Bask in The Magic of The Holiday Season in America’s Most Celebratory City

Can you feel the palpable excitement and energy in the air? It’s that time of year again – time to brainstorm Halloween costumes, make Thanksgiving arrangements and maybe start that holiday gift list.

It’s unofficially official – once October arrives the Holiday season is in full-swing.

Perhaps one of the most fascinating aspects of the holidays is the unique ways in which every celebrates. Different regions of the nation have distinctive traditions and celebrations.

Maybe this is the year to branch out and take a holiday getaway to a town offering new and exciting ways to be festive!

Many cities are famous for their exclusive celebrations of one specific holiday, and then there are cities widely known for bringing the party on every given holiday. San Antonio is one such place.

With a full itinerary of celebrating ahead, here’s a quick peek at the holiday delights to be found from October through December in the colorful city of San Antonio.

El Dia de los Muertos at La Villita

October 29-30

With a name as unique as the day of the dead, El Dia de los Muertos is one of San Antonio’s favorite Mexican cultural traditions. It’s a celebration to honor our departed loved ones, and a chance to creatively and respectively celebrate the dead through beautiful altars full of colorful decorations, painted skulls, candles, food and more. The festival will feature live music, vendors, an altar contest and more. If you’ve never celebrated El Dia de los Muertos, this is an incredible opportunity that we can guarantee you’ll remember it for a lifetime!


November 9-12

Over the course of four days, join thousands of other people in downtown San Antonio for an astonishingly beautiful contemporary arts festival. This is an entirely free event for all ages. New work will be presented by dancers, actors, poets, comedians, filmmakers, musicians, composers and visual artists. There will be some ticketed events offered, including artist brunches, art workshops and a closing event on Saturday. The artists themselves hail from all corners of the U.S. and across the globe. Luminaria is produced by the artists and makers of San Antonio, and works to advance the creative economy.

Ford Holiday River Parade and Lighting Ceremony

November 25

San Antonio is one of the few cities that has a river running right through it’s heart, making it the perfect place for a parade! For the 35th year in a row, San Antonio will usher in the holiday season with a one-hour parade featuring 31 lavishly decorated floats bedazzled with lights, costumed float riders and holiday music. Enjoy the beauty of thousands of lights illuminating the River Walk throughout the holiday season.

Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza

November 27 – December 3rd

Experience the best of Mariachi music during the holiday season at the annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza. The festival includes concerts by world-renowned musicians, competitions, workshops and more.

Ford Fiesta de las Luminarias

Three Weekends in December

The magic of the holidays truly comes alive as you stroll along the lush banks of the San Antonio River guided by more than 2,000 Luminarias each night. This centuries old tradition begins at dusk Friday, Saturday and Sunday for three weekends only in December. Luminarias are traditional Mexican Christmas lanterns consisting of a candle set in sand inside a small paper bag. You can experience the joy the weekends of December 2-4, 9-11 and 15-18.

San Antonio is a city of celebration. It’s a city that honors its past, present and future, and cherishes its diverse cultural make-up. Truly a one-of-a-kind city, San Antonio lives to celebrate and the holidays are an exceptional time to visit.

To fully experience the magic the city offers, it’s best to stay in the heart of the action – on the Riverwalk. Hotel Contessa is the only Four Diamond, all-suite hotel located directly on the Riverwalk. A stay at Hotel Contessa not only affords you the opportunity to be within walking distance of many exciting events, but it’s also a place to become immersed in the city’s culture. Additionally, Hotel Contessa offers its own holiday celebrations in the form of an annual Thanksgiving and Holiday Brunch.

We hope you get the chance to experience the holiday magic of San Antonio. Who knows, perhaps you’ll return home with a few new traditions of your own.

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