2017 Grand Opening

Saturday, December 9 | 7:00 - 10:00pm

Join us for our Grand Opening celebration as H-E-B helps us kick off the 53rd annual Austin Trail of Lights holiday season. The official first night at the Trail begins at 6:45pm with a ceremonial flipping of the switch by AISD students lead by Mayor Pro Tem Kathy Tovo and our H-E-B partners. AISD 3rd-5th grade students from across the city get their creative juices flowing with their entries in our Austin Trail of Lights Holiday Writing Contest, benefitting the Trail of Lights Foundation and H-E-B’s Read 3 program. Students are asked to write an essay describing a time in their lives when people worked together to make something better. One lucky winner will be invited to flip the switch, turning on the front entry lights and opening the Austin Trail of Lights to the public for the first time of the season.


Here in Austin, the Trail of Lights glow is the identifying marker that the holiday season has officially begun, and we want to share this special first night of the Austin Trail of Lights with you! This night’s general admission is free and open to the public, and will include a wide variety of special programming to ring in the holiday season!

Music performances by: Alan Haynes (8:00pm), The 512 Four (9:15pm), and Minor Mishap Marching Band around the Trail (7:00pm)

Additional performances by: West Austin Dance Academy (7:10pm)

In the Lobby: Deerpark Middle School Choir (7:15pm), Austonettes A'Cappella (8:00pm)

Storytime: Storytime with H-E-Buddy (7:30pm)

*Schedule subject to change.

'Tis The Season For Giving

Help the Austin Trail of Lights feed the hungry by bringing a can of food with you to Zilker Park. With your support, we can collect more than 25,000 MEALS for the Central Texas Food Bank. ’Tis the season for giving, after all! Click here for more information.

H-E-B’s Read 3 program, an H-E-B organization that since 2011, has donated nearly 3 million books to children in need, helping to promote childhood literacy. Books are gathered at annual book drives in H-E-B stores. H-E-B and its Read 3 program has given out more than 150,000 free books at the Austin Trail of Lights.

The Austin ISD Literacy Plan, a program offering opportunities for students to engage in transformational literacy experiences that extend beyond the school day with a goal of all students performing on or above grade level in reading and writing.

Platinum Passes

Platinum Passes are sold out for Dec. 9, 2017.

Getting There

Don’t forget to purchase limited nearby parking in Zilker Park. Or leave the car at home! Avoid driving to the park altogether and ride the shuttle.


We recommend purchasing parking or shuttle passes early because they will sell out!

  • trail of lights
  • Zilker ParkDecember 9-23, 2017
  • trail of lights
  • trail of lights foundation
  • 3can events
  • city of austin
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