Tuesday, July 22, 2014

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Austinites rejoice over Trail of Lights' return

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Austinites young and old are rejoicing and celebrating the Trail of Lights' return this holiday season.

The City of Austin canceled the beloved tradition in 2010 because it could no longer afford putting on the event.

RunTex owner Paul Carrozza picked up the project in February. The total price tag is $1.2 million, and so far he has raised $850,000.

"There's millions of lights and all the displays are back," Carrozza said. “We were able to raise enough corporate dollars to bring it back."

Dell, Samsung and H-E-B contributed almost $400,000 to the project all together. Nearly two dozen local nonprofit groups will be featured at the Trail of Lights Village in Zilker Park. Donations made through GiveTogether Austin will go to those groups.

The city donated the displays it had in storage. Carrozza's goal is to unveil new displays next year and in years to come.

“If you think about it, every year it’ll be a whole new show, it evolves every year," he said.

The Capital City tradition, which began in 1965, will someday include a winter carnival with food and music.

It kicks off this year with a 5K on Dec. 15. The Trail of Lights runs through Dec. 23 from sundown until 10 p.m.

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