SAN ANTONIO – The City of San Antonio World Heritage Office announced the upcoming seventh annual World Heritage Festival, celebrating the city’s historic missions as the first and only United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site in Texas.
Announced Wednesday, the event will be held September 7 through the 11, featuring a total of seven events.
“San Antonio’s rich history, culture, and traditions will be celebrated during the seventh annual World Heritage Festival,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said. “The festival is a unique opportunity for residents and visitors to learn more about what makes San Antonio a world-class cultural destination.”
San Antonio was named a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization in 2015 for its rich history and culture, even hosting five Spanish Colonial Missions.
San Jose, San Juan, Espada, Concepcion, and The Alamo remain the first and only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Texas and one of 24 in the country.
The events are free unless otherwise noted. This year’s schedule of events includes:
- Gwangju: City of Light and Democracy will be held at 7 p.m. at the Mission Marquee Plaza, located at 3100 Roosevelt Ave., 78214. This opening reception officially unveils an outdoor photography exhibit showcasing San Antonio’s 40-year Sister City relationship with Gwangju, South Korea, and that city’s designation as a UNESCO Memory of the World city. This celebration of Korean culture will include food, music, dance, family activities, and a special screening of the Korean film, “A Taxi Driver.”
- The Mission for Water: Building San Antonio’s Acequia System will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Alamo, located at 300 Alamo Plaza, 78205. The event will explore the days before the San Antonio Water System (SAWS.) How did the missions get water? During this symposium, viewers will discover the science and history behind San Antonio’s waterways and the important role water played in the Spanish Missions. Registration is required and available HERE.
- Gwangju Art Exhibition Opening will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Artpace, located at 445 N. Main Ave., 78205. An art exhibition from the Gwangju Museum of Art to San Antonio is to be displayed at Artpace. The opening reception will feature both fine art and culinary delights prepared by artists and chefs from Gwangju.
- Music & Movie Under the Stars will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Mission Marquee Plaza, located at 3100 Roosevelt Ave., 78214. The World Heritage Office and its collaborative partners present the third annual Music & Movie Under the Stars, as a tribute to San Antonio’s legacy as Military City, U.S.A. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, and picnics to enjoy a free screening of the Marvel favorite, “Captain America: The First Avenger,” shortly after dusk. This family-friendly event will feature family activities, presentations by military historians, musical performances, food trucks, and more.
- Tour de las Misiones will be held from 7 a.m. to noon at the Mission Park Pavilion, located at 6030 Padre Dr., 78214. There is a registration fee ranging from $25 to $55. To be guaranteed commemorative giveaways, registration is required by August 24. The Tour de las Misiones Bike Ride, Walk and Run beginning and ending at Mission Park Pavilion includes a leisurely ride ranging from 7- to 22-miles with stops at each mission and an enjoyable 5 or 10K walk and run through the River Walk Mission Reach and Mission San Jose. Immediately following the Tour de las Misiones, participants can enjoy music, artisan and food vendors, and more. Military discount is available using code MILITARY at checkout for $5 off.
- Junior Ranger Day will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Mission Espada, located at 10040 Espada Rd., 78214. San Antonio Missions National Historical Park presents Junior Ranger Day. Engage with park rangers for activities including storybook reading, and opportunities to earn the only “World Heritage Junior Ranger” badge in the National Park Service.
- El Camino de San Antonio: Caring for Creation Outdoor Mass will begin at 8 a.m. at the Mission Espada, located at 10040 Espada Rd., 78214. Join Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, MSPS to celebrate the “Season of Creation” with a Mariachi Mass at Mission Espada followed by a walk in support of God’s creation on the river trail to Mission San Juan. Bring your water bottles and comfortable shoes.
This year’s festival is made possible through the efforts and contributions of many collaborative partners, including the Bexar County, San Antonio River Authority, National Parks Conservation Association, The Alamo, National Park Service, Las Misiones, Alamo Beer Company, H-E-B, American Volkssport Association, SATX Social Ride, Niagra Water, Korea Foundation, San Antonio Korean American Association, Korean American Cultural Center, South Texas Off Road Mountain Bikers, and various City of San Antonio departments.