Seventh annual World Heritage festival in San Antonio – fun, free events honoring the Historic Missions!!!

World Heritage Festival in San Antonio - World Heritage Festival

World Heritage Festival in San Antonio | Image Credit: World Heritage Festival FB Page

The Seventh Annual World Heritage Festival has been announced by the City of San Antonio World Heritage Office and its collaborating partners. The festival, which will take place from September 7–11, 2022, will include seven activities to honor San Antonio’s historic missions as the sole UNESCO World Heritage Site in Texas.

Annual World Heritage Festival in San Antonio – What to expect

The event was started in 2016 to mark the anniversary of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designating the area as a World Heritage Site in 2015. Residents and guests can enjoy San Antonio’s distinctive history, tradition, and culture at the festival.

“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.”

“We’re proud to be here recognizing our UNESCO World Heritage designation and celebrating the rich history of our community. We must continue to preserve and promote our cultural assets so that people can embrace and experience these historic sites for years to come,” Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said.

Annual World Heritage Festival in San Antonio – Get  a glimpse of the rich history of Alamo City 

World Heritage Festival in San Antonio - History

The five Spanish Colonial missions in San Antonio—San Jose, San Juan, Espada, Concepcion, and The Alamo—remain the only Texas sites to be recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites and one of just 24 in the whole nation. The efforts and contributions of numerous cooperative partners make the festival possible each year. The following organizations and San Antonio City departments are sponsors of the festival this year: 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.

“The World Heritage Festival is special because it celebrates our San Antonio Missions as the only World Heritage Site in Texas, and also embodies the spirit of community and collaboration,” said District 3 Councilwoman Phyllis Viagran. “This festival brings together partners, community organizations, residents, and visitors alike in a one-of-a-kind experience that showcases our city’s heritage and history.”

In addition to returning events like Music & Movie Under the Stars, Caring for Creation Mass, and the Tour de las Misiones, this year’s festival welcomes new activities like an outdoor photography exhibit honoring the relationship between San Antonio and Gwangju, South Korea; Junior Ranger Day at Mission Espada; and a symposium on San Antonio’s acequia system hosted by The Alamo—the first time a festival program has been held at this historic site.

“The World Heritage Festival is a time to celebrate and honor the city’s complete history, culture, and diversity,” said Kate Rogers, Executive Director, Alamo, Trust, Inc. “Mission San Antonio de Valero (the Alamo) was founded by Spanish settlers on May 1, 1718. The Mission’s creation was an instrumental moment for the future City of San Antonio. These Spanish settlers laid the foundation for what would grow into a flourishing community and at its center placed the iconic structure known today as the Cultural Hearth of Texas—the Alamo.”

Seventh Annual World Heritage Festival in San Antonio – Schedule of Events

Gwangju: City of Light and Democracy

September 8, Thursday 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm | Artpace, 445 N. Main Ave., 78205

San Antonio’s Sister City, Gwangju, South Korea, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of their relationship, sends an art exhibition from the Gwangju Museum of Art to San Antonio to be displayed at Artpace. The opening reception will feature both fine art and culinary delights prepared by artists and chefs from Gwangju.


The Mission for Water: Building San Antonio’s Acequia System

World Heritage Festival in San Antonio - Mission for Water

Image Credit: thealamo.org

September 8, Thursday 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm | The Alamo, 300 Alamo Plaza, 78205

In the days before the San Antonio Water System (SAWS), how did the missions get water? During this symposium, 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 at www.worldheritagefestival.org.


Gwangju Art Exhibition Opening

World Heritage Festival in San Antonio - Gwangju

Image Credit: artpace.org

September 8, Thursday 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm | Artpace, 445 N. Main Ave., 78205

San Antonio’s Sister City, Gwangju, South Korea, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of their relationship, sends an art exhibition from the Gwangju Museum of Art to San Antonio 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

World Heritage Festival in San Antonio - Mission Marquee Plaza

Image Credit: World Heritage Festival FB Page

September 9, Friday 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Mission Marquee Plaza, 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

World Heritage Festival in San Antonio - Tour de las Misiones

September 10, Saturday 7:00 am – 12:00 pm | Mission Park Pavilion, 6030 Padre Dr., 78214 | Registration fees: $25-$55

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

World Heritage Festival in San Antonio - Junior Scout

Image Credit: San Antonio Missions National Historical Park FB Page

September 10, Saturday 10:00 am – 2:00 pm | Mission Espada, 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

World Heritage Festival in San Antonio - El Camino de San Antonio

September 11, Sunday 8:00 am | Mission Espada, 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.

 

For more information on the 2022 World Heritage Festival and event updates, visit www.worldheritagefestival.org. Information about the historic missions is available at www.worldheritagesa.com.


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