The lights are back on in Austin, Texas, reigniting a community tradition that was thought to be extinguished for good. The Austin Trail of Lights in Zilker Park has been a holiday staple since 1965, when it was originally known as Yule Fest, but budget cuts forced city officials to cancel the event in 2010 and 2011. Fortunately, a number of local businesses joined forces to bring the event back for the 2012 holiday season.
This year’s walking trail spans 1.25 miles and features 40 lighted elements sporting just under one million lightbulbs, entrancing an expected 250,000 visitors young and old. Each night, local performance groups entertain the masses, and vendors offer everything from food and drinks to arts and crafts. Best of all, it’s free to the public, offering everyone the chance to join in on the holiday spirit.