San Antonio events fill the calendar with fun and a chance to gather with others. This city, known for its year-round pleasant weather and vibrant neighborhoods, is the perfect setting for a festival.
One of the most famous events on the San Antonio events calendar, Fiesta celebrates diverse cultures and the region's rich heritage. This Texas-sized celebration brings more than 3.5 million people to town—and the entire event is run by volunteers. For eleven days every April, the San Antonio Fiesta features more than 100 events, many of which are free. The biggest of San Antonio festivals has roots that stretch back to 1891 when some local ladies rode horse-and-carriages in front of the Alamo, tossing flowers along the way. This tradition has morphed into the Battle of Flowers, a parade that occupies the same arena as Pasadena's Tournament of Roses Parade.
During the Fiesta, you'll find an array of fun events before and after the Battle of Flowers. A Night in Old San Antonio has grown into one of the best attended of Fiesta San Antonio events. Affectionately called NIOSA (knee-oh-sa), this four-night celebration is put on by 16,000 eager volunteers. As you wander through La Villita National Historic District, you'll have the chance to taste some wonderful food and drink, all while admiring the architecture of the historic neighborhood alongside the San Antonio River. Over its more than 60 years of history, NIOSA has become one of the most popular entries on the San Antonio events calendar. Alongside of NIOSA, you'll also find art fairs, a pooch parade, and other fun things to enjoy during Fiesta.
While Fiesta is the best-known of all the San Antonio festivals, it's not your only option. If you're planning vacations for other times of the year, chances are good you'll find a festival to add to your plans. In May, restaurants and culinary sites throughout the city and the surrounding Texas Hill Country celebrate the New World Wine & Food Festival. Many of the local wineries bring out their best vintages, and festival events will help you learn more about world of wine.
New World is one of two San Antonio events that coincide with major golf tournaments. The PGA Valero Texas Open pairs golf with fine wine and fine dining, while the September's Las Americas Golf Tournament brings championship golfers from around Texas and Mexico. Golf is a year-round pursuit in San Antonio, so you'll have the chance to play the same courses even when these San Antonio events have become a memory.
In the fall, musicians from near and far make their way to the city to perform in music festivals on the San Antonio events calendar. The San Antonio Accordion Festival, which has been going strong since starting in 2000, celebrates the area's German roots. For this fun-filled event, musicians from around the world bring their skills to the La Villita Historic Arts Village every October. A few weeks before, crowds gather in Travis Park to enjoy Jazz'SAlive. Even the marathon is a chance to play music, as bands and crowds gather to cheer on the runners in the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in November. A fun run is held for families at Brackenridge Park, which is also home of the San Antonio Zoo and a historic golf course.
During the holidays, the Riverwalk, the Alamo, and other historic sites throughout town light up the night with with the Fiesta de las Luminarias. Carrying on an Old World tradition, this most elegant of San Antonio festivals takes place on weekends throughout December. Carolers, river cruises, and special shopping opportunities are hallmarks of this celebration. During the last night of the festival, La Gran Posada, a procession led by candlelight, begins near San Fernando Cathedral and winds its way through the city before returning to the grand cathedral, providing a fitting end to the celebration.
Image: Al Rendon/SACVB