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Old holiday photos of Austin will bring cheer, good tidings

Lights, cameras, Santas

Annual Austin Trail of Lights
Via Wikimedia Commons

This post was originally published in December 2016 and has been updated with the most recent information.

Austin might not always draw the most wattage in terms of holiday decorations, it’s true, but we have a tradition of doing it up in a distinctive way.

For starters, where, from sea to shining sea, will one find a moon tower fantastically festooned with lights (and hundreds of citizens spinning underneath daily)—rather than the traditional fir or pine—serving proudly as the city’s Christmas tree? Nowhere but Austin, that’s where!

And while Austin might not necessarily have the only Trail of Lights drawing thousands of lookie-loos to its most well-known park every year, surely we have the most charming and (going out on a limb here) off-beat.

It is in that civic spirit of the season that we offer these vintage photos of Austin holidays (okay, Christmas—the only winter holiday of yore most publicly available photos capture) past. We think you’ll find them entertaining and, in the case of many (we have to say it), a little weird. Enjoy!

[All photographs courtesy of the Austin History Center’s online collection.]