Free event features more lights than ever
together every year,” said Yoli Salazar, 62, as she waited for the gates to open. “It was sad when it stopped.”
The Trail of Lights made a comeback this December thanks to contributions from several local businesses and nonprofit groups and runs Dec. 16-23 at Zilker Park. Admission is free.
If the heavy traffic in the area was any indication — long lines of cars were backed up on MoPac Boulevard (Loop 1), waiting to exit just south of the river — the Austin holiday classic is a big hit once again.
The city scaled back the Trail of Lights in 2009 before axing it altogether in 2010, citing tough economic times, and an attempt to have a private company operate the event last year failed to come together.
No city of Austin funds will be spent this year on the Trail of Lights. And this year’s Trail of Lights featured more lights than ever before. The night also included performances by musicians and other entertainers.
Rick and Tara Thompson said they had been coming out to walk the trail nearly every year since the 1990s. When it shut down, they missed it so much that they even tried going to a similar event in Wimberley, they said. But it was not the same. Now they are glad it is back because they get to share the tradition with their sons, Ben, 8, and Nicholas, 3, they said.
The holiday season “is about getting the family together,” Rick Thompson said.
The Trail of Lights display at Zilker Park adds color at the base of the Austin skyline behind it. The display will be open through Dec. 23.