San Antonio Tri-Centennial Celebration Honors Communities And History
By Jonathan Spindel Original artwork by Franco Mondini-Ruiz
On New Year’s Eve 2017, San Antonio officially kicked off the highly anticipated celebrations for the city’s Tricentennial. Downtown San Antonio was taken over with majestic projections on buildings, dazzling lighting and festive decorations, concluding with a show-stopping fireworks show at midnight. Fast forward to as the days tick down to the three-hundredth anniversary of Presidio San Antonio de Bexar on May 5th, the city will host an array of exceptional events and activities, altogether a worthy addition to San Antonio’s legacy signature Fiesta celebrations in April.
Since its formation in 2015, the Tricentennial Commission has been planning a variety of community arts and cultural events with the help of local organizers. Community organizations and individuals will be closely involved in hosting an array of events, including public art unveilings, performances, and other activities to honor the city’s 300th anniversary. This is an opportunity to really highlight who San Antonio is as a community… those things that really make the city unique.
The festivities will be capped by a Commemorative Week celebration from May 1-6, each day honoring a different thematic element of San Antonio’s history…
On May 1, the day that Mission de San Antonio de Valero – the Alamo – was founded in 1718, a citywide celebration will highlight the diverse religious groups found across San Antonio, as congregations from all over the city will invite the public into their places of worship. After that, Mayor Ron Nirenberg will officiate the burying of the official Tricentennial Time Capsule.
On May 2, programs will focus on the history and educational aspect of the festivities. A San Antonio commemorative book, published in collaboration with Trinity University Press, will debut along with a curriculum for San Antonio’s young students to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the city’s history.
May 3 will be Founders Day, celebrating the founding figures of San Antonio as well as the city’s sister city relationships. In fact, the commission is planning a special gala and has invited the King and Queen of Spain to attend.
On Friday, May 4, arts and culture groups, including musicians, visual artists, performers, and others, will portray their interpretation of the essence of San Antonio and its artistic and cultural influence on its residents. The day will conclude with fireworks and a special concert at Hemisfair’s Civic Park, where a surprise A-list performer will take the stage in front of the Torch of Friendship.
May 5 will honor the contributions of the missions in San Antonio. Throughout the World Heritage Site, there will be five miles of musical entertainment, health and fitness activities, and tours culminating in fireworks over every Mission at night. Finally, May 6 will focus on the military and the city’s rich military history, with special honors to the residents and families who serve our country.
Stay tuned to learn more about upcoming events between now and the culminating Tricentennial celebrations. For more information, visit SanAntonio300.org