AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Trail of Lights Foundation is unveiling the 2013 Austin Trail of Lights, the 49th anniversary of a nationally acclaimed holiday celebration and the city’s most loved holiday event, at an opening ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. The opening ceremony will be attended by Mayor Lee Leffingwell; the Trail of Lights Foundation board president, Mario Espinoza; the James Street family, honorary chairs of this year’s event; and the general public, and will launch the 15-day event.
In an effort to create a true holiday destination, the Trail of Lights Foundation will provide more entertainment, food and transportation options to Trail-goers than ever before. Attendees are encouraged to visit the Trail of Lights website to plan their night out at the Trail. There, they can view the Insider’s Guide, which includes the full entertainment schedule, information on parking passes, new attractions and more!
“The Trail of Lights is a uniquely Austin holiday event that celebrates our cultural and creative spirit,” says Trail of Lights Foundation board president, Mario Espinoza. “There will be plenty for Trail-goers to see and do, and with the new transportation plan in place, getting to the Trail will be easier than ever before.”
Entertainment & Food
The 2013 Trail of Lights is home to the tallest, freestanding, man-made holiday tree; 1.25 miles of more than 50 light displays, more than 1 million lights, and attractions including old favorites like Santasaurus and some new ones for 2013 like an 18-foot jackalope, Skyline Snapshot Photo Frame and Santa’s Workshop; nine iconic Trail photo opportunities; various themed nights, including tacky sweater night; souvenirs and gifts made by local merchants available for purchase; H-E-B Read 3 Book Giveaway; and of course, Santa!
As the “Live Music Capital of the World,” no Austin event would be complete without live entertainment. The Trail of Lights Foundation has gathered locally, regionally and nationally recognized artists to perform on two stages each night of the Trail. The Community Stage will host local performance groups, while the Main Stage will host regionally and nationally acclaimed acts. Headliners for this year’s Trail of Lights include Ray Benson, Vallejo, Suzanna Choffel, The Eggmen, The Wyldz, Tameca Jones, AlpahRev, Miranda Gil, David Ramirez, Ruby Jane, Jeff Lofton, Quiet Company, Patrice Pike, The Whiskey Sisters, The Warren Hood Band and Seth Walker. The full entertainment schedule for each night can be found online at the Trail of Lights website.
More than 30 of the city’s favorite food trucks will be attending this year’s Trail of Lights celebration each night to offer Austinites a variety of delicious food options from traditional kettle corn and fried chicken to Mexican-Korean fusion, which can be found online in the Trail of Lights Insider’s Guide.
Planning Your Arrival
While the Trail of Lights continues to be free for all to enjoy, this year the Trail of Lights Foundation has introduced parking passes for on-site parking in Zilker Park, as well as ZiP Fast Passes for front-of-line access via a ZiP gate that opens 45 minutes early at 6:15 p.m. and ZiP Lounge access with guaranteed seating, close-to-stage viewing, heaters and private restrooms. Both parking and ZiP Fast Passes start at $15 and must be purchased for a specific night online, in advance.
In the spirit of the holiday season, the 2013 Trail of Lights presents the Austin community with three ways to contribute to the future of the Trail of Lights and other Austin-area charities including donation cash boxes for The Austin American-Statesman’s Season for Caring, a raffle benefitting the Police Activities League for at-risk youths, and Toys for Tots benefitting Austin children in need.
Businesses and individuals may also make direct donations to the Trail of Lights Foundation to support the ongoing production of the annual holiday event online.
Sponsors and Volunteers
This is the second year the Trail of Lights is being funded entirely by support and donations from the Austin community. The private support comes from more than a dozen local, regional and national businesses in the form of various sponsorships. Individual donations are also contributing to the Trail's sustainability, as well as proceeds from consumer purchases for events like the 5K. It is with this support that the 2013 Trail is able to introduce more displays, more entertainment and more fun for their Austin community.
Individuals are also contributing by way of volunteering their time to help the Trail of Lights celebration run smoothly and efficiently. Visit www.AustinTrailofLights.org for more information on sponsorship, donation and volunteer opportunities.
About Trail of Lights Foundation
The Trail of Lights Foundation is an independent nonprofit corporation dedicated to producing the Austin Trail of Lights as an authentically Austin community celebration. The organization raises private funds to produce and ensure the long-term sustainability of Austin’s largest community celebration. The 2012 Trail of Lights was named one of the Top 10 lighting festivals in the country by USA Today. To learn more visit www.AustinTrailofLights.org.