ITS BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE
San Antonio flips the switch for tickets to annual Ford Holiday River Parade
Whether swatting pterodactyl-sized mosquitos or figuring out which outfit best says heat bubble chic, most San Antonians are probably not thinking much about the holidays. But soon enough, everyone will be trading in well-worn chanclas for fuzzy slippers — or at least mistletoe adorned Crocs.
Even in Tatooine, it’s fine to entertain a few summer delusions, so crank up the AC and bundle up. Tickets are now on sale for the Ford Holiday River Parade and Lighting Ceremony. November 24 will mark the 42nd edition of the annual tradition kicking off the holiday season downtown.
With 28 illuminated floats and more than 100,000 lights, the dazzling display will set sail at 6 pm at the Tobin Center. This year’s theme will be Holiday Stories, which might inspire some controversy if one of the floating spectacles is a scale reproduction of Nakatomi Plaza. (For the record, we do think John McClane’s heartwarming exploits in Die Hard qualifies as a Christmas tale.)
Tickets, ranging from $15-$40, guarantee seasonal revelers a seat, but several viewing areas are offered on a first-come, first-served basis free of charge. Bring a chair and a Thermos full of eggnog and camp out on the east side of the River Walk between Pecan Street and Richmond Avenue.
For a more immersive (read: boozier) experience, most of the River Walk’s restaurants also offer dining packages. Though none have released their packages at press time, spots like Biga on the Banks, Hotel Valencia, and the Thompson Hotel offered packages including prix-fixe meals, free Wi-Fi, and luxury accommodations in 2022.
Whatever one’s preferred viewing spot, the festivities will begin with the lighting of the River Walk at 7 pm, followed by the televised parade between 7-8 pm. Guests sitting at the Arneson River Theatre will be treated to a pre-show between 6-7 pm. The River Walk lights will dazzle visitors from sundown to sunrise until the weekend following New Year’s Day.