Kick off the holiday season with things to do around San Antonio this November

From Wurstfest to holiday lights - it’s a very merry time of year

Ford Holiday River Parade, Lightscape, Big Bounce America and Wurstfest are all taking place in the San Antonio area in November 2021. (KSAT 12)

SAN ANTONIO – Prost! I am a HUGE fan of Wurstfest so aside from the fact that it’s the start of the holiday season, November is one of my favorite times of the year because the festival honoring sausage returns to New Braunfels.

If you’ve never been to Wurstfest, I highly suggest that you check it out.

As always, I’m Mary Claire and I’ll be your guide for things to do in San Antonio and the surrounding areas. If you’re new to this bi-monthly publication then thanks for joining. If you’re a returning reader - I love you. I’m kidding, that’s weird, but welcome back.

So aside from my beloved Wurstfest, we all know Thanksgiving comes around every November. If you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, that’s ok too. This year it falls on Nov. 25.

Speaking of the holidays - guess what? The San Antonio River Walk holiday lights are turning on early again this year. The 100,000 holiday lights that illuminate the River Walk during the holidays will be turned on Nov. 12 instead of the traditional day after Thanksgiving.

The weather can be unpredictable, but if you need help deciding what to wear to any of these events my buddies on the KSAT weather team have you covered.

Also, November is an hour longer thanks to the end of daylight saving time. Clocks will “fall back” one hour at 2 a.m. on Nov. 7, so set a reminder on your phone to roll back the clocks in your home to standard time.

Now, onto the list of events going on in the San Antonio area in November:

San Antonio Spurs - #GOSPURSGO The silver and black will be playing seven home games in November, with the first on Nov. 3. The Spurs have been called out quite a bit recently. They’ve been ranked near the bottom or dead last for NBA teams to watch this season. Rude.

Hasan Minhaj - Comedian Hasan Minhaj will bring his comedy tour “The King’s Jester” to the Tobin Center on Nov. 4. He has earned many awards during his career including a 2019 Primetime Emmy Award and he has previously performed at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

Santa’s Ranch - This family-friendly drive-through in New Braunfels takes guests through more than a mile of winding country roads lit up with holiday lights and Christmas displays. Santa’s Ranch will open on Nov. 5 and be available through Jan. 2.

Santa's Ranch tunnel of lights. (Flickr)

Fideo Loco Festival - The 4th annual Fideo Loco Festival is returning to San Antonio on Nov. 6. There will be live music, market vendors, a performance from Ballet Folklorico and unlimited fideo samples, while supplies last. Ten percent of the proceeds from ticket sales for the Fideo Loco Festival will go to SA Bully Free — a nonprofit organization that addresses bullying issues in public schools, community centers, private corporations through commitment pep rallies.

Diwali - The largest city-sanctioned Diwali festival in the U.S will be held at Hemisfair Park on Nov. 6. There will be a Diya, or floating candle, release by event-goers into the fountains at Hemisfair in addition to dance performances, art displays, food, jewelry, handicraft and henna vendors.

Enrique Iglesias and Ricky Martin - Two of the biggest names in Latin music will be at the AT&T Center on Nov. 6 as part of their North American area tour.

Dia De Los Muertos - Local artists and sisters, Manola and Maria Ramirez will create a community altar celebrating Día de los Muertos, which will be located at the Pearl from Oct. 30 - Nov. 7. Visitors can participate by lighting a digital candle for their loved ones who have passed.

13th Floor - It’s not too late to visit this popular San Antonio haunted house, which opened with two new attractions this year, including The Dollmaker and Bad Blood. 13th Floor will be open on select nights through Nov. 6.

Big Bounce America - The biggest bounce house in the world is heading back to San Antonio Nov. 12-14 at the Helotes Festival Grounds. Big Bounce America has been supersized to 13,000 square feet of fun with 32-foot candy-colored turrets.

Movie in the Park - You can watch the holiday favorite “Elf” at the base of the Tower of the Americas on Nov. 13. Food and drinks will be available for purchase.

Luminaria - Luminaria celebrates contemporary art with edgy installations and performances in downtown San Antonio. The festival is scheduled for Nov. 13.

Lightscape - Tickets for the San Antonio Botanical Garden’s immersive holiday light display, Lightscape, are now on sale. Guests will get to walk through this immersive light display which will illuminate a one-mile path through the Botanical Garden. Lightscape will open to the public on Nov. 19 and will run through Jan. 2, 2022. Tickets are expected to sell out.

The Cathedral of Light at Lightscape is made from an impressive 100,000 lights. (Lightscape)

Jo Koy - Comedian Jo Koy is bringing his “Just Kidding World Tour” to the AT&T Center on Nov. 20. Koy has had several stand-up comedy specials on Netflix, including “In His Element,” which is currently streaming.

Whiskey and Cigar Festival - This festival will take place in Fredericksburg on Nov. 20. There will be food, local live music acts and a fun, family-friendly atmosphere where kids can enjoy playing with the goats, donkeys and other creatures.

Wizard Fest - Do you know your Harry Potter trivia? Get ready to button up your cloak and brush up on your Potter knowledge because there’s going to be a costume contest, Triwizard trivia tournament and a scavenger hunt going down at Wizardfest on Nov. 20 at Pat O’Briens.

In a Style of Jazz - Classical music meets jazz at this free concert event, which will take place at San Fernando Cathedral on Nov. 21.

Steve Aoki - Grammy-nominated DJ Steve Aoki will be performing at San Antonio’s 1902 Nightclub on Nov. 24. Guests can immerse themselves in the iconic Sunset Station Train Depot’s jaw-dropping architecture and history when they visit the nightclub. Tickets for the show are on sale now.

Ford Holiday River Parade - This year marks the 40th anniversary of the parade, which is set to take place on Nov. 26. All the floats in this year’s parade will follow the 2021 theme, “40 Years of Magic,” as a nod to the four decades the parade has taken place.

10-Acre Corn Maze - A “Texas-sized corn maze” will be at Trader’s Village every weekend in November. There are actually three mazes located across 10 acres with one maze designed specifically for tiny tots that is just under a half-mile long.


Día de los Muertos:

2020 Dia De Los Muertos altar at the Pearl. (The Pearl)

Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, dates back to pre-Colombian, pre-Hispanic Indigenous traditions in Mexico where Aztecs incorporated Mesoamerican traditions into their culture. The holiday has evolved over the centuries.

Day of the Dead is traditionally celebrated on Nov. 2 each year. NationalToday.com explains that the holiday continues from Dia de las Brujas on Oct. 31, to Dia de los Inocentes on Nov. 1 and finally Dia de los Muertos on Nov. 2.

Dia de los Muertos is not the Mexican version of Halloween - it’s a way family members demonstrate love and respect for departed loved ones.

Many Dia de los Muertos rituals are full of meaning, like marigold flowers and ofrendas, or altars. Marigolds are placed on graves during the holiday as a way to lure souls back from the dead to the land of the living. The vibrant color and powerful scent of the flowers is believed to help guide the souls.

In Mexico, the flower is called the cempasuchitl. The name is derived from Aztec origins and roughly translates to the “flower of many petals.”

KSAT has done quite a few stories about Dia de los Muertos traditions, so you can read more online.


Veteran’s Day:

Veteran’s Day is an annual federal holiday that falls on Nov. 11 and honors military veterans who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

San Antonio is also known as Military City which makes this an especially important day because so many veterans live in our area.

Every year there is a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery where a wreath is laid at the Tomb of the Unknowns and a parade of colors by veterans’ organizations and remarks from dignitaries is presented inside the Memorial Amphitheater.

Special shout out to my lovely husband Luke Patton who is an Army veteran.

Don’t forget to wish a happy Veteran’s Day to the veterans in your life on Nov. 11.

Remember - Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day are not the same things. Memorial Day commemorates military personnel who have died in the in service of their country. Veteran’s Day acknowledges the contribution of all who have honorably served in the military.


Wurstfest:

New Braunfels is expected to welcome thousands of visitors to Wurstfest from Nov. 5 to 14 to celebrate a tradition that started in 1961 as a festival honoring sausage.

I go every year and I absolutely love it. Yes, I wear a goofy hat and eat a bunch of delicious food and I encourage you to do the same.

Alex Meixner at Wurstfest in New Braunfels. (Alex Meixner)

More than 20 nonprofit organizations sell food and drinks at the annual festival which helps them raise the money they need to operate for the year.

This is the 60th annual Wurstfest celebration and the first year Wurstfest will take place after a devastating fire in 2019 that destroyed the iconic Marketplatz building which has since been rebuilt.

Gates open at 4 p.m. on opening day and then 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Festival end times vary from 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11 p.m. on Fridays and midnight on Saturdays.

Advanced general admission tickets are on sale for $18. General admission tickets at the gate are $20. Purchase tickets here.


Lunar Eclipse:

On Nov. 19 there will be a partial lunar eclipse of the Beaver Moon, which is the name of November’s full moon.

TimeAndDate.com states that the partial eclipse will start around midnight and end around 6 a.m.

San Antonio-area resident and avid sky enthusiast Oscar Carrero will be live streaming the eclipse on YouTube.

Wondering why full moons have names? Humans have used the moon as a way to keep track of the passing of the year for millennia. According to National Geographic, ancient cultures would give each full moon a different name based on the behavior of the plants, animals or weather during that month.


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My inbox is always open if you have any ideas or know about any events going on in the area. You can reach me at mpatton@ksat.com.

Stay safe my friends.

-Mary Claire Patton, KSAT Digital Journalist


About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.