 years, students in Murray State College’s veterinary technology program have hosted a Santa Night for children of Johnston County. What began as a “pictures with your pets” holiday event has morphed into one of the area’s most beloved holiday traditions, attracting both children and their parents.

This year’s Santa Night will take place on Thursday, December 5, 2019 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Johnston County Fair Barn in Tishomingo. On Santa Night, every child age 10 and under receives a gift from and a photo with Santa. The festive event features games, caroling, cookies, and hot chocolate for everyone attending. Preparation for the event includes extensive coordination with the North Pole to arrange transportation for Santa and Mrs. Claus.

“This is simply one of the most well-organized and important community-service events sponsored by Murray State College.  The veterinary technology program’s faculty and students raise money for and participate in this project with joy in their hearts and love for these kids. It truly is amazing,” said MSC President Joy McDaniel.

In addition to the hard work from veterinary technology students, faculty and staff, partnerships and community support help fund the event. Students hold fundraisers, and community organizations and individuals contribute to help offset the cost.  Phi Beta Lamba students and sponsors will be serving cookies and beverages during this festive event. 

Thanks to generous donations in the past, organizers have been able to provide extra help when they see need within a specific family. One year, an entire Christmas was donated to a family including gifts, food, and a decorated tree. Another year, a child found a bicycle under his tree after a hard year for his family. 

Contact Debbie Reed at or 580-387-7521 to make a Santa Night donation or for more information on the event.