San Antonio Holiday Traditions Spark Hope & Joy with Early Lighting of River Walk Lights
SAN ANTONIO (Nov. 19, 2020) – A new, four-million light drive-thru experience, two-thousand Mexican luminarias lining the River Walk, hundreds of thousands of lights nightly on the River Walk and millions across the city are just a few of the joyful ornaments on San Antonio’s 2020 holiday tree. Downtown’s beautifully decorated Travis Park will be home to the 50-foot H-E-B Blue Spruce Christmas Tree and socially distanced celebrations will welcome visitors looking for an inspiring light in their holiday in San Antonio.
Holiday hope abounds in San Antonio with heartwarming attractions for the entire family. The season kicks into full swing the week of Nov. 16 as the San Antonio River Walk fully lights up earlier than usual to bring early holiday magic in this unprecedented year. The first three weekends of December, the cultural Ford Fiesta de las Luminarias returns with more than 2,000 Luminarias lining the banks of the River Walk as singers from the Ford Holiday Boat Caroling float by on the river.
Around the city, visitors will find a variety of ways to get in the holiday spirit while enjoying the city’s warm winter climate:
- For the first time ever, illumi-Night: A Magical Drive-thru Experience will deck the grounds of the San Antonio Spurs’ home, The AT&T Center, with over 4 million twinkling lights, holiday card-worthy photo opportunities, tasty treats, 3D displays and more over the course of a one-mile drive-thru experience. The event will help support community-focused programs by Spurs Give, the nonprofit partner of Spurs Sports & Entertainment.
- For a wild winter wonderland, the San Antonio Zoo’s Whataburger Zoo Lights features spectacular animal-themed light displays including a 15-foot-tall illuminated giraffe. Light show afficionados dance will enjoy a show with a Latin-inspired twist at the Lakeside Light Show featuring pixel technology combined with a custom soundtrack composed of Latin Music. Guests can sip cocoa, take snow globe photos, roast s’mores, ride camels and more.
- Millions of twinkling lights at Six Flags Fiesta Texas set the stage for the park’s annual Holiday in the Park event where musical shows and socially distanced meet-and-greets with Santa Claus and Looney Toons characters combine with the thrills of exciting rides.
- Visitors will find the largest display of holiday lights in Texas at SeaWorld San Antonio’s Christmas Celebration, where sparkling lights create a magical atmosphere across 250 acres. The Elmo’s Christmas Wish show offers a chance to dance and sing with fuzzy friends while Merry Mariachis bring an authentic San Antonio sound to the park.
- The idyllic natural photo backdrop at San Antonio Botanical Garden also is offering a pair of holiday-themed virtual events – the cultural Ancient Art of the Tamal class (Dec. 2 & 9) and the fun-filled Cookies & Cocktails Extravaganza (Dec. 18).
- Natural Bridge Caverns is the only place to find “Spelunker Claus” and carols echoing in a cave 180-feet below ground. Christmas at the Caverns festivities also include 1/3-mile outdoor Trail of Lights, an outdoor holiday maze, Christmas campfires and live entertainment in a safe environment.
- The 13th annual La Tamalada at The Witte Museum will be a little different in 2020, billed as La Tamalada en su Casa: Virtual Tamalada. Experience is an intensive tamal-making workshop led by the museum’s experienced education team. Participants receive personalized attention, recipes, a history lesion and supplies and ingredients for their own future tamaladas. La Tamalada en su Casa will be hosted over a secure Zoom connection and include a Tamalada Witte Box of Wonders available for pickup from the museum the week of the event on December 12 or with shipping at an additional cost.
- On Dec. 13, Chabad Lubavitch of South Texas hosts the 23rd annual Chanukah on the River Walk as a virtual presentation live from the Arneson River Theater featuring a menorah lighting, live music by Yoni Z. Oh and a special surprise.
The priority on safety of the community and visitors is one of the reasons that San Antonio is a top vacation destination. San Antonio’s civic, business and association communities have joined forces to ensure that as the city emerges from the COVID-19 crisis it maintains safety as the most important aspect. In addition to more than 2,100 local businesses taking the Greater. Safer. Together Pledge, many hotels, restaurants and attractions have outlined specific new programs to enhance their health and safety operations. To learn more about the way San Antonio is a safer choice for travel, visit VisitSanAntonio.com/SaferSA.
For even more light-filled imagery and holiday celebrations, plus event details, including dates, hours and pricing, go to VisitSanAntonio.com/holidays.
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Dee Dee Poteete