An Austin holiday tradition undergoes a transformation

The Mozart's Light Show starts November 17 at Mozart's Coffee Roasters on Lake Austin Blvd. (Photo: Bettie Cross)

Austin's Queen of Christmas Lights is about to flip on the Mozart's Light Show. Katrine Formby is the creative force behind what’s become one of Austin’s biggest holiday traditions. The free light and music show at Mozart's Coffee Roasters on Lake Austin is a must-see for many families, but this year the tradition is undergoing a transformation.

“It's hard to do too many lights,” said Formby, a partner at Mozart’s Coffee Roasters at 3825 Lake Austin Blvd.

Formby will tell you that when it comes to Christmas lights the more, the merrier. She also thinks it’s almost impossible to go too big or too bold.

“Bigger is usually wowier,” joked Formby as she sat on the deck at Mozart’s. “Something small isn't going to be as exciting as something humongous.”

Which is how a lighted carriage ended up being shipped all the way from Greece to the deck of Mozart's Coffee Roasters.

“I think it's about 25 feet tall,” said Formby. “I think this is the first one in the United States.”

A lot of firsts are being strung along Lake Austin for the 8th annual Mozart's Light Show.

“We had 12 guitars built out of Christmas lights. A huge mug that is six foot by six foot,” said Formby.

In addition, Mozart's is building a tech wall and displays that will also be interactive photo-ops.

“We're calling it lights, camera and interaction,” said Stacey Leonard, a partner at Mozart’s.

This year's reimagining extends to the show schedule. For seven years the format was one big show at the top of each hour. But as the show grew so did the crowds. To give everyone more space, this year there will be more shows at more times.

“Now nobody has to get here at the top of the hour. So everybody can relax and they can just come whenever and there's always something going on,” said Formby.

The new shows debut on November 17th. All anyone knows is that there will be a million lights plugged into almost a thousand extension cords. It's all wired to electrify an Austin tradition.

“Let's mix it up a little bit and surprise people,” said Formby.

The Mozart’s Light Show begins on November 17.

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