Every year, Austin’s Zilker Park is transformed into a Texas-sized winter wonderland that attracts more than 400,000 visitors. Everything’s bigger in Texas, and at 155 feet tall, the Zilker Holiday Tree at the Austin Trail of Lights is claimed to be the largest man-made Christmas tree in the world. As for the trail itself, 90 lit holiday trees and more than 70 other light displays and decorated tunnels with a total of 2 million lights are spread along a 1.25-mile walk. The Austin Trail of Lights began in 1965 as a small gathering known as the “Yule Fest.” What began as a gift to the city of Austin from Austin Parks and Recreation Department, has now grown to be a community-wide celebration of the spirit and people that make Austin unique.
In the 54 years since the first Yule Log was lit, the Trail of Lights has expanded to more than 65 displays and holiday activities that create countless memories. Each new display, community performance and lighted tunnel has added a new layer to the holiday tradition and brought us together more as a community. Today, the Trail of Lights is one of the three largest events in Austin and receives national accolades while remaining a deeply cherished local tradition.