Trail of Lights cancelled after lack of funding

Allie Kolechta

This December, Zilker Park’s Trail of Lights will remain dark for the second year in a row because of a lack of funding.

This year’s Trail of Lights was cancelled after organizers did not meet a fundraising benchmark Wednesday of $250,000 to reopen it, said Amy Vercruysse, executive producer of the Trail of Lights program. Many companies could not plan donations into their budgets, and organizers only raised $78,000, she said.

“We reached out to literally thousands of potential sponsors,” she said. “People were excited but didn’t have room in their budgets. It’s a matter of economics.”

This year’s Zilker Park holiday events will include a Santa, a tree lighting and community groups performing at the Zilker Hillside Theater, Vercruysse said. Organizers are giving sponsors of the Trail of Lights the option to either put their donation toward the other free holiday events or the 2012 Trail of Lights display, or to accept a refund, she said.

“We’re moving forward with plans for a 2012 Trail of Lights,” she said. “We have a lot more time for companies to plan the Trail of Lights into their budget. I think we’ll be in much better shape.”