40 cultures repr­esented at 41st Texas Folklife Festival

3-day event kicks off Friday

SAN ANTONIO - The sights and sounds of 40 cultures around the world that represent the melting pot that is Texas will be on display at the Texas Folklife Festival this weekend.

"There's a boot maker that's coming up from Mercedes, Texas. We found a soap maker. We found a woodcarver, absolutely phenomenal," James Benavides, senior communications specialist at the Institute of Texan Cultures, said.

It's the 41st year for the festival, but it's never the same.

"New this year, we're going to be seeing the Argentineans. We're going to be seeing the Brazilians. The Colombians are performing this year," Benavides said.

There will be crafters and artisans at the festival, too, like Sebastiana Lee, who is selling jewelry and other hand-made goods that represent her native country, Peru.

"I have a passion for what I make, for what I sell, and I love talking to people and telling them where it came from, how I made it and the meaning of it," Lee said.

The annual celebration in San Antonio is modeled after the Smithsonian's Folklife Festival and has a big following for the last 41 years.

"We've been here for 41 years so, we got it down to a science," said Costas Sgagias at the Greek Booth. "It was gruesome hot, but it's almost like a picnic here with all the people all around, working their booths."

The festival will be held at the Institute of Texan Cultures on the UTSA HemisFair Park Campus at 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

Hours are 5 p.m. - 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday.

You can still buy tickets online at texasfolklifefestival.org, or they'll be $12 dollars for adults and $5 for kids at the gate.

The website also has information about VIA park and rides.

KSAT reporter Stephanie Serna contributed to this report.


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