Dates announced for Trail of Lights in Austin, tickets on sale now

The iconic event in Zilker Park runs from Nov. 27-Dec. 31

Austin Trail of Lights. (Courtesy, Austin Trail of Lights)

It may feel weird to think about Christmas outings as high temperatures keep autumn weather hostage in Texas, but it’s never too early to plan trips to see holiday lights.

Organizers of the 2021 Austin Trail of Lights announced Thursday that passes are now available for the event, which runs nightly from Nov. 27-Dec. 31 in Zilker Park. H-E-B is the longtime title sponsor.

The 57th annual event will be drive-thru only again this year due to COVID-19.

The “longest-running holiday tradition of its kind in Texas’ capital city switched from walk-thru to drive-thru last year because of the pandemic.

“The Foundation is committed to bringing another unforgettable Austin Trail of Lights to the community in 2021,” Rachel Green, the president of the Trail of Lights Foundation, said in a news release. “While we had hoped to have guests walking through the lights this year, we had to look at the current event guidelines, consult with key constituents, and make a definitive decision now. A drive-thru format in 2021 ensures we will have a successful 57th year in Zilker Park for our multi-generational audience.”

A spokesperson for the Austin Trail of Lights added that the 2020′s drive-thru format was “enormously successful.”

Traditionally, the walk-thru event hosts about 400,000 visitors.

Staff would not be able to manage proof of COVID-19 vaccinations or negative test results for visitors in a walk-thru setting, the spokesperson said.

“As an outdoor public holiday lights display, this event works well as a drive-thru, whereas other festivals and sporting events do not,” they said.

The Trail of Lights will still contain more than 2 million lights, 90 lighted holiday trees and more than 70 other displays and tunnels.

General admission ranges from $30-$40 per vehicle depending on the time and day of the visit. Dash passes are $65, and that includes early admission, a box of holiday cookies and water.

Premiere night passes for Nov. 27 are $95.

For more information, click here.

Austin Trail of Lights. (Courtesy, Austin Trail of Lights)
Austin Trail of Lights. (Courtesy, Austin Trail of Lights)

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Rebecca Salinas has worked as a digital journalist in San Antonio for six years. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.