AUSTIN (KXAN) - Austin City Council members will vote Thursday on whether to accept proposal from a couple businesses to run and pay for Zilker Park Trail of Lights.
As preparations for Wednesday night's Blues on the Green were underway - some were thinking about a winter event in Zilker Park.
The Zilker Park Trail of Lights which began in 1965, was drastically cut back in 2009. And last year the city canceled it altogether.
"I was so disappointed. Christmas--it didn't quite feel right without it," said Austin resident Logan Garza.
"It's like UT football you can't take away some of those things," said Zilker Park visitor Darrin Griffin.
Now, for the first time, the city may let a couple private companies run and pay for the Trail of Lights and charge up to $5 dollars for admission.
"It would definitely be worth it to me," said Austin resident Conner Stephens.
"We won't be writing a check but we'll be waiving some of the fees that would go along with a regular for profit event there," said Austin City Councilwoman Laura Morrison.
A marketing agency called Bright Blue teamed up with an event company called Combo Platter to put together the 85-page proposal for the city. To make the holiday event accessible to everyone, one night would be free for the general public and another night would be free for military members and their families.
"Hopefully they can find the sweet spot where they'll be able to make something that's viable financially but you know certainly, hopefully as inexpensive as possible," said Morrison.
Other details include:
Decorated shuttle buses to the event
Refurbished old and new light displays
An Austin Trailer food court
The traditional 5K run through the trail
Flash mobs spreading holiday cheer
A community stage near rock island
And a snow patch in the volleyball sandbox.
"We can barely stand in this sand right here so hopefully Christmas there will be snow and we'll be enjoying that," said Griffin.
City staff has recommended council approve the proposal so work on a contract can begin. It's the only qualified bid the city has received.
And many park visitors consider it an early gift.
"To have the whole community come out and celebrate Christmas with each other it's a good thing. Good thing to have. Glad it might be coming back," said Austin resident Will Smith.
We will let you know how city council members vote.
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