Bill and I joined 8,000 participants at the Trail of Lights
5K last Saturday, one evening before the Zilker Park
light display opened to the general public. This year’s race crowd was larger than usual. We think that’s because the weather was warm (in the 60’s) and everyone was excited to have the Trail of Lights back after a two-year hiatus (due to lack of funding).
The first mile was slow and somewhat dangerous. The narrow, winding, and mostly-dark road was crowded. Some generator-powered lights were set up along the way, but I think more lights were needed in some sections.
Mile 2 went through the Trail of Lights displays set up on the Zilker soccer fields. The crowd slowed down as everyone admired the vignettes and stopped to take pictures. I’ve read that some of the displays have been refurbished this year. Everything looked better than I had remembered from previous years.
The last part of the race went north around the Zilker Botanical Garden, ending at the top of the hill on Barton Springs Road. Water, cookies, fruit, and hot chocolate were waiting for the finishers under the Zilker Tree.
Bill and I enjoyed the race and are glad to see the Trail of Lights back again. We are not alone: over 65,000 attended the Trail’s opening on Sunday evening, causing major traffic jams for miles around Zilker Park. Today organizers announced improvements to encourage more visitors to use the shuttle buses instead of trying to drive to the park. The Trail of Lights runs each evening from now until December 23.