Monday, November 23, 2020

Zilker Holiday Tree Lighting Virtual Ceremony & Nightly Tree Access Details

For immediate release:
November 23, 2020
Contact: Austin Parks & Recreation Dept - Communications & Engagement Office, (512) 974-6723
How to Watch the Virtual Zilker Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony & Changes to Nightly Tree Access Due to COVID-19

Access to the Zilker Holiday Tree will be different in 2020. The Zilker Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony will be virtual due to COVID-19 gathering restrictions. However, the experience aims to bring joy to the holiday season and allows all to participate for free whilst staying home and staying safe. Special guests for the virtual ceremony include host Quita Culpepper, Mayor Steve Adler, City Manager Spencer Cronk, the Austin Civic Wind Ensemble, winners of the Zilker Holiday Tree Art Contest and more.
Viewers can participate in this virtual experience in multiple ways starting on Sunday, November 29, 2020 at 6 p.m. Set a calendar reminder to watch on any of these platforms:
Nightly Zilker Holiday Tree Access
The Zilker Holiday Tree will be lit nightly from 6 p.m. to midnight on November 29, 2020 through January 1, 2021 at Zilker Metropolitan Park. No onsite access is allowed this year due to COVID-19 gathering restrictions. A perimeter will be installed to prevent access and gathering under or near the Zilker Holiday tree. Additionally, parking lots and parking spaces near the tree will be closed. No vendors or amenities will be permitted on-site to discourage pedestrian traffic. Viewing of the tree is allowed only while inside a vehicle from the roadway. Austin Public Health recommends being cautious this holiday season by celebrating virtually or with members of your household only. If you choose to gather traditionally, follow the holiday safety guidance at
One perk of the virtual 2020 Zilker Holiday tree experience is that you will be able to still spin under the tree, safely from home in your pajamas. Visit for a virtual tree spinning video which you can play on a loop for a dizzying experience.  
Trail of Lights
Trail of Lights is a drive-thru only experience this holiday season. Beginning Saturday, November 28 through January 3, 2021 participants can access the Trail of Lights with a vehicle pass purchased in advance. No walk up or open-air vehicle access is allowed due to COVID-19 gathering restrictions. Vehicle tickets and more details available at

July 4th, 2022: Independence Day Holiday Closures

  Several City of Austin offices and facilities will be closed today, Monday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day Parks and Recreation ...