The Trail of Lights Sticks to Roads Again

Amelia Coleman, Staff Writer

The Trail of Lights is a staple of the Austin holiday season. Originating as a festival centered around the lighting of a yule log, the Trail of Lights is filled with lights, music, games, and fun for the whole family. The trail runs from Nov. 27 through Dec. 31 this year. Freshman Margareth Contreras has attended it in previous years.

“Just walk through and just look around it,” Contreras said. “You get showered with beautiful, festive lights.” 

Another activity available at the Trail of Lights is a ferris wheel. The ferris wheel is senior Devon Hobbs’ favorite part of the Trail of Lights. 

“It’s something I really enjoyed going through as a kid,” Devon said. “It had all these different patterns going on, which is super pretty.” 

Other features have included a tunnel of lights and live music. Hobbs enjoyed a depiction of a beach scene when she visited.

“They had a section that was like, Christmas at the beach,” Hobbs said. “[A] Santa on a beach chair, drinking a pina colada, stuff like that.” 

According to freshman Maxine Teleki-Avery, one thing from past trails that she enjoyed the most was the different cuisine available. She also likes how the trail can be a way to connect with family.

“I don’t see my extended family that often, they live pretty far away, and it’s cool to see them,” Teleki-Avery said. “Also, the holiday spirit is kind of a fun time.”

In past visits, Hobbs has also taken that chance to spend time with family. Her primary reason for attending has normally been for girls choir events, however. 

“We got up on the stage, which is near the entrance, and sang for about an hour,” Hobbs said. “A lot of people said it was very noisy, but it was so fun.” 

According to Contreras, there are reasons to go to the Trail of Lights apart from the lights themselves. She likes the holiday spirit of the experience.

“I know for me personally, seeing families, their kids, spouses, wives, husbands, just enjoying and being like, ‘Wow this is amazing,’” Contreras said. “Even me personally with my own family, it gives us this feeling of closeness, of happiness.” 

According to Contreras, though, the trail can sometimes get crowded. That makes it harder for people to enjoy the scenes.

“I do get a little overwhelmed,” Contreras said. “I have this panic that I’ll get lost, and I just like it when things are emptier because you have more time to breathe in and take it in, but with crowds you got to go with it.”

This year, the trail will be a drive-through to promote social distancing. According to Hobbs, that can give people the opportunity to see the lights without having to interact with people. Contreras believes there are benefits and downsides to the drive-through.

“You won’t get as close and personal,” Contreras said. “I understand why it’s there, like it’s a good thing, but you’re cramped in a car. My brother doesn’t like sitting in one place for more than 10 minutes, so it’s gonna be an issue, but I feel like it won’t give you that same experience, at least to have something to enjoy.”