Click on the Play button on the podcast player above to listen to this week’s episode of the Austinot Podcast.
After two dark holiday seasons at Zilker Park, our Trail of Lights is back. Thanks to dedicated organizers and donors, this year’s trip to the Trail of Lights will be an all-night affair that your family will remember until next year.
When the city cut funding for the Trail of Lights in 2010, private citizens and business entities volunteered funding to make the event happen once again. Forefront Austin and the RunTex Carrozza Foundation were responsible for getting the city permit, and corporate sponsors like H-E-B, Dell, Samsung, Seton Healthcare Family, Vista Equity Partners and Ezcorp put up the bulk of the $1.2 million needed for the show to go on.
Each of this year’s light displays have a sponsor as well, like Tito and Lori Beveridge (Tito’s Handmade Vodka), who sponsored the nativity scene.
The light displays are lovely and sure to conjure up waves of nostalgia, whether you prefer Dr. Seuss or Spongebob. But the hoopla this year extends way behind the actual lights, a big change compared to previous years.
Here’s what you’re invited to experience when you visit the Trail of Lights this weekend:
- Live entertainment – dancing, singing and more – from the Entertainment Stage
- Food from 20 different vendors like Austin’s Pizza, Kebabalicious, Hill Country Kettle Korn and Chi’Lantro BBQ.
- Marketplace areas where you can purchase Trail of Lights merchandise, learn about Austin non-profits, and buy other stuff
- Time with Santa Claus (plan for a long line!)
- Photo tent to remember your 2012 Trail of Lights experience
And don’t forget to go across Barton Springs Rd. to spin around under the Christmas tree!
A few words of caution to make your Trail of Lights experience perfect: dress appropriately. We know this is Austin, but it was 42 degrees when we left Zilker Park at 9 PM last night. Even three layers and mittens hardly cut that kind of cold.
Also note that smoking and pets are not allowed. You definitely don’t want to walk a mile from your car with Fido, just to find out that he can’t enter the Trail. Honestly, you wouldn’t want him to. It’s so busy this year that he would be trampled underfoot!
The Trail of Lights runs through this Sunday, December 23rd. The hours are entry are 6:30-10 PM. We parked by Austin High and walked across the Mopac Bridge. It worked extremely well and we avoided all the Barton Springs traffic. Thanks to @shani_texas on Twitter for this tip!
Listen to today’s podcast to find out how you can win a Christmas CD with 10 tracks from Austin artists. Thanks to Kris Keyz for sponsoring today’s giveaway!
What is your favorite Trail of Lights memory? If you haven’t been yet, do you plan to go this weekend?
Slider photo courtesy of Swinnea Studios.