First night of NIOSA kicks off 4-day celebration

By Pilar Arias - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - The first night of A Night in Old San Antonio, or NIOSA, happened Tuesday at the historic La Villita in downtown.

Four days of Fiesta fun at the event will help benefit the San Antonio Conservation Society.

NIOSA offered food, drinks, music, medals, crazy hats and lots of fun.

“We just keep getting bigger and bigger every year,” said Cindy Rodriguez, a NIOSA attendee.

Rodriguez donned a Fiesta hat that was made by her friend, Minerva Ray. Ray said it takes about 20 to 30 hours to make each hat.

“It’s a lot of folding and you just work one flower at a time, and before you realize it, you have 50,” Ray said.

Brothers Christopher and Miguel Zapata said they enjoy the attention they get for their massive sombreros.

Although it’s fun to party, everyone had their own of idea of what Fiesta means to them.

“It's fun. You meet people. The community gets together. A lot of fundraisers, scholarships for teenagers,” Rodriguez said.

Many of the hundreds of volunteers who return each year said they wouldn’t have it any other way.

"It’s a party with a purpose and it's for the Conservation Society, which restores buildings in San Antonio. I'm a native San Antonian, and I’m all about my city,” said Diane Hall, French Sausage Booth chairperson.

NIOSA wraps up on Friday. 

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