From musicals and films to art shows and displays, here, we give you a few ways to celebrate the city’s milestone anniversary from summertime into winter.

Since its official founding in 1718, the city has had quite the run, blending many cultures in its 300 years to become the bustling cultural hub we know today. This year, the city is going above and beyond to celebrate of its 300th anniversary. Themed film screenings, concerts, galleries, and food festivals all capture small parts of the larger whole of the city, celebrating each big little detail that makes San Antonio the city it is today. Here we give you just a few of the endless ways you can dive into the roaring tricentennial celebration.



With more than 10 performing arts theaters located across the city, San Antonio is always awash with plays, concerts, stand-up comedy, and improv – but only two of these venues are featured partners of the tricentennial. Both the Public Theater and the Josephine Theatre have deep roots in the history of the city. The Public has existed in some way since 1912, while the Josephine became an independent favorite from its conception in 1947. With both theaters sitting just a few miles from Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, here’s a couple of shows to catch.

Music for the Soul
July 20–August 5, August 17–26, the Josephine Theatre

The Josephine Theatre becomes home to the work of Ray Charles, Etta James, and Texas native Stevie Ray Vaughan. This show is more than just a series of covers, though. It seeks out the way that music has developed over the past 200 years and how artists like the Blind Boys of Alabama and Marvin Gaye were equally influenced by the blues and gospel. More than 60 performers come together to entertain crowds of nearly 400 in this historic venue, which still features many of its original Art Moderne touches like the giant neon sign and a sleek ticket booth.

Ebanazio: Winter’s Tale of Old San Antonio
November 1–30, Northwest Vista College

This story is a clever reimagining of Dicken’s classic A Christmas Carol – the story is set in San Antonio in 1731. The recent Day of the Dead celebration allows ancestors to visit Ebanazio to change his heart about the newly arrived Canary Islanders before Christmas. The play was written by Jump-Start Performance Company, a local company dedicated to producing and performing previously unseen works.


Art All Around

Since the start of spring, two- and three-dimensional art has been donated, purchased, and lent to the city to celebrate this milestone anniversary. The works, created by local artists, will all be on display at the Convention Center until the end of the year, and sculptures have been placed around the city. Some crowd favorites have been the “selfie-friendly” Wings of Mexico in Hemisfair, created by artist Jorge Marin and gifted to San Antonio by Mexico City, as well as the six-story Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada aluminum statue of a woman’s face looking south from the San Pedro Creek Plaza, just a 13-minute walk from Hotel Valencia Riverwalk.

Jump into the San Antonio Tricentennial Celebration

River Walk Artisan Shows
September 1–4 October 13–15, December 15–17, the River Walk Extension

Ten times a year, more than 40 artisans set up along the River Walk – just steps from Hotel Valencia Riverwalk – to showcase and sell their paintings, pottery, jewelry, woodworking, and more. These shows display the best artists, crafters, and artisans Texas has to offer while also showing off the beauty of the River Walk. 

Ford Fiesta de las Luminarias
Every weekend from November 30–December 16, the River Walk Extension

More than 3,000 luminarias light up the River Walk, just steps from Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, throughout the month of December. Luminarias are a Mexican tradition where candles are placed in plain white bags. The outcome is a romantic and dreamy atmosphere perfect for strolling along the river and enjoying the holiday boat carolers.


Jump into the San Antonio Tricentennial Celebration


For the tricentennial, the city is opening its doors to anyone who wants to film an angle of the storied city. This initiative waived the need for filming permits for over 250 locations and helped fund projects created by San Antonio residents via the Local Filmmaker Grant. Here are some of the ways to see San Antonio through the lens.

Hidden Histories
First Monday of the Month through September, URBAN-15 Studio

URBAN-15’s series on the untold stories of San Antonio is a monthly video series that explores the people and places around the city that have been overlooked. July’s film, Hidden Houses: Neighborhood Histories of Removal and Resistance, took a close look at urban renewal and the people who have fought to keep their homes and neighborhoods intact. August takes a more whimsical twist with Visit San Antonio? Close Encounters in Central Texas, which documents the history of UFO sightings and abductions in South and Central Texas.


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