Fiesta Noche Del Rio kicks off this weekend

Cultural extravaganza runs Fridays, Saturdays from June 21 through Aug. 10

SAN ANTONIO – Dance, song and celebration of San Antonio's culture will take center stage starting this weekend at Arneson River Theatre at the 63rd annual Fiesta Noche Del Rio.

Katie Rodriguez Hall is director of this year's season, which runs Fridays and Saturdays from June 21 through Aug. 10. Hall said she's honored to plan the event, which is produced by the Alamo Kiwanis Club.

"I actually danced in Fiesta Noche Del Rio in the very late '90s and early 2000s," she said. 

Hall said she has big shoes to fill. 

"I have moments where I feel like this is exactly what I'm supposed to be doing," she said. 

San Antonio's First Lady of Song, Rosita Fernandez, started Fiesta Noche Del Rio in 1957.

"She was in 'The Alamo.' She was in several movies with John Wayne, and she decided she wanted to stay in San Antonio. This is where her heart was, and so she created this show," Hall said. "She came up with this idea to do a show that showcased different dancers and musicians in San Antonio and their specialties."  

For the first time in the event's history, a Tejano section is included. 

The event benefits several organizations that help disadvantaged and needy children in San Antonio. 

For Hall, the long days of organizing the event is worth it. 

"What's neat about it is you come together for this show, to see everything San Antonio has to offer. It's the sights, it's the sounds, it's the smells," Hall said. 

In the past 62 years, the Alamo Kiwanis Club has raised more than $2.75 million for the less fortunate and disadvantaged children.

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