Austin Trail of Lights 2015 Returns for Its 51st Year with Over 2 Million Lights

Trail of Lights Foundation, the nonprofit behind Austin’s favorite
holiday light display, produces event for third consecutive year with
continued support from corporations and individuals

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
festivities.

Night Lights, the 2nd 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
alumni.

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
history.

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.

Contacts

Red Fan Communications
Chloe Scheller, 512-551-9253
chloe@redfancommunications.com
cell:
512-917-4319