San Antonio’s picturesque autumn weather is the perfect backdrop for celebrating the city’s many arts and culture events and offerings. Just a sample of events for this season include:
Día de los Muertos Events
Día de los Muertos (Muertos Fest) at Hemisfair (October 23 – 24) is a free, two-day festival which merges traditional elements with a multi-stage lineup of live bands, dance and poetry performances.
Walking Tour of Cemetery #3 (October 29) is hosted by the San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum to honor the lives of local African American historic icons buried there.
Day of the Dead San Antonio (October 29 – 30) is a two-part celebration with a River Parade that includes more than 20 decorated floats and entertainment barges and a Culinary Ofrenda, a new food festival that takes place La Villita’s Juarez Plaza honoring San Antonio’s UNESCO City of Gastronomy designation.
4th Annual Día de los Muertos: Celebrando las Misiones (October 30), hosted by the City of San Antonio World Heritage Office, begins at Mission San José’s Granary with altars on display, educational workshops and blessing. A dance and drum procession will then lead the audience to Mission Marquee Plaza where all can contribute to the community altar.
Día de los Muertos at Historic Market Square (October 30 – 31) includes free children’s activities, altars to honor the departed and a lively procession.
Outdoor Community Altar/ Ofrenda Exhibit (November 1 – 8) by the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center is a community initiative to encourage residents of the Westside to build altars in their front yards. The Esperanza will also host a large altar near the Rinconcito de Esperanza to honor community members, including victims of Covid-19.
La Vida de los Muertos (November 2), presented by the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, is held on the Guadalupe campus and features performances by the Guadalupe Dance Company, Guadalupe Dance Academy and Mariachi Guadalupe.
Altares y Ofrendas Dia de los Muertos Exhibit and Celebration (November 2 –8) has been hosted by Centro Cultural Aztlan since 1977. As part of its Cultural Expressions series, the exhibit will be both in-person and virtual, illustrating the artistic, cultural and religious facets of popular traditions where death is seen as a natural part of life and this reality is approached with humor and a celebration of life.
SAY Sí’s Muertitos Fest 2021: Artes Curativas (November 2) pays homage to native and indigenous traditions of healing and holds space for self in connection with nature. This year’s event will feature artisan vendors, lively entertainment, educational workshops, an exhibition of student and visiting artists and more.
Carnaval de los Muertos: (November 2) is URBAN-15 Group’s special performance at Elmendorf Lake Park that features a magical spectacle of motion, imagery, sound and color. Dancers in their costumes of embedded lights and with glowing banners personalized with photos, proceed in an illuminated procession that evokes floating spirits passing through San Antonio.
Diwali SA Festival of Lights (November 6) is an extravaganza of the culture, tastes, arts and music of India and will be spread out over the footprint Hemisfair. Co-hosted by the City of San Antonio and Anuja SA, Diwali celebrates the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance. The event also commemorates San Antonio’s Sister City relationship with Chennai, India.
Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival (November 13) features performances and installations by more than 75 Texas artists and groups whose stories and styles transform Hemisfair and the River Walk into a place of dreams and imagination for one festive night. Artworks featured will cover all genres and types including music, fine arts, film, digital art, dance, theatre, poetry, lasers, lights and large-scale art installations.
27th Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza (December 4) celebrates the history and cultural impact of mariachi music with workshops and competitions with participants from across the nation. It wraps up with a performance by the world-renowned Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán at the Lila Cockrell Theatre.
Josiah Media Festival (December 16 – 19), one of the longest-running youth film festivals in the country. Organized by URBAN-15 Group, the festival showcases films by youth 21 years old and younger in honor of Josiah Miles Neundorf, a talented young film and media artist from San Antonio, Texas who passed away in 2006 as a result of osteosarcoma.
All event information should be reconfirmed with event organizers as social distancing precautions may impact details and schedules. For a full list of arts and culture events, visit www.SanAntonio.gov/Arts and or follow the Department of Arts & Culture on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @GetCreativeSA.