AUSTIN – It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas at Austin’s Zilker Park.
On Friday, crews were putting the finishing touches on some of the millions of Christmas lights on display at the 49th annual Austin Trail of Lights.
The holiday favorite opens Sunday, Dec. 8. However, there are some noticeable differences this year, especially where parking is concerned.
“We've taken it from the one-week event to 15 days, so we can spread out that crowd,” said Mario Espinoza with the Austin Trail of Lights Foundation.
Event organizers are encouraging people to take shuttles this year. There are four pick-up locations. The shuttles cost $3 per person, and young children ride in their parents' laps for free.
Those who choose to drive in hopes of snagging one of the coveted 1,000 parking spaces on Barton Springs Road will have to purchase parking tickets online and in advance. The tickets will cost $15 per vehicle.
“There's only 1,000 parking spots across the street on Barton Springs Road at Zilker, so, given that, we're asking that everyone pre-pay for parking. So, if you haven't pre-paid and don't have a parking pass, you're not going to be allowed anywhere near Zilker Park in your vehicle,” said Espinoza.
Car2Go subscribers can park their smart cars for free at the park.
In 2012, the Trail of Lights Foundation was expecting 250,000 attendees. Instead, more than 400,000 showed up.
Holiday revelers will also find more than 30 food trailers, and there’s plenty of entertainment.
“Entertainment is changing every night. We have Ray Benson, Marcia Ball, The Whiskey Sisters, Vallejo. So, a wide range of entertainment,” said Espinoza.
Go here for more information about the Trail of Lights.