SAN ANTONIO -- To the untrained eye, the holiday season is
celebrated in San Antonio much like it is in many other cities
around the country: Carolers raise their voices in song, lights
adorn homes and businesses, and people exchange holiday greetings
with friends and strangers alike.
But San Antonio is one of the few cities in the country where
locals and visitors are treated to traditional celebrations
highlighting the city's multicultural heritage.
In this diverse city, it's not surprising for visitors to find
themselves eating German sausage and Tex-Mex tamales from the same
plate while listening to Handel's "Messiah" and mariachi bands at
an outdoor celebration.
of these traditions, the San Antonio River Walk will sparkle in the
glow of more than 100,000 holiday lights from Nov. 26 through New
After the switch is thrown Nov. 26, festively decorated floats
will wind along the river in one of the country's only nighttime
For visitors who can't get enough holiday lights, the University
of the Incarnate Word sets its grounds ablaze Nov. 20 with
three-quarters of a million Christmas lights strung across the
Meanwhile, on Dec. 4, the Fiesta de las Luminarias begins
illuminating the San Antonio River Walk with the glow of
candlelight from 2,500 traditional Mexican Christmas lanterns.
San Antonio visitors also have a variety of seasonal music
offerings from which to choose. The Austin Vocal Ensemble will join
the San Antonio Symphony in a performance of Handel's "Messiah"
Dec. 10 to 12 at the Empire Theater. Also, many of San Antonio's
greatest horn players will gather at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts
Center for the 17th annual Holiday Saxophones concert Dec. 11 and
Meanwhile, the popular King William Holiday Home Tour of
mansions built by the city's early German immigrants kicks off Dec.
4. Conducted in German will be "Die Deutsche Welhnachtsfeier," a
traditional Christmas candle service held at the Lutheran High
School on Dec. 12, featuring two German choral groups.
Sports fans can usher in the holidays Dec. 4 at the Big 12
football championship game and the annual Sylvania Alamo Bowl Dec.
Bazar Sabado, a bustling Saturday market brimming with fine
handcrafted folk art, textiles, pottery and jewelry from Latin
America, will be held on the grounds of the San Antonio Museum of
Art Dec. 11. Traditional foods and drinks also will be
New Year's Eve revelers can welcome 2000 at the Celebrate San
Antonio bash in the heart of downtown.
For a packet of San Antonio visitor information, call the San
Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau at (800) 447-3372.