Tejano Culture and Music, San Antonio
New Year's celebrations took place along Market Street, the River Walk and throughout La Villita--a preserved village dating from 1731 and one of the first settlements. The outdoor Arneson River Theatre (pictured here) provides seating which extends from its lower rows on the River Walk to La Villita at its height.
We were entertained by a number of hispanic performers--the audience had the opportunity to dance to this lively music! There was no charge for this event.
As we enjoyed the performance and breathed in the holiday atmosphere, we didn't want to be anywhere else this New Year's night. While the entertainment continued, La Villita was the site of much activity--see next tip.
The restored village of La Vallita was filled with music! The Tejano performers, dancing in the square and a multitude of game booths kept us here for a good while. Festivities began at 6pm and continued after midnight.
The historic Fairmount Hotel (picture 2) was part of the scene--reminiscent of Mardi Gras, a number of costumed people tossed shiny bead necklaces to the crowd from its balcony.
After much coaxing from below, our three grandkids were fortunate to "snatch" some of the beads as they sailed through the air. They're proudly showing off their catch!
We discovered chicken fajitas and funnel cake at the food booths--an odd combination for a Tejano festival, but very tasty (picture 3)! After several hours at La Villita, we left for our hotel and prepared for the FIREWORKS!
One of the unique things about San Antonio is the wedding culture of the town. On several occasions, we ran into wedding parties getting their bridal pictures taken in various city locations. Obvious spots like the Riverwalk made sense, but then also several were in the various Missions around town getting their pictures made. At Mission San Jose, there was a group of photographers, with one bride taking various snapshots. Our tour guide later informed us that almost every weekend this particular cathedral inside the mission holds at least one wedding service.
San Antonio and Austin just up the road are the centers for Tejano music, a mixture of Mexican and American influences. On weekends Tejano bands play in Market Square.