The Fairmount Hotel :: Holiday in San Antonio Special
Pay for Two Evenings Get the Third Evening Free *
Call 210-224-8800 to book Your
Holiday in San Antonio Special TODAY!
On the day after Thanksgiving over 100,000 lights are brought to life forming a magically illuminated canopy over San Antonio's Riverwalk. This magnificent lighting ceremony marks the official beginning of the Paseo Del Rio Holiday Festivities and is followed by a Parade. You need tickets to the parade and they are sold through the Paseo Del Rio Association. The one-hour parade along San Antonio's River Walk features decorated, illuminated floats with celebrities, bands and lavishly-costumed participants.
* Holiday in San Antonio Special Terms & Restrictions:
- Expires January 31, 2010.
- Only One free night is applicable per stay.
- Not available with other offers or discounts.
- Subject to availability. Some black out dates apply.
- Request "Holiday in San Antonio Special" as seen on The Fairmount Hotel's website when making your reservation.
Holiday Season Events in San Antonio
Ford Holiday River Parade & Lighting Ceremony
The annual Ford Holiday River Parade & Lighting Ceremony officially heralds the Paseo del Rio's holiday festivities, transforming the winding river into a glittering ribbon of light and color. Holiday River Parade, dating back to 1981, begins that Friday evening. Be there when the switch is thrown, turning on more than 122,000 twinkling lights strung in the tall cypress trees, outlining hotels and restaurants, and creating a magical canopy over the River Walk. The holiday lights continue to shine through New Year's Day.
An hourlong parade follows the lighting ceremony with beautifully decorated, illuminated floats cruising along the River Walk in one of the country's only nighttime river parades. Celebrities, bands and lavishly-costumed participants entertain the crowd viewing from reserved seats at the Arneson River Theatre.
That same day, a huge Christmas tree is illuminated in historic Alamo Plaza. Families love to snap photographs at the site, where the lights burn bright through New Year's.
Carolling on the River
Music fills the air as Ford Holiday Boat Caroling winds through the River Walk throughout the season. School, church, corporate and civic choral groups sing traditional holiday carols on barges that cruise the river. Bell choirs, folk groups and Latino ensembles add to the eclectic mix, and visitors from all over the world often join in from along the River Walk for a charming impromptu sing-along.
Ford Fiesta de Las Luminarias
One of San Antonio's most beloved and centuries-old traditions is to line walkways with luminarias. Dating back to a tradition from the 1500s, warmly-glowing candles set in sand-filled bags have been used to symbolically mark the "lighting of the way" for the Holy Family.
The Ford Fiesta de las Luminarias along the River Walk uses more than 6,000 luminarias, creating an unforgettable scene of peace and serenity along the river's banks at dusk on weekends in December.
Latin Holiday Music
The annual weeklong Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza runs from the end of November through the first week of December, and ranks as the largest and longest-running Latin music event of its kind in Texas. Student mariachis serenade revelers on the River Walk, a brightly-colored mariachi-inspired art exhibit dazzles the eyes, and mariachi groups and vocalists compete to see who's the best singer, guitar picker or trumpeter.
Fiestas Navidenas: San Fernando Holiday Lights in Market Square
For Fiestas Navidenas throughout the month of December, the pageantry and traditional celebration of the Christmas spirit pervade Market Square, the nation's largest Mexican market. At San Fernando Cathedral, the nation's oldest cathedral sanctuary, parishioners re-enact Mary and Joseph's search for shelter in an event called La Gran Posada. Bring pets to be blessed, then shop for authentic finds such as indigenous Mexican pottery and jewelry at the mercado.
There are many ways to enjoy San Antonio's holiday lights: take a stroll along the River Walk, a carriage ride or a trip on a river cruiser, or get a bird's-eye perspective from high up with Alamo City Helicopter.
Light the Way at Incarnate Word
Several miles north of downtown San Antonio, the tree-studded campus of the University of the Incarnate Word glitters with a million twinkling lights during its annual Light the Way celebration. This San Antonio-style holiday tradition began in 1985 as a way to unite the community in the spirit of the holiday season, and has become a favorite of visitors, who can take a driving tour of campus; the lights stay on through the first week of the new year.
The lights go on at sunset every night, and are open for the public to view at no cost. Every tree on the campus perimeter is covered with bright twinkling lights which come together to form a whimsical archway for sightseers to pass through. Call (210) 829-6001 for more information.
Holiday Fun at San Antonio-Area Theme Parks
San Antonio's renowned theme parks get in the holiday spirit with decorations and special events, too. Santa joins Shamu at SeaWorld San Antonio's Holiday Celebration. Lights transform SeaWorld into an illuminated village, while Shamu dons Santa's red cap and puts on a Christmas show with holiday music and lighting. It's the most wonderful time of year at Six Flags Fiesta Texas' Holiday in the Park, an annual extravaganza with light displays, holiday-themed shows, food and caroling.
Celebrate San Antonio: New Year's Eve in San Antonio and The Fairmount Hotel
Ring in the New Year with San Antonio's biggest New Year's Eve party downtown when fireworks pop, flash, and sparkle at midnight from the 750-foot-tall Tower of the Americas (right outside your window, across the street at HemisPark) at Celebrate San Antonio! Musical entertainment, dozens of food and beverage booths, an HEB children's area in La Villita, carnival games and more make a memorable start of another year of fun, San Antonio-style!
Known as the largest free New Year's Eve festival in the state of Texas, Celebrate San Antonio continues to draw a quarter of a million excited revelers downtown for a spectacular fireworks show, great San Antonio cuisine, games and rides, and entertainment for the entire family. The highlight will be the countdown to midnight and the Valero Corner Stores Fireworks Extravaganza showcasing the Tower of the Americas. "The Parks Foundation shares the County's concern for public safety and with the recent ban on fireworks we invite folks to come down for our fireworks show," said Lila Cockrell, president of the San Antonio Parks Foundation. She also added that the Parks Foundation works closely with the Fire Marshall and other city officials to ensure a safe pyrotechnics show.
The huge downtown celebration begins at 6 p.m. on S. Alamo Street between Market and Durango and throughout historic La Villita. Admission is free and festivities continue until 12:30 a.m. Revelers will be treated to live music on four stages.
Located in front of the entrance to HemisFair Park, the Budweiser Main Stage will feature a variety of music from popular local bands Red Sauce Rules, Judi Deleon & The Latin Connection, and 46. For more information call 210-212-8423 or visit www.celebratesa.org.