Trail of Grief

Trail of Lights, Zilker Park, AustinI've been in Austin for eighteen years. I've passed up the annual Trail of Lights festival seventeen times. Last night I broke that record, and I'm kind of sorry I did.

It certainly is as big and as beautiful as everybody says—maybe more so. The problem is that it's also just as crowded as everybody says—maybe more so. So, rather than being a relaxed stroll in the park, taking in all the wonderful sights, it feels to me more like a mile long death march—one where you are constantly being rolled over by baby carriages and people too busy texting to watch where they are going.

I give a lot of credit to Cap Metro and PARD for managing the huge crowds as well as they do.

If you are the sort of person who doesn't mind the jostle of large crowds, then I recommend it next year. (This year's is over now.) Otherwise, I recommend enjoying the Zilker Park Christmas tree at a distance.


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We call it the 'Trial of Lights'

And that's just because of the impact of the traffic on what we want to do. I did it once, so long ago that they let you drive your own car through. Wasn't worth it.

better by boat

The one time I've gone, we parked at a distance and approached the park by boat. The trail itself was still crowded as you describe, but we had a few minutes of peaceful beauty before arriving.