AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Trail of Lights will again be a drive-thru event this year.

The 57th annual event held in Zilker Park is slated between Nov. 27-Dec. 31, and while organizers weighed the decision to allow people to walk through the display like in years before the COVID-19 pandemic, they opted to make it a drive-thru like last year.

“The Foundation is committed to bringing another unforgettable Austin Trail of Lights to the community in 2021,” said Rachel Green, president of the Trail of Lights Foundation. “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. A drive-thru format in 2021 ensures we will have a successful 57th year in Zilker Park for our multi-generational audience.”

Vehicle passes are now available for the event, ranging from $30-$95. Passes are good for cars with up to nine people in them, and any vehicle that’s street legal and less than 27 feet in length can go through the display. Any vehicle with 10 or more people in them will need two passes, organizers said.

The pricing tiers for passes are:

  • General Admission Passes:  $30-$40 per vehicle (depending on entry time and date) with designated access at the top of each hour beginning at 7 p.m.
  • Dash Passes: $65 per vehicle, this premium pass presented by Northern Trust allows for 5:45 p.m. early access, prior to the 7 p.m. General Admission time slot. Dash Pass guests will also receive a box of holiday cookies and bottled water.
  • Premiere Night Passes: A limited number of passes for the Trail of Lights Foundation’s official 2021 fundraiser and first look opportunity are now available for Nov. 27. At $95 per vehicle, this pass includes: access on an evening with limited attendance; a box of holiday cookies, bottled water and a commemorative gift.

On Dec. 28-29, nonprofit partners will get their own time to go through the display through the STARS at the Trail program, and eligible families in the Austin Independent School District will also get free passes, organizers said.

A virtual 3-mile fun run is also part of the event, and registration for that can be done on the Trail of Lights’ website.

The event operates entirely on support from sponsors. H-E-B is the title sponsor of the event, and KXAN is one of the many organizations that also sponsor it.