In March 2020, we were gearing up for Hemisfair’s first-ever dog-themed festival, Paws in the Park. Our programming team spent months coordinating vendors, planning activities and securing partnerships to make this family-friendly event a success.


As COVID-19 ramped up — with all of the unknowns still unknown back then — we made the heartbreaking—but correct—decision on March 12 to cancel the event and all other in-person programming at Hemisfair for the foreseeable future.

A costumed crowd parades through the park.

Enjoy the 9th Annual Día De Los Muertos Celebration at Hemisfair, Oct. 23-24.

WHY HEMISFAIR?

Here in Hemisfair, you’ll find reasons to visit any given day of the week.


There’s something for everyone: whether meeting friends or business associates for a cup of coffee on the beautiful deck at CommonWealth Coffeehouse, coordinating playdates with other moms, dads or grandparents on our ADA-accessible playground and the Union Pacific Railroad Splash Pad, or grabbing a slice for dinner at Dough Pizzeria Napoletana.


The best part? You don’t have to spend a dime to have a good time at Hemisfair.


Personally, I think fall is the best time of year at Hemisfair. When the temps wind down, that means my favorite San Antonio festivals are just around the corner—and they all take place right here!

WE'RE BACK

Twenty months later, the Hemisfair team is overjoyed to bring events back to our urban parks district!


Just last week, we relaunched our popular weekly Story Time outdoors in Yanaguana Garden. We had pivoted to a virtual series at the start of the pandemic. Although the virtual program maintained the familiar face of Hemisfair volunteer extraordinaire “Ms. Kim” and served nearly 2,000 children through Zoom over the last year-and-a-half, there is nothing quite like spending time with kiddos in the park, and watching families of all different backgrounds interact with each other as they read the book of the week and work on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) activities.


On behalf of Hemisfair, I welcome you to spend time in the ‘Place Where San Antonio Meets’.


SOME BACKGROUND

Hemisfair’s parks and programs were created by you — the San Antonio community — when you solidified the Master Plan for the district in 2012.


Since our first phase of development, Yanaguana Garden, opened in October 2015, we’ve welcomed more than 3 million visitors for everyday park play, community-wide events, and inclusive programming like Story Time. In 2019, we opened the Hemisfair Garage to encourage folks driving in from other parts of town to have a safe, convenient and affordable place to park.


We’re proud that 84% of our park patrons are local San Antonians, just like you—they come from across the city and represent all 10 City Council districts.

Hemisfair’s Story Time takes place outdoors in Yanaguana Garden at 10 a.m. every Tuesday.

WHAT'S COMING UP

Dia De Los Muertos Celebration

After a two-year hiatus, the 9th Annual Día De Los Muertos Celebration (or, Muertos Fest), will ignite Hemisfair in colorful altars, calacas and calaveras over two days, Saturday, October 23rd and Sunday, October 24th.


Diwali Festival of Lights

On Saturday, November 6th, AnujaSA’s Diwali Festival of Lightsthe only major event showcasing San Antonio’s Indian culture — will line E. Nueva Street inside Hemisfair with aromatic food booths, beautiful jewelry vendors, and henna tattoo artists.


After dark, the popular Parade of States performances kick off, honoring music and dances from India’s 29 states, and the evening will end with a spectacular fireworks display.


Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival

And finally, Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival takes place on Saturday, November 13th. Ten years ago, when Hemisfair’s reimagining was still in the planning stages, Luminaria was the first downtown event I attended as a brand-new San Antonian. Today, this nighttime festival is still one of the coolest experiences unique to our city.


All three of these festivals, like most events held at Hemisfair, are open to the public and free to attend.


COME VISIT US

If you’ve never visited Hemisfair or haven’t been in a while, I hope you’ll take advantage of your proximity in the near future.


Come support our small businesses, attend our free community programs and enjoy these and many other citywide celebrations just steps away from your front porch. We hope to see you soon!


We’re grateful to LNF Weekly for inviting us to write this monthly column. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions, column ideas, or want to learn more about Hemisfair. I’d love to hear from you.


thea.setterbo@hemisfair.org

Follow @hemisfair for updates.

Thea Setterbo is the Director of Communications for Hemisfair

Here in Hemisfair, you’ll find reasons to visit any given day of the week.

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