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Published on Thursday, October 17, 2019

Diwali San Antonio Festival of Lights Celebrates San Antonio’s Indian Community

San Antonio’s Diwali is the largest event of its kind in the U.S. drawing over 15,000 attendees a year

CONTACT: Erin Nichols, (210) 207-3996
Kausi Subramaniam, (210) 273-2200

SAN ANTONIO (Oct. 17, 2019) – San Antonio’s annual celebration of Indian culture, Diwali San Antonio, returns to Hemisfair Park on Saturday, November 2, 2019 from 5:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. This year marks the eleventh anniversary of Diwali San Antonio – one of the city’s most popular annual events.

Diwali is co-hosted by the City of San Antonio and Anuja SA, a local nonprofit organization that seeks to promote the Sister City alliance between San Antonio and Chennai, India. The event features traditional Indian dance, food booths, entertainment, and arts & crafts vendors. Some of the highlights of this free, family-friendly celebration include the releasing of lighted candles, known as diyas, onto the water, a river barge parade showcasing the diverse states of India, and a dazzling firework display to light up the night.

Additionally, Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, Arun Gandhi, will visit San Antonio and attend the festival as a guest of honor. His book, “The Gift of Anger” will be available for sale and signing.

“The continued popularity of events such as Diwali San Antonio serve to highlight the rich diversity within our city,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg. “We are grateful to Anuja San Antonio for providing residents with the opportunity to celebrate this traditional Indian festival every year.”

Akin to New Year’s Eve, Diwali is the biggest and brightest festival in India – celebrating the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance. Since its inception in 2009, the San Antonio spin-off has grown to become the largest city-sanctioned Diwali in the United States, attracting tens of thousands attendees to the downtown area annually.

“Diwali San Antonio is the largest and most popular cultural event of our Sister City program,” said Sherry Dowlatshahi, chief diplomacy & protocol officer and head of the City of San Antonio’s International Relations Office. “Our office is thrilled to see the growing number of attendees each year and the excitement that this celebration has garnered locally.”

Anuja SA was created shortly after the signing of the Sister City agreement between San Antonio and Chennai in 2008. With support from the City of San Antonio’s International Relations Office, the organization remains dedicated to maintaining the relationship between the two cities through various outreach activities and exchanges.

“Last year's Diwali SA Festival of Lights entertained an audience of over 30,000 people from San Antonio and across the state of Texas, as well as from other parts of the US. Anjua SA expects to keep that same momentum this year,” said Ms. Kausi Subramaniam, president of Anuja SA. “This year’s festival will be at Hemisfair with the parade viewing and Diya, the floating candle ceremony, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center grotto. We are ready and looking forward to welcoming even more people to come out and share our food, try our clothing, and celebrate with us!”

For more information on Diwali San Antonio, visit


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