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Published on Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Community Invited to Celebrate San Antonio’s History During Commemorative Week

Six days of family-friendly events, activities and special performances will celebrate the Tricentennial


Laura Mayes, San Antonio Tricentennial


Michael Vela, San Antonio Tricentennial


SAN ANTONIO (April 24, 2018)— The Tricentennial Commission has planned six days of family-friendly events to commemorate San Antonio’s history and celebrate with the community.  Commemorative Week is slated for May 1 – 6, 2018, honoring the anniversary of the founding of Mission San Antonio de Valero on May 1, 1718, later known as The Alamo, and four days later, the creation of the Presidio San Antonio de Bexár to protect the new mission.

Each day of Commemorative Week follows an overarching theme.  Events throughout each day will highlight the theme through special programming, events and activities.

“I am proud to see San Antonio come together to celebrate our wonderfully diverse history and our Tricentennial year during Commemorative Week.  As we reflect on our history, we will celebrate triumphs, learn from the past and come together to showcase San Antonio on a world stage.  Commemorative Week is an opportunity for all to enjoy and build the foundation for San Antonio’s next 300 years,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg.

Six days of programming, with nearly 150 events, span themes of reflection, history and education, commemoration of San Antonio’s founding, arts and culture, creating a lasting legacy and honoring our military.  The events are free and open to the public, unless specifically noted below.

TUESDAY, MAY 1ST - DAY OF REFLECTION, Sponsored by Catholic Life Insurance

The day of reflection commemorates the anniversary of the establishment of the original Mission San Antonio de Valero and will be led by the faith-based community. The event will begin at 6:00 p.m. in Main Plaza and is free and open to the public. 

  • 6:00 p.m. – Musical and dance performances showcasing the Sounds of Faith in San Antonio and 300 Prayers Art Installation
  • 7:00 p.m.– Program honoring San Antonio’s native population, special lighting of Commemorative Flame, which will remain in Main Plaza for the duration of Commemorative Week and interfaith celebration featuring more than 20 religious groups.
  • 8:15 p.m.– Candlelight Vigil in Main Plaza
  • 9:30 p.m. – SAGA light display at San Fernando Cathedral 

WEDNESDAY, MAY 2ND – HISTORY & EDUCATION DAY, Sponsored by H-E-B and Wells Fargo

History and education day is an opportunity for all residents, especially children, to be immersed in 300 years of history and begin to build a legacy for the next generation.

  • VIA Mobile Learning Lab Unveiling at the Witte Museum – VIA Transit, the official transportation sponsor of the Tricentennial, will showcase history and education on the road with a special traveling exhibit, in partnership with the Witte Museum’s Confluence and Culture: 300 Years of San Antonio History.
  • 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Tricentennial in the Classroom – Elementary school students will be immersed in the Tricentennial with special commemorative lesson plans showcasing our 300 years of history.
  • Kickoff of the Tree-centennial – 300 trees will be planted at nine local colleges and universities. Each campus will plant a ceremonial tree to commemorate the week, with the balance planted in the fall.
  • FREE STEM Activities – All 29 San Antonio Public Library branches will offer free STEM activities from 2:30 – 5:30 p.m. 

THURSDAY, MAY 3RD – FOUNDERS’ DAY, sponsored by Port San Antonio and CPS Energy

Founders’ day includes a city-wide celebration of history for all to enjoy with free, family-friendly activities.

  • San Antonio’s Eastside Tricentennial Celebration at St. Philip’s College
    • Time: 5:30 – 9:00 p.m.
    • Location: St Philip’s College, SPC Watson Fine Arts Center, 1801 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr
    • The celebration will include a keynote speech from Dr. Ruth Simmons, President of Prairie View A&M University. She is the first African American woman to serve as the president of an Ivy League University. The event will also feature a play starring Professor Antoinette Winstead as Artemisia Bowden, founder of St. Phillip’s College, with a prelude from the San Antonio Symphony. A curated exhibit featuring 22 local African American artists, curated by Dr. Scott Sherer. The event will also showcase history with the Bexar County Buffalo Soldiers Association and the Sam Houston High School Drumline.
  • Founders’ Day Art & Culture Event at Texas A&M University San Antonio
    • Time: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
    • Location: Texas A&M University San Antonio, Central Academic Building Courtyard
    • As part of the Tricentennial Founders’ Day Celebration, Texas A&M University-San Antonio (A&M-SA) will represent the South Side of San Antonio with an Art & Culture Event. The event will commence with a Native American recitation followed by live performances by local Mariachi, Ballet Folklorico and Conjunto groups. The vibrancy of Native American art will be on display showcasing local artist and local architect, Ricky Reyes. Members of the Asociación de Charros San Antonio will also participate in the event, bringing cultural diversity and family-fun to all attendees.
  • Best in the West at Our Lady of the Lake University
    • Time: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
    • Location: Our Lady of the Lake University, Main Building
    • The community is invited to become part of this story through music, art, and the spoken word, as well as participate in OLLU’s ongoing oral history project, capturing voices of the Westside.  Main stage will feature the Westside Horns, a blessing by the Sisters of Divine Providence, music of the Westside by DJ Chuco Garcia, and poetry by San Antonio’s newest poet laureate and OLLU professor, Octavio Quintanilla, Ph.D.
  • Historic Futures: A Taste of Folklife Festival at the University of Texas at San Antonio
    • Time: 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
    • Location: University of Texas at San Antonio, The Paseo on Main Campus
    • The University of Texas at San Antonio, in conjunction with SA300, will present, “Historic Futures – A Taste of Folklife Festival” on Thursday, May the 3rd, 2018, 5:30 to 8:30pm, in the Paseo at the UTSA Main Campus. Join us as we celebrate Founders’ Day and showcase the Lone Star State’s diversity and rich heritage through a wide variety of ethnic food, music, dance, and a fireworks show at dusk. Musical performances by Conjunto Puro Corazon, Emond Karam, and Bill Smallwood Band. And more performances by Ile Bahia Capoeira Luanda, Fiesta City Chorus, Fire on the Mountain Cloggers, San Antonio Pipes and Drums, American Indians, Halau Hawaiian Hula, and Lebanese Folk Dancers.
  • Happy Birthday, San Antonio at Morgan’s Wonderland
    • Time: 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
    • Location: Morgan’s Wonderland, 5223 David Edwards Dr. (Free Admission)
    • Special celebrations of San Antonio’s birthday will include the Hartman’s House Puppet Show “Happy Birthday, San Antonio!”, appearances by the Wonder Squad Super Heroes, and rides and concessions.
  • Founders’ Day Gala at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
    • The event will host delegations from eight of eleven of San Antonio’s sister cities and will tell the story of San Antonio’s vibrant history. The event will feature special guest actor Nicholas Gonzalez of the hit shows The Good Doctor, How to Get Away with Murder and Narcos. San Antonio’s own “El Charro de Oro” Sebastien De La Cruz will showcase his talent. This is a ticketed event.
    • Tickets can be purchased at: 

FRIDAY, MAY 4TH – ARTS FOR ALL DAY, sponsored by Bank of America, Landry’s and Zachry Foundation

Programming on this day will make art and culture accessible to all residents and visitors.

  • 8:30 a.m.  Dedication of new public art at Hemisfair
    • Alas de la México by renowned Mexican artist Jorge Marín
  • 9:30 a.m. Sister Cities Musical Gift at the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures:
    • The City of Gwangju [GWAHNG-JOO], Korea will send a 10-member musical group. The group is comprised of performers of the traditional Korean musical style ‘Pansori’ [Pahn-Soh-Ree] and ‘Samul Nori’ [Sah-Mul-No-Ri]. The performance will include drumming, bamboo flutes, Korean zither and dancing.
  • 10:30–11:30 a.m. Public Art Walking Tour
    • Confluence: Art at the Convention Center
  • 3:00–6:00 p.m.  Free admission to local galleries and exhibits
    • Art Pace, Blue Star Contemporary, Briscoe Western Art Museum*, Carver Community Cultural Center, The DoSeum, Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, Linda Pace Foundation, McNay Art Museum, Mexican Cultural Institute San Antonio, San Antonio Art League and Museum, San Antonio Museum of Art*, Say Si, Southwest School of Art and the Witte Museum (*Free admission all day during regular museum hours)
  • 3:00–6:00 p.m.  SATX Social Ride Gallery Bike Tour
  • 3:00–6:00 p.m.  Musical Concert at the Carver Community Cultural Center 
    • Featuring special performances, presented in partnership with Musical Bridges Around the World featuring International Tchaikovsky Competition Bronze medalist cellist Boris Andrianov and guitarist Dmitry Illarionov, the winner of 15 international guitar competitions. Local performers will include TBow Gonzalez and Ile Bahia de San Antonio – a capoeira troupe led by Michael Pleasants
  • 3:00–4:00 p.m.  Walking Tour, “Confluence: Art at the Convention Center”
  • 4:00–7:00 p.m.  Dance in the Park at Travis Park
    • Led and organized by Quenedit Dance Theatre of San Antonio, and as part of the SA Dance Fest 2018 happening May 3-6, 2018 a diverse range of styles will be featured and shared with the public. Performances will feature winners from SA Dance Fest competitions and highlight dance styles such as contemporary, modern, jazz, hip hop, ballet and Mexican Folklore.
    • Participating dance companies include: Quenedit Dance Theatre; Jacqueline Courchene; McBride Dance; Faisan Folklorico; Juan Pablo Robles Gil; Nina Padilla; and visiting guests from Escuela Superior de Musica y Danza de Monterrey.
  • 6:00–8:00 p.m.  Conjunto Heritage Taller Performance
    • A community-based organization dedicated to the preservation, instruction and perpetuation of traditional Conjunto music. Students will perform a free performance at 1443 S. St. Mary’s St.
  • 9:30 p.m.  Bexar County Fireworks along the Mission Reach 


  • 12:00pm – 9:00pm
    • Legacy Day will officially open Phase One of the San Pedro Creek Project to the public. The project is a partnership between Bexar County, the City of San Antonio and the San Antonio River Authority. The project will transform San Pedro Creek from a drainage ditch to a new linear park that features public art, amenities for the entire family and drainage improvements throughout downtown.


Military City, U.S.A. ™ will salute its military history with a weekend of programming at Fort Sam Houston. The events are made possible by USAA, the official military sponsor of the Tricentennial.

The base will open to the public for the first time since 9/11 for a free festival that includes performances, premier demonstrations, historic tours and a fireworks show. Sunday’s event will feature a special performance by country music superstar Aaron Watson. 


MAY 5:

  • 8:00-10:00 a.m. – Combat Medic Run
  • 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. – Free festival for the whole family on Parade Field #2; Hourly historic tours start at 12PM and go till 5PM with last one starting at 4PM.
  • 4:00-5:45 p.m. – Military Demonstration Show featuring:
    • Black Daggers, U.S. Air Force Special Ops Parachute Team
    • Navy Corpsman & Working Dog Demonstration
    • Army Fife and Drum Corps
    • 1st Cavalry Division Cavalry re-enactment demonstration
    • United States Marine Corps Silent Drill
    • Air Force Flyover

MAY 6:

  • 1:00 – 9:30 p.m. – Free festival for the whole family, including special performances and historic tours and including:
    • Polo Match
    • Joint Forces Retreat ceremony
    • Joint Color Guard
    • Air Force Flyover
    • Navy Corpsman & Working Dog Demonstration
    • Army Fife & Drum Corps
    • 1st Cavalry Division charge re-enactment


  • Siclovia will bring their family-friendly fitness event to the Southside with a special Tricentennial edition of the celebration. Come enjoy this special, free Síclovía event on May 6th, from 11:00AM till 3:00 PM.
  • The YMCA of Greater San Antonio’s 14th Síclovía will travel from Roosevelt Park to the Harvey E. Najim Family YMCA – next to Mission Marquee Plaza.

About the San Antonio Tricentennial:

In 2018, San Antonio marks its 300th anniversary: a rare, historic event that will be remembered for generations. The Tricentennial Commission, a public nonprofit, leads the way in celebrating and commemorating our 300 years by developing a year of educational, artistic, and entertaining events. As San Antonio takes the world’s stage, key initiatives include: History & Education, Arts & Culture, Community Service, and Commemorative Week. The yearlong commemoration will celebrate our memorable past and propel us into our equally remarkable future. You are invited to join our community and be a part of the next chapter in San Antonio’s legendary story. Visit for more information.

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