Tag Archives: HemisFair Park

2013 Texas Folklife Festival

Following are pictures from Saturday night (June 8) at the 2013 Texas Folklife Festival at the Institute of Texan Cultures in downtown San Antonio. There didn’t seem to be as many attendees or participants this year as in year’s past. Perhaps the heat or high school graduations kept people away. The lack of crowds made it easy to get a seat and enjoy music and dancing while sampling a variety of delicious food. I enjoyed food from the Vietnamese, Wendish, Pakistani and Japanese booths.

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National Night Out

The San Antonio Downtown Residents Association hosted a National Night Out (NNO) event at the base of the Tower of the Americas in HemisFair Park tonight, October 4th.  The fun event included a display of classic cars, music by the MishMash Band, children’s activities, food and drink vendors, and informational tables.  You may remember NNO being traditionally in August.  However, Texas took advantage of an optional October date this year since it’s hard to be neighborly when it’s 100+ degrees outside.

MishMash Band

HemisFair Park art nooks

Brawley's sculpture at night

On the side of the H.B. Gonzalez Convention Center facing the Tower of the Americas on the northeastern edge of HemisFair Park are seven beautiful art “nooks” or “grottos.”  Six of the nooks hold artworks and one nook is mysteriously empty.  From left to right the grotto artists are:  1) Say Si; 2) Carlos Alvez; 3) Alex De Leon; 4) empty; 5)Benito Huerta; 6) Cakky Brawley; and 7) David Zamora Casas.

I have walked by the nooks at different times of the day but rarely see anyone enjoying the art.  The addition of some benches might encourage people to stay a little while and contemplate the art.

By Say Si

By De Leon

By Alvez

By Huerta

By Casas

Detail on Casas art

Detail on Alvez mural

Detail on De Leon art

A garden grows in HemisFair Park

Given the current drought in San Antonio my spirits are always lifted by the brightly colored summer flowers and plants that seem to love our hot sunny weather.  

For the past few months I have been gradually moving from our northside house to a 13th floor condominium downtown in the Vidorra.   One of my goals at the new house is to take long walks around downtown.  On a walk yesterday with Hannah (our dog) I came across a large garden in HemisFair Park south of the Tower that I hadn’t noticed before.  

 The garden is at the Maximillian Schultze House, one of the 24 original structures on the HemisFair site.  According to the Hemisfair Park master plan site inventory, the Schultze house was built about 1893 and during HemisFair it housed the Sur Le Pouce, a Swiss bakery and restaurant.  The San Antonio Women’s Chamber of Commerce currently occupies the building and maintains the garden.  The  Bexar County Master Gardeners developed and maintained the garden until April 2010.     

Front of Schultze house

Hannah watches for squirrels

Texas Folklife Festival

Ile Bahia De San antonio

The 40th Texas Folklife Festival took place June 10-12 at the Institute of Texan Cultures in HemisFair Park. Friday evening I attended with friends and then Saturday I went again with my sister and her husband who live in Austin.

Friday evening the festival was cool (by recent San Antonio standards) and breezy but the grounds did not feel very crowded.  We enjoyed Ile Bahia de San Antonio’s show which seemed to combine martial arts and gymnastics.  We also watched the St. George Lebanese Folk Dancers and Hula Halua Ohana Elikapeka perform to traditional music.  I wanted to sample exotic food (for me anyway) and I especially enjoyed the Falafel sandwich from the Lebanese booth, the Pupusa from the Salvadorean organization, the Baklava fromt the Turkish tent and the plantains from the Nigerian booth.    

St. George Lebanese Folk Dancers

Saturday we attended at lunchtime with the temperatures rising. We found refuge from the heat inside the air-conditoned Institute where we enjoyed performances by the Ukranian and Lebanese folk dancers.

I was mainly interested in the booths and performances from different countries. However, the festival also included carnival rides and an NBA area with basketball games.  Another fun aspect of the festival was the booths with free food and drink samples (and money-saving coupons!) including beans, yogurt and a locally made vodka.

Turkish American Association of San Antonio

Belgian American Club of Texas
Japan American Society of San Antonio
Zorya Ukrainian Dance Ensemble