Austin trail of lights 2015 returns for its 51st year with over 2 million lights _ business wire

AUSTIN, Texas–( BUSINESS WIRE)–The Trail of Lights Foundation unveiled details for this year’s 51st

anniversary Trail of Lights celebration, returning to Zilker Park

Tuesday, Dec. 8 – Tuesday, Dec. 22. The Austin

Trail of Lights, powered by H-E-B, is a much loved community event

that welcomes visitors from near and far to experience the magnificent

display of lights.

This year’s

Trail of Lights will bring back favorites like the North

Pole, Santa’s Workshop, the Yule Log, the Ferris wheel, and Candy Land

while introducing a new and improved Groovy Grove, a classic carousel in

Zilker Village, more than 50 displays and exhibits, and over 2 million

lights. This authentically Austin event, with more than 400,000

attendees and 1,000 volunteers, honors the past while bringing new and

exciting additions, attracting families with children of all ages and

setting the scene for the perfect romantic date night.

Highlights for 2015

The North Pole including photos at Santa’s House presented by Seton

Healthcare, the Ferris wheel, H-E-B Train book give-away, and an

interactive Santa’s Workshop where visitors can create their own

holiday videos to share presented by Vista Equity Partners

Armadillo Alley will feature a new Groovy Grove presented by the 5T

Foundation, and will include letters to Santa, as well as arts and

crafts, near the Community Performance Stage featuring more than 60

local performance groups

Candy Land, where candy is plentiful and handed to you by Santa’s

elves, sponsored by the Robert F. Smith Family

The Yule Log returns fueled by wood pulled from the Greenbelt that

otherwise would have been a fire hazard, thanks to Cirrus Logic

The University of Texas at Austin will turn the featured Globe burnt

orange – hook ‘em!

A replica of the iconic 360 Pennybacker Bridge has been added to

Trim-a-Tree Grove

Austin’s favorite food trucks such as East Side King, Burro Cheese

Kitchen, La Fantabulous, Austin’s Pizza, Krispy Kreme, PitaLicious,

Funtastic Funnel Cakes, Hat Creek Burger Co., The Evil Wiener, Crepe

Crazy, As Good As It Gets Kettle Corn, Mighty Fine Burgers, Southside

Flying Pizza, Churro Co. and Amy’s Ice Cream

Additional holiday displays from sponsors Google Fiber, KXAN, and

more. See the full list of the Trail of Lights’ 2015 sponsors at www. AustinTrailofLights. org/sponsorship/2015-sponsors.

“From fun family outings to celebrating our UT campus, or even using the

lighted trail as a beautiful backdrop for asking your loved one to marry

you, the Trail of Lights has something special for everyone,” said Mario

Espinoza, president of the Trail of Lights Foundation. “We’re excited to

keep this uniquely Austin tradition thriving and provide new ways for

the community to enjoy the Trail of Lights.”

Austin Trail of Lights 2015 Special Events

Zilker Tree Lighting (Sunday, Nov. 29) – Each year, the Austin

community eagerly awaits the lighting of the 155 foot tall Zilker Tree

as a symbol of the upcoming holiday season and Trail of Lights


Night Lights, the 2

nd Annual Preview Party

benefiting the Trail of Lights Foundation (Friday, Dec. 4) –

Night Lights is an enchanted and exclusive first look at the Trail of

Lights featuring Austin’s best chefs, artisans and performers. Ticket

packages range from $300 – $5,000, and include free food samples and

beverages, parking and much more. Headlining the event is Austin’s

beloved music icon, Jimmie Vaughan.

Fun Run (Saturday, Dec. 5) – The Trail of Lights 2.1 mile Fun

Run will be held at Zilker Park and is now open for registration.

Part of the Trail of Lights “Sneak Peek weekend,” the Trail of Lights

Fun Run is an event that welcomes all ages to exercise in festive attire

at Zilker Park. Sponsored by Humana, the 2015 Fun Run encourages a

healthy and fun way to celebrate the holiday season.

STARS at the Trail (Sunday, Dec. 6 and Monday, Dec. 7) – STARS

at the Trail is the Trail of Lights’ outreach program,

presented by the Robert F. Smith Family and supported by Austin Parks

Foundation and multiple individual donors, which invites various

nonprofit groups in Austin to partake in holiday activities at the

Trail. Though STARS at the Trail focuses primarily on

youth and family groups, it also seeks to engage seniors and veterans.

This year, 12 nonprofit organizations will be hosted at private nights

at the Trail of Lights with 600 participants each night. Last year, the

Trail of Lights hosted 662 participants and donated 4,000 free passes to

additional nonprofit organizations.

“We are thrilled to celebrate our community in Austin,” said Robert F.

Smith. “The Trail of Lights offers a beautiful setting and unique spirit

that brings all of our families together.”

Grand Opening (Tuesday, Dec. 8) – The official start to the Trail

of Lights kicks off 15 nights of celebration.

Heroes Night (Wednesday, Dec. 9) – The Trail of Lights Foundation

invites all service men and women to a special Heroes Night,

co-sponsored by Texas Lottery, at Zilker Park. The Austin community is

encouraged to help honor those who have served while enjoying a night

filled with lights, entertainment and food truck favorites.

The University of Texas Night (Friday, Dec. 11) – The Trail of

Lights will turn the Globe burnt orange in celebration of The University

of Texas at Austin. Various student groups and performers will provide

entertainment throughout the event and a special University of Texas

hospitality area will be available for students, faculty, staff and


Community Support of the Trail of Lights

H-E-B returns as a title sponsor for the fourth year, as well as a

partner in advancing childhood literacy through their Read 3 program,

which has given away 150,000 books to kids visiting the Trail of Lights

over the last three years.

“H-E-B cherishes the opportunity to give back to the community both

through supporting the Trail of Lights as well as promoting literacy

throughout Austin,” said Leslie Sweet, director of public affairs at

H-E-B. “This year, every child who comes to the H-E-B Read 3 train will

have a book to take home!”

Community leaders and businesses can support the Trail of Lights by

becoming a Trailblazer

sponsor through the Adopt-A-Display

program. Sponsors also have the opportunity to add their own flair to

the Trail of Lights through the Trim-A-Tree

program. These sponsors will be given a tree to decorate however they

wish to show their joy and support for the Trail of Lights and its


The Trail of Lights 2015 event marks the third year that the Trail of

Lights Foundation, a nonprofit organization, has produced the event

supported by donations from the business community and individuals. For

more information on how to support the Trail of Lights Foundation and

keep the Trail of Lights bright for years to come, visit www. AustinTrailofLights. org.

“We are proud that this city has a dedicated nonprofit organization and

a supportive business community who are truly invested in honoring this

long-standing holiday tradition,” said Austin Mayor Steve Adler. “That’s

why we are excited to announce that the Trail of Lights Foundation’s

contract has been renewed for five more years and they will continue

doing the great work they’ve done to keep this tradition alive.”

For more information on schedules and to stay updated with the latest

news, including the 15-day activity and entertainment lineup, location

of shuttles, and online sale of parking tickets, ZiP passes, VIP passes,

Fun Run registration and Night Lights tickets, visit the Trail of Lights

website and sign up for the Trail of Lights newsletter at AustinTrailofLights. org,

follow the @ATXLights

Twitter feed or like the Trail of Lights Facebook page at facebook. com/AustinTrailofLights.

About Trail of Lights Foundation

The Trail of Lights Foundation is an independent nonprofit organization

dedicated to producing the Austin Trail of Lights as an authentically

Austin community celebration. The organization raises funds from

donations by individuals, families and the business community to produce

and ensure the long-term sustainability of Austin’s largest community

celebration. In 2012, the 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.

Please note that Trail of Lights photos and

graphics are available upon request.