Vivian's Corner
U.S. Areas, Cities, States
Foreign Cities
Foreign Countries
Adventure & Sports
About Us
Yearly Index
Contact Us
San Antonio, Texas

The City That Glows

San Antonio has been throwing a Christmas party for years. It gets bigger every winter. The town starts twinkling right after Thanksgiving and sparkles until the New Year. The pinnacle of the celebration is a candlelight procession, Las Posadas. The pageant takes place in early December on a Sunday at dusk along the famed Riverwalk, which is parallel to both sides of the San Antonio River. In 1966 San Antonio's Conservation Society began hosting costumed carolers who reenact the Holy Family's search for shelter, which ends in La Villita Plaza. The community has participated for over 200 years in merrymaking in the square, which includes music, pinatas, hot chocolate and bunuelas (Mexican cookies).

Other seasonal bright spots are a dazzling show "A Lone Star Christmas" at Fiesta Texas and "Holiday Light Magic" at Sea World where electric bulbs illuminate a mile and a half long road and depict Yuletide scenes, such as "The Twelve Days of Christmas." The San Antonio Museum of Art hosts "Bazaar Sabado" offering folk art and crafts, which were fashioned South of the Border. The San Antonio Symphony performs a "Christmas Serenade."

Barge on San Antonio river (Credit: Edwin Fancher)

Visitors who think that the city in all its gaiety has forgotten the meaning of Christmas need only visit the San Fernando Cathedral the Saturday evening before Las Posadas. "The Serenta to the Virgin" is such a popular event that many worshipers must listen to the service outside in the Main Plaza. On Sunday it is just as difficult to get into the church in Mission San Jose where mariachis and white-robed Matachine dancers are as much a part of the noon Mass as is prayer.

Now San Antonio's Convent ion and Visitors Bureau and Department of Arts and Cultural Affairs are extending the fun by publicizing its year-round attractions, which include a cultural bus that stops at 12 of the city's major museums and historic sites. To receive a free brochure "Art is Part of Our Heart," telephone 800-447-3372.

If you're looking for the best place to stay while visiting this special city, choose La Mansion del Rio. The hotel faces the Riverwalk and some of the rooms look out on the river. The architecture is mission-style and the decor is lively Mexican folk art. Candles and song sheets for Las Posadas are distributed in La Mansion's courtyard. To take a ride on the river, just cross the little bridge behind the hotel and wait for the barge.

La Mansion del Rio, 112 College Street, San Antonio, TX 78205. Tel. 210-226-0389, 800-531-7208. www.lamansion.com

Spring 1994