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Austin Trail of Lights will return this year with drive-thru services for the second year in a row. (Laura Figi/Austonia)

Vehicle passes are now available for the 57th Trail of Lights, the annual holiday display that will once again be a drive-thru event this winter.


The monthlong event, held from Nov. 27-Dec. 31, will be held at Zilker Park as in previous years but will not allow walk-in tours as before 2020 due to COVID.

Trail of Lights Foundation President Rachel Green said that the organization had hoped to allow walk-ins but wanted to keep their "multi-generational audience" as safe as possible.

"The Foundation is committed to bringing another unforgettable Austin Trail of Lights to the community in 2021," Green said. "While we had hoped to have guests walking through the lights this year, we had to look at the current event guidelines, consult with key constituents, and make a definitive decision now."

Vehicle passes are available on the Trail of Lights website and include: a general admission pass, $30-$40 per vehicle, with designated access at the top of each hour starting at 7 p.m; Dash Passes, $65 per vehicle, which give early access at 5:45 p.m., holiday cookies and bottled water; and Premiere Night Passes, which will give a limited number of customers access to the first evening on Nov. 27, cookies, bottled water and a commemorative gift.

The event allows free passes for 50 nonprofit groups around the city through the Stars Program and certain families in the Austin Independent School District.

The event remains one of the top three events in Austin, according to its website, and features over 2 million twinkling lights on display throughout Zilker Park.

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