AUSTIN, Texas - The Downtown Austin Alliance and FOX 7 Austin teamed up to help spread a little holiday cheer this season.
The Downtown Ambassadors flipped the switch to turn on over 137,000 LED lights wrapped around the 45-foot-tall tree located in front of the Capitol at 11th Street and Congress Avenue.
"Our team of Ambassadors has been on the front lines all year with smiles on their faces-connecting with the community, keeping our public spaces clean and safe, and providing hand sanitization stations in peak traffic areas," said the DAA.
The tree features a choreographed light and music show every hour featuring some of Austin's favorite musicians like Willie Nelson, Asleep at the Wheel, Dale Watson, Vallejo, and more.
The tree is just a part of the DAA's 26th annual Holiday Stroll, which also includes free and family-friendly activities, a holiday shopping experience, curated weekend artisan markets, photo opportunities, pop-up activations, and holiday-themed window displays. The Stroll is on through the end of the year.
This year, the Downtown Alliance says it is introducing new elements designed to create a festive sight-seeing and shopping experience. The Holiday Passport is a pocket-sized guide filled with deals, discounts, and activities for the month of December that makes it fun and easy to explore downtown and support local shops and restaurants.
Passports can be downloaded online or picked up from participating businesses while supplies last. Passport holders can create their own downtown adventures and discover new places while visiting various locations and collecting “stamps.”
Participants who collect a certain number of stamps in their Passport are eligible to win prize packages provided by retailers and curated by the Downtown Alliance. The grand prize is a New Year’s Eve Downtown Austin Staycation, including a two-night stay at the W Hotel, complimentary spa treatments at AWAY, dinner at TRACE, and a backstage tour at ACL Live.
The event website includes a calendar of downtown holiday events and activities as well as a map of businesses throughout downtown with decorated holiday-themed storefronts, creating a walkable path of festive decorations, including installations by Austin Trail of Lights, Central Texas Food Bank, and more.
For more information on Downtown Holiday Stroll and more, visit the event's website.