Fiesta Noche Del Rio celebrates 64th annual performance at Arneson River Theater

Fiesta Noche Del Rio is a production of culture, live music and folkloric performances

SAN ANTONIO – The sights and sounds of San Antonio came alive at the Arneson River Theater on Saturday for a production that has entertained guests at the River Walk for 64 years.

Fiesta Noche Del Rio is a colorful and vibrant event with performances aimed at raising funds for a great number of non-profit organizations.

Director of Fiesta Noche Del Rio, Kaitie Rodriguez Hall, said although the venue is outdoors, the show had to be postponed last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“So it wasn’t until May 15th that we really knew we were going to have a show. So we put together, we’re really excited about what we did this season. So, yeah. So being shut down for almost 18 months before we came to stage was hard,” said Hall.

Aaron Rios, a violinist with Mariachi Gallos de Oro, has played Fiesta Noche Del Rio for more than a decade and said it’s the cause behind performing that has kept him and his bandmates coming back.

“I mean, it’s just it’s amazing. I mean, sure, summer, Friday, Saturday nights as a mariachi. I mean, this is prime for us. It’s prime time. But, you know, I got a great group that they’re like, you know, they put that aside and said, ‘hey, you know, the cause is there. We want to help,’” said Rios.

As important as the music element to Noche Del Rio is, so is the performance aspect.

The performers of the dance group, FNDR, said they are beyond thankful and excited to be back on stage doing what they do best.

Madeleine Burroughs, a dancer for FNDR, said she’s been dancing for about 13 years and has been with the group for three.

“I’m so happy that we’ve been fortunate enough to have a great crowd almost every single day, not almost every single night. And just having the audience in front of you getting be able to do what I love again. It’s all very fun,” said Burroughs.

Although they didn’t get to perform last year, FNDR figured out a way to keep on rehearsing through Zoom calls.

Hall says now that they’re all fully protected against the COVID-19 virus, it’s great to be back in the studio.

“Once vaccines were approved, everybody lined up to get them. And as soon as our younger cast was able to do it, they were the first in line,” said Hall.

From traditional Mexican Folkloric dances to Spanish Flamenco, Fiesta Noche Del Rio net proceeds will benefit the San Antonio Children’s Charities.

“You get a taste of a whole bunch of different regions and cultures and here in San Antonio and it’s just a sight to see. And you definitely don’t want to miss all the fun,” said Burroughs.

For more information, visit www.fiestanochesa.com.

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About the Authors:

Jonathan Cotto is a reporter for KSAT's Nightbeat. Jonathan speaks English and Spanish and is a veteran of the United States Navy. Previously, he worked in South Texas.