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Christmas Events Trail Of Lights

The Holiday season is filled with tradition and celebration, including those in both the family and in the community. In Austin, family and community traditions come together with the annual Trail of Lights celebration in Zilker Park. For more than 40 years, Austin residents and visitors have been enjoying the beautiful spectacle and many have made visiting the event a yearly event for their families. As interest in the Trail of Lights has increased over the years, it has grown to be one of the most notable holiday events in Austin and the whole of Texas.

History of the Trail of Lights

The Trail of Lights was started in 1965 and was a collaboration of Austin resident Mrs. Alden Mabel Davis and the director of the Austin Parks and Recreation Department. In the first year, the citizens of Austin were treated to a stroll down a candle-lit path, a living Nativity scene and a display with a “Twelve Days of Christmas” theme. Festivities were capped off with dance presentations and a Yule log.

The next major addition to the festival was the Zilker Tree, which was billed as “the world’s largest man-made tree.” The tree was first lit in 1967 and the lighting event has become a citywide symbol of the start of the holiday season. Since 1987, the city has held a coloring contest, with the winner receiving the honor of throwing the switch that lights the 155-foot tall wonder. Tree lighting takes place on the first Sunday in December.

Today’s Trail of Lights

Today, the four-day event that began in 1965 has become a month long extravaganza. The Zilker Tree lighting and coloring contest are still the opening marker for the festivities on the first Sunday of December. The following Saturday, the city holds a evening 5k run through the trail of lights, followed the next night by the opening parade. The event will then run through the 23rd of the month and will include many entertainment activities. Also on site will be Santa Claus, a mock US Post Office, and the traditional Yule Log. In 2008, the Trail, itself, will feature 41 displays covering a mile long trail.

In addition to the fun and entertainment offered at the event, those who attend have the opportunity to give back to some off the less fortunate in the Austin community. Operation Blue Santa collects unwrapped toys at various drop boxes throughout the Trail of Lights. In 2008, the charity hopes to collect enough donations to provide Christmas gifts for 20,000 children in the city, under the age of twelve. The drive will begin the night of the tree lighting and run through thr close of the festival.

Austin’s Trail of Lights is an exciting and beautiful way to enjoy the holiday season. Making a habit to visit the event annually will be a welcome tradition for Austin residents and for those who enjoy traveling to the city. See for yourself the wonder of the displays and entertainment included in this wonderful event.
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  Published Date - December 1 2008
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  Mr. Joe Cline
Joe Cline writes articles for Lakeway Real Estate. Other articles written by the author related to real estate Austin texas and Steiner Ranch realtor can be found on the net.
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