With the abundance of holiday activities, I thought that the wise thing to do this year would be to sit down and plot out what we want to do as a family and have a cap on how many things we will try to squeeze in. There are private get togethers, public festivities and functions that I will want to host at my house, not to mention family coming to town to visit. It can all be a bit overwhelming, especially with a calendar filling up six weeks out right in front of my eyes! Some things will just have to be missed. And that’s all right! But one tradition that we will keep this year is visiting the Austin Trail of Lights at Zilker Park.
Unfortunately, due to a budget shortfall, the Trail of Lights won’t be as vast as it has been in the past. It’s typically over one mile long, with holiday lights and displays lining the walk. The city attempted to turn the Trail of Lights over into the hands of a production company- one who would charge an admission fee to enter the trail. Due to timing issues, that didn’t pan out. Instead of canceling the tradition all together, the city has decided to reduce the size and ask employees who would typically be paid for working at the Trail of Lights to volunteer their time to pull it all off. If you were worrying over losing this very Austin holiday tradition, it will once again be pulled off for free, even though it will be smaller in size.
The Zilker tree will be lit on December 6, 2009 at 7:00pm. You can get all of your spinning done for free from December 6- 31, 2009. The Trail of Lights is scheduled to run from December 13- 21, 2009 from 6:00- 10:00pm. Parking will cost you $10 per vehicle on site. You can always find a spot further away and plan to hike a good ways to the park. There will be a concert on December 16th, food and concessions, Santa’s House and a Post Office, and the Fun Run which will take place on December 12th. For a full list of entertainment and schedules, check the Trail of Lights website.
How do you feel about the Trail of Lights? Is it an annual tradition in your family? Would you have preferred for it to be the same as it’s always been but pay a small fee to enter? Or do you think that the city should always foot the bill to keep this long-standing Austin tradition alive? Are there other Austin holiday traditions that your family loves?