The last year has been amazing for San Antonio! 300 years and we are thriving! 2019 brought us so many great events!
We had a blast at the ones that roll around annually, and we embraced some great new ones in the city that are sure to become traditions. As we welcome a new decade, we have so many things to look forward to. The roaring ’20s are back, and we want to share our top events for 2020.
The largest and most well known of all San Antonio celebrations, Fiesta lasts almost two weeks and has sparked events and celebrations all over the city. We cram a lot of traditions into this short period of time!
Like with most holidays and big celebrations, we take advantage of our beautiful riverwalk and throw a parade of course–and that’s just the first of 3 major parades! The Fiesta Flambeau Parade is the largest illuminated parade in the country, and if you’ve never experienced the Battle of the Flowers, you don’t know what you’re missing! This year will be the 129th annual Battle of the flowers parade and over half a million people are expected to watch as the meticulously decorated floats glide on by.
St. Mary’s University is bringing back Oyster Bake for the 105th year! They go through 100,000 oysters, and over 32,000 chicken on a stick in just two days! If you ever start to feel guilty about how much fried, delicious tidbits you are consuming during those couple of days, just remember…it all benefits the students at SMU. We’re just supporting higher education, right?
We know we would lose all credibility if we didn’t mention NIOSA! This celebration runs for 4 nights of Fiesta where San Antonians can get their fill of meats-on-sticks! Almost 250 booths wait eagerly to serve you and your friends.
With over 300 years of history, SA has a lot of great things to preserve, and thanks to you, NIOSA is the largest historic preservation fundraiser in the country.
We have so much to be proud of in San Antonio, and Fiesta is our chance to show off and come together to support our neighbors and our history. If you’re looking for quintessential San Antonio, this is it.
San Antonio (Citywide)
This one is just around the corner! Every year, the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo draws in thousands of visitors and some of the country’s biggest performers.
This PRCA rodeo also has some of the largest prizes in the country, so prepare to see some amazing athletes of both the two-legged and four-legged variety.
This event lasts almost 3 weeks and has something to offer almost everyone. There are so many great vendors to shop, great fair foods to try, and Texas exhibits to wander in and out of. There are art contests on display, kids showing off all the work they put into their 4H and FFA projects, a fantastic carnival, and of course live music.
There are obviously the big headliners every day after the rodeo, but there are also artists playing all over the grounds. Even if you don’t make it to the actual rodeo, you will still find so much happening on the grounds, that alone is worth a trip out with the family.
If you thought the rodeo was all boots and mud, think again!
AT&T Center, San Antonio
We give credit to our city’s rich cultural heritage for the success of this event every year. San Antonio knows how to celebrate the Day of the Dead!
Festivals and events in honor of those we have lost have popped up all across San Antonio in recent years (and we love them all!), but our favorite is still the celebration at La Villita.
The vibrant colors and friendly locals make this tradition well worth attending year after year. Pay your respects to loved ones lost at the magnificent ofrendas created by locals and cheer on the giant skeletons as they dance down the streets during the procession, and float down the river during the parade.
🗓 TBA- Official holiday is Nov 1
📍 La Villita, San Antonio
The Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival has been voted SA’s second-best festival (behind Fiesta of course). Artists travel from all over Texas and the world to display their works and entertain the crowds. You can expect everything from dancing to aerial acrobats, and some completely unique exhibits you never would have dreamed of.
This event runs through the night, and the way the visually stunning displays contrast the deep night sky truly makes it different than other art festivals you may have been to. Honestly, no other event gives us FOMO quite like Luminaria.
NOV 9 & 10
Hemisfair/ Mission San Jose, San Antonio
We know we are just wrapping this one up from 2019, but we can’t wait until it’s back! The Ford Holiday River Parade is one of the best in the nation and always draws in thousands of people to kick off the holiday season.
Last year, there were 29 floats that glided down the river spreading cheer to onlookers, and it is only expected to get bigger and better with every year.
The Riverwalk is one of the most iconic places in the city, and it only gets more beautiful when the banks are lined with millions of twinkling lights and you can enjoy a meal, beverage, or a riverboat ride while taking in the seasonal beauty and listening to carolers floating by.
🗓 NOV 27
📍 The Riverwalk, San Antonio
More Things to Do in San Antonio
It really is hard to narrow down our top events! San Antonio knows how to have a good time!
If you’re looking for more events to bridge the gap in between our highlights, you can always check the UNATION app! We’ve been building up our list of things to do in 2020 already, and we can’t wait to see what else SA comes up with.
Here’s to another great year in this amazing city!