The Zilker Tree lighting will take place Sunday, Nov. 26
Specialty Nights and Programming
This year, the Austin Trail of Lights will offer numerous specialty nights leading up to and during the event. Additional specialty nights will be announced as details are available.
- Sunday, Nov. 26: The annual Zilker Tree lighting starts the holiday season off in Zilker Park. Now in its 51st year, the Zilker Tree is the largest man made holiday tree, built around a historic Austin moontower. Food vendors and other merchants will operate at the tree throughout the month of December. Check the Austin Trail of Lights website for schedules.
- Saturday, Dec. 2: The Trail of Lights Fun Run, presented by St. David's HealthCare, is a 2.1-mile course, starts at the Zilker Tree and takes runners through the iconic Austin Trail of Lights, ending with a celebration in the park. Up to 10,000 runners are expected to participate in two waves. Registration began in mid-September, and can be purchased here: https://austintrailoflights.org/2017-fun-run.
- Dec. 3, 4 and 6: STARS at the Trail, presented by Vista Equity Partners,hosts up to 20 nonprofit organizations for private tours of the Trail. Since 2013, STARS at the Trail has provided an opportunity for more than 3,000 school children, teens, families of varied socioeconomic backgrounds, youth in foster and adoptive care, WWII veterans, mentors and mentees, chronically ill patients and others with unique circumstances to create special holiday memories at the Trail of Lights. For some of these attendees, this trip to the Trail of Lights may be their only holiday experience.
- Friday, Dec. 8: Night Lights, the fourth annual Preview Party, presented by Lyft, will benefit the Trail of Lights Foundation's STARS at the Trail program. The event features musical entertainment, food samples from local Austin restaurants and specialty activities not available during the general run of the Trail. Tickets start at $75 per person and will go on sale early November.
- Sunday, Dec. 10: The fifth annual UT Night will turn the Trail of Lights burnt orange. The evening features special programming, Longhorn entertainment and private hospitality tickets for The University of Texas at Austin students, faculty, staff and alumni.
- Tuesday, Dec. 12: The annual HEROES Night, presented by Texas Lottery, honors first responders-active police, fire and EMS, active military, veterans and emergency responders. Guests will create holiday letters to send to troops and other activities to pay tribute to first responders' service.
- Tuesday, Dec. 19: Movie Night, presented by Austin Parks Foundation.Grab a bag of kettle corn, bring a blanket and enjoy a holiday movie under the stars and lights in Austin's beloved Zilker Park.
Accolades and Statistics
- Second largest event in Austin according to the Austin Business Journal (2017)
- Recognized as a top 10 lighting or holiday event by USA Today, Yahoo and Southern Living
- 375,000 attendees in 2016
- Two million twinkling lights
- More than 1 million miles walked by attendees annually
- 20+ food vendors
- 7,500 runners at the 2016 Fun Run
- 1,000 volunteers annually
- 20 nonprofit groups hosted during STARS nights
- Two stages housing special performances and live music
- 45 performers
- 15 marriage proposals
- 50,000 amusement riders
Since adopting the annual event from the City of Austin in 2012, the Austin Trail of Lights has been produced exclusively with private dollars and without taxpayer funding. Corporate sponsors and individual donors contribute more than $1.5 million to provide partial underwriting for the annual event. The remainder of funds are provided through event ticket sales.
2017 will be the sixth year H-E-B has served as Title Sponsor and has committed to serve as title sponsor through 2019. Additional multi-year sponsors include Vista Equity Partners, Seton Healthcare Family, Keller Williams Realty, Cirrus Logic, Silicon Labs, T5 Foundation, NXP, Maudie's Tex Mex, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin Parks Foundation, ABC Home and Commercial Services, 3M, Central Texas Pediatric Orthopedics, Austin Energy, Longhorn Rents, The UPS Stores, Texas Lottery, Pirkey Barber PLLC, K. Freise & Associates, Maxwell Locke & Ritter, Ambetter Superior HealthPlan, Lori and Tito Beveridge, American Bank of Commerce, and Watkins Insurance Group, NXP USA, Inc., UPS, SHI, Humana.
The Trail of Lights welcomes new sponsors including St. David's HealthCare as Fun Run title sponsor as well as Lyft, nLand Surf Park, Solar Winds, Capital One, LCRA, Austin Convention Center, Juice Consulting and Archer-Malmo.
Sponsor opportunities are currently available. For information, please contact Jill Weir at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the 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 the funds from donations by individuals and the business community to produce and ensure the long- term sustainability of Austin's largest community celebration. It is curated in close conjunction with its long-time partners, Forefront Networks and 3Can Events, who provide turn-key production, marketing, sponsorship and programming services to the foundation. The Trail of Lights has remained in the top three Austin events since the Trail of Lights Foundation adopted the event in 2012.
For more information on The Trail of Lights, please see www.austintrailoflights.org.
Media are invited to join us for an official press conference for the Trail of Lights on Thursday, Nov. 2 at 10:30 a.m. at The Zilker Clubhouse. Please RSVP for the press conference no later than Nov. 1 at 12 p.m. to email@example.com.
To RSVP for the Dec. 8 Night Lights preview party, for general coverage requests or press inquiries about the Trail of Lights, please contact the team at Juice Consulting:
Heather Wagner Reed - 512 788 9254 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Madison Snelling - 512 240 9052 - email@example.com