SAN ANTONIO – National Hispanic Heritage Month is held annually from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 and celebrates the culture and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans.
Started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson, this celebration morphed into a full month of honoring all citizens with ties to Latin American countries in 1988 under President Ronald Reagan.
Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off in mid-September because it’s when more than a half-dozen countries celebrate their independence from Spain. Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua celebrate on Sept 15 while Sept. 16, or Diez y Seis, is when Mexico celebrates its independence and Sept. 18 is Chili’s independence day.
Fiestas Patrias San Antonio is a celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month locally and the group has an entire list of events that celebrate the occasion.
The Diez y Seis de Septiembre Commission was established by former San Antonio Mayor and current Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff on June 16, 1994, and actively works to promote the understanding and historical significance of Mexico’s Independence Day and Hispanic Heritage Month.
Here is a list of events that celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in the San Antonio area:
- September 15 - The Consulate General of Mexico in San Antonio’s El Grito Civic Ceremony & Cultural Program, including Celebrando el 30 Aniversario del Guadalupe Dance Company will be on Facebook Live - streaming from the Historic Market Square. There will also be the Hispanic Heritage Month Kickoff Pachanga at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. Free food, drinks, music and more will be available at the CAB Courtyard from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- September 16 - Texas A&M University-San Antonio will host a Dance, Diversity and Inclusion event featuring the Jaguarettes Dance Team at 4 p.m. in the university auditorium. There will also be a performance by Los Flamencos de San Antonio.
- September 17 - Bandera Market is celebrating Hispanic Heritage month with 40+ vendors representing different Hispanic Cultures at this free event. The market will be open from 4 to 9 p.m. at 11625 Bandera Road with performances from Mariachis and Bachata dancers.
- September 18 - Fiestas Patrias Diez y Seis de Septiembre is kicking off Hispanic Heritage Month with this event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Sophienburg Museum & Archives located at 401 W Coll Street in New Braunfels. There will be music, mariachis, Baile folklórico, crafts, food, snowcones, and more. Also on Sept. 18 is the Outdoor Family Film Series will feature “West Side Story” starting at 7 p.m. at Mission Marquee Plaza, located at 3100 Roosevelt Avenue. This free event is put on by the City of San Antonio World Heritage Office. Noble Lounge is also hosting a Hispanic Heritage Party on the 18th at 203 S. Main Street in Cibolo with Latin music and special performances. The kick-off for the League of United Latin American Citizens will also start at the Historic Market Square.
- September 21 - San Antonio Museum of Art’s San Antonio Poetry Panel – Puro Chinanx: Writers of the 21st century will be held online.
- September 22 - Taste of Hispanic Heritage Culture is a new event at Northeast Lakeview College. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., students are invited to eat authentic Hispanic meals from food trucks and learn more about Hispanic culture. URBAN-15 Group’s Autumnal Equinox: The Shadow of QuetzalCoatl will also be held online.
- September 23 - Briscoe Western Art Museum’s “The Making Of” Vaqueros Documentary will have a screening at Instituto Cultural de Mexico en San Antonio.
- September 24 - Lonche y Arte at Say Sí will take place from noon to 2 p.m. There will be art, music and food.
- September 30 - The Find Your Roots: Hispanic Heritage Month Genealogy Workshop will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Seguin Public Library. The event is free and there will be tools available to help you trace your Hispanic and Latino American roots.
- October 1 - The Guadalupe Dance Company’s Celebrando 30 Años at Plaza Avenida Guadalupe will be streamed on the City of San Antonio’s Department of Arts & Culture website.
- October 2 - The International School of San Antonio is celebrating from 10 a.m. to noon at 6739 Callaghan Road with stories and crafts that celebrate famous Hispanic authors and artists.
- October 6 - Hosted by Texas A&M University-San Antonio, this event will feature a panel that will discuss the events that define the history and identity of the San Antonio area. Dinner is included and more details can be found here.
- October 9 - Avenida Guadalupe’s Fiestas Alegria on Facebook Live will conclude this year’s Fiestas Patrias San Antonio celebration.