The Trail of Lights Foundation, H-E-B and Mayor Lee Leffingwell today unveiled the many new improvements to the 2013 Trail of Lights. Partnerships with strategic corporate sponsors, the help of local government and support from the Austin community have made the annual Trail of Lights holiday celebration possible and bode well for an event that is expected to be better than ever.

“We are excited to partner with so many great local and regional businesses to make the 49th anniversary of the Trail of the Lights the best yet,” said Mayor Lee Leffingwell. “With two full weeks of trail fun, there will be even more opportunities for the whole community to enjoy this iconic holiday celebration that is truly our annual gift of enjoyment for Austin, by Austin.”


To date, the Trail of Lights has secured corporate sponsorships with:

Sponsorship opportunities are still available for businesses interested in supporting the 2013 Austin Trail of Lights at a variety of levels. Further details on each level can be found at

“After partnering with the Trail of Lights last year and being part of such a successful comeback, we are honored to be involved again this year,” said Leslie Sweet, H-E-B director of public affairs. “As the lead sponsor of the Trail of Lights, we are looking forward to contributing to this rich Austin tradition. For the second year, H-E-B’s Read 3 early literacy program will be providing a free book to each child who attends the Trail of Lights. ” 

Smart Infrastructure Improvements:

To address traffic and crowds, the Trail of Lights Foundation is implementing more transportation and parking options with the assistance of the Austin Transportation Department. There will be more shuttles running this year than in years past, with new pick-up/drop-off locations around the city. The Trail of Lights Foundation has also created more parking options to help ease the traffic near Zilker Park. A limited number of close-in parking permits will be available for purchase online in November, with early-bird pricing starting at $15.

“We’ve listened to the feedback of Austinites from previous years and are working hard to make the Trail enjoyable and easy to access for everyone,” said Mario Espinoza, board president of the Trail of Lights Foundation. “We’ll have more days of the Trail to spread out the crowds, more parking and shuttle options and more entertainment to suit everyone’s needs and taste.”

Returning to its original 15-day format, the 2013 Trail of Lights, powered by H-E-B will run Dec. 8-22 to provide more opportunities for visitors to personalize their Trail experience. A full calendar of events will be posted on the Trail of Lights website in the coming months, so Austinites have plenty of time to plan their visit. Highlights of this year’s Trail include:

  • The tallest, freestanding, man-made holiday tree
  • 1.25 miles of lighted displays
  • Nightly themes and activities ranging from Military Appreciation night to new photo opportunities to capture Trail of Lights memories and nightly live artist demonstrations
  • A new North Pole area will feature the H-E-B Read 3 early literacy program, Seton’s Santa House and children’s arts and craft activities
  • Two stages of entertainment will feature local, regional and national acts, including Ray Benson, Vallejo and The Whiskey Sisters
  • 25 of the city’s favorite food trailers will be present including Chi’Lantro BBQThe Grilled Cheese TruckBoomerang’s Pies, Hat Creek Burger Co., and Austin’s Pizza
  • More than 50 lighted displays and attractions including old favorites like Santasaurus and some new ones for 2013 like the Skyline Snapshot Photo Frame
  • 5K Run/Walk Holiday Themed Run

Stay in the Know & Get Involved:

To receive the latest updates, including the 15-day activity and entertainment lineup, location of shuttles as well as online sale of parking tickets, sign up for the Trail of Lights newsletter at, follow the @ATXLights Twitter feed or like the Facebook page at

Visit for more information on sponsorship, donation and volunteer opportunities. Local merchants can also apply at to secure limited space available both inside the Trail and at the Zilker Tree. Local Austin food vendors representative of the vast range of cuisine served from a trailer are encouraged to submit an application, with admission given on a first come, first serve basis. Local performance groups are also encouraged to submit an application to entertain Trail-goers on the community stage. Opportunities to host company holiday parties at the Trail are also available. 
Trail of Lights has been an Austin tradition since its creation in 1965, when it was titled “Yule Fest.” In 1992 the cherished event became Trail of Lights. The Austin community has embraced the celebration as the one holiday event that truly allows the community to come together and celebrate all that is loved about Austin during the holiday season.  

About H-E-B

H-E-B, with sales of more than $19.4 billion, operates more than 350 stores in Texas and Mexico. Known for its innovation and community service, H-E-B celebrated its 105th anniversary in 2010. Recognized for its fresh food, quality products, convenient services, and a commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability, H-E-B strives to provide the best customer experience at everyday low prices. Based in San Antonio, H-E-B employs more than 80,000 Partners and serves millions of customers in more than 150 communities. For more information, visit
About Trail of Lights Foundation
The Trail of Lights Foundation is an independent nonprofit corporation dedicated to producing the Austin Trail of Lights as an authentically Austin community celebration. The organization raises private funds to produce and ensure the long-term sustainability of Austin’s largest community celebration. The 2012 Trail of Lights was named one of the Top 10 lighting festivals in the country by USA Today. To learn more visit


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