Trail of Lights funds on track

Or­ga­nizer’s goal is to bring in more than $1.2 mil­lion cost to en­sure event re­turns.

Austin American-Statesman - - B METRO & STATE - By Gary Dinges gdinges@states­man.com Trail Trail of lights When: Where: Cost: On theweb: B

Trail of Lights or­ga­niz­ers say they’re on track to meet fundrais­ing goals, clear­ing the way for the Austin Christ­mas tra­di­tion to re­turn Dec. 16 af­ter a two-year ab­sence.

“The show’s go­ing on … there’s no ques­tion,” said Jay Wat­son, CEO of Fore­front Austin, a mar­ket­ing com­pany fo­cused on com­mu­nity is­sues that’s help­ing head the ef­fort to re­vive the event, which was can­celed in 2010 and 2011 be­cause of city bud­get woes.

The to­tal cost to stage the Trail of Lights is es­ti­mated to be $1.2 mil­lion, but Wat­son said Fore­front Austin’s goal is to bring in $1.4 mil­lion to $1.5 mil­lion. That ex­tra cash would help en­sure the event will re­turn in fu­ture years — in ad­di­tion to fund­ing im­prove­ments.

“We don’t want to start again at zero next year,” Wat­son said.

Al­ready, crews have switched out some lights used in the 36 hol­i­day-themed dis­plays snaking through Zilker Park, re­plac­ing them with en­ergy-ef­fi­cient bulbs that use 75 per­cent less en­ergy.

Dec. 16-23, 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily

Zilker Park Free

austin­trailoflights.org

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