Follow up Fiesta with this new week-long festival of free family fun
Consider this the post-Fiesta fiesta. On April 24, the City of San Antonio's Tricentennial Commission released the official schedule for the upcoming Commemorative Week, and it's jam-packed with festive events, family-friendly activities, and community-led celebrations.
Running May 1-5, the week commemorates two extraordinary events in the shaping of San Antonio's — not to mention Texas' — robust history. During Commemorative Week, the city marks the anniversary of the founding of the Mission San Antonio de Valero (aka the Alamo) on May 1, 1718. Four days later, a celebration honoring the creation of the Presidio San Antonio de Bexár on May 5, 1718, kicks off at Fort Sam Houston.
"As we reflect on our history, we will celebrate triumphs, learn from the past, and come together to showcase San Antonio on a world stage. Commemorative Week is an opportunity for all to enjoy and build the foundation for San Antonio’s next 300 years,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg in a release.
Each day of Commemorative Weekhas a different theme and is led by a different group within the community. The week begins on May 1 with a "Day of Reflection" led by San Antonio's various faith-based organizations. The day will culminate with a free event on the main plaza of the Alamo. Open to the public, this family-friendly event will feature musical and dance performances followed by the lighting of a commemorative flame in honor of San Antonio's native populations.
"History & Education Day" takes place on May 2 and features the unveiling of the new VIA Mobile Learning Lab at the Witte Museum. While local elementary school students will partake in classroom activities, other youngsters can take part in free STEM classes at all 29 branches of the San Antonio Public Library. Meanwhile, local college students will plant 300 trees in honor of the Tricentennial.
A precursor to what is sure to be a wild weekend, May 3 is "Founders' Day," featuring city-wide activities, family-friendly events, and festive affairs for all to enjoy. Though countless celebrations are scheduled around the city, there are six official events being touted by the Tricentennial Commission, which can be found here.
Highlights include remarks from Dr. Ruth Simmons, the first African-American woman to serve as president of an Ivy League university; performances by local Mariachi, Ballet Folklorico, and Conjunto groups; a special Native American art exhibition and celebration; and a fascinating oral history project in which all San Antonians are invited to participate.
And it couldn't be an Alamo City celebration without art, right? May 4 is "Arts for All Day," which begins with a public art dedication at Hemisfair and ends with the Bexar County Fireworks along the Mission Reach. In between, enjoy free admission to SA museums and galleries, a social bike ride tour through art hot spots, and dance performances from the city's best troupes.
The weekend, running May 5-6, is the grand finale. "Legacy Day" runs on Saturday and will officially unveil the first phase of the highly anticipated San Pedro Creek Project to the public. On May 6, San Antonio honors its robust military community with "Military Appreciation Day." For the first time since 9/11, Fort Sam Houston will open to the public for a "free festival for the whole family." Enjoy historic tours, military displays, musical performances, and a special Air Force flyover, among other highlights.