AUSTIN, Texas For the first time, The University of Texas at Austin presents UT Night at the Trail of Lights, featuring the trail’s iconic globe display revamped in brilliantly glowing burnt orange and showcasing student talent on the evening of Dec.16 at Zilker Park.
“We can think of no better way to begin the holidays than sharing Longhorn pride with community members while supporting a uniquely Austin tradition,” said UT Austin Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement Gregory J. Vincent. “We hope friends throughout the community will join us for what will be a memorable evening.”
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1.25-mile trail that attracted more than 425,000 people in 2013. General admission is free and gates are open from 7 to 10 p.m. Special access to the trail on UT Night includes a limited quantity of ZiP Fast Passes, available for purchase with a promotional passcode at $15 for ages 12 and up but not required for younger visitors. The passes provide front-of-line admittance at 6 p.m. or 8 p.m. and entry to a UT Austin hospitality tent with heaters, hot cocoa and cookies.
“From the beginning, the goal has been to showcase our outstanding student performers and leaders on a community-wide stage in the heart of Austin, and to come together with the Longhorn community to celebrate the holiday season,” said Dean of Students Soncia Reagins-Lilly.
University groups and entertainers including the UT Chorus, Texas Spirit Group, Texas Latin Dance and the Punjabbawockeez will perform at various points on the trail during UT Night only.
“The extraordinary student talent at The University of Texas at Austin will turn the Trail of Lights burnt orange on Dec. 16 at UT Night,” said Gage Paine, vice president for student affairs.
Tickets for parking close to the entrance can be purchased online in advance. Other transportation options are the Trail of Lights Shuttle, MetroBus, MetroRail and on-site bike racks. More information is available at http://sites.utexas.edu/trailoflights/.
This year, UT Austin is helping to ensure the trail’s endurance by adopting the traditional globe display and updating it with orange lights to demonstrate the university’s motto, “What starts here changes the world.”
“The Trail of Lights and The University of Texas are both staples in the Austin community,” said Mario Espinoza, board president of the Trail of Lights Foundation and a UT Austin alumnus. “It’s the support of these community institutions that helps sustain the Trail of Lights for future generations, and we are so proud and grateful to have them on board for the 50th anniversary celebration.”