By Kristian Jaime
With many of the festivities free and open to the public, they blend live entertainment and local cultural partners to tell the extensive and eclectic story of San Antonio. Flanked by members of City Council and County Judge Nelson Wolff, iconic Market Square was the site for the unveiling.
“The momentum of our Tricentennial celebration has never been better,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg. “We welcomed visitors from across the country for the Final Four and we showed the nation we are a vibrant city with a very rich history. Now, were just a month away from the crescendo of the Tricentennial on May 1.”
On that same date in 1718, Mission San Antonio, or The Alamo, as it is better known was formally established. Four days later, the Presidio de San Antonio de Bexar was formed to protect the new mission.
The week kicks off with a Day of Reflection and a program honoring the native population of the region and the lighting of a commemorative flame that will stay lit for the duration of the week. All events start at 6 p.m. in Main Plaza.
Also on hand was VIA Transit, who will be providing transportation for the public during the packed schedule and providing the Mobile Lab Learning feature. Celebrations will take place across the city and will include locations like Morgan’s Wonderland, Our lady of the Lake, the Carver Cultural Center, Travis Park and downtown San Antonio for a very special Siclovia.
“As we reflect on our community’s complex history, we will ask ourselves what kind of city we want to be in the next 300 years,” continued Mayor Nirenberg. “Please bring your families to celebrate [our city’s birthday]. I guarantee you it will be great fun for everyone.”
Planning the year-long celebration fell to the Tricentennial Commission, who began the mammoth task of developing a schedule indicative of numerous influences on the city’s cultural profile. Originally formed in 2015, the organization was the first to reach out to entities across the city to not only plan a full calendar year of festivities, but also develop education and fitness initiatives to name just a few.
Among educator’s resources available are lesson plans, curricula and a list of books that explain, in detail, the evolution of the seventh largest city in the nation. That mission became considerably easier with the donation of $300,000 by Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas. The official schedule announcement also coincided with the opening of the Tricentennial store ready to get their hands on memorabilia.
That includes the official commemorative week book complete with the story of Bexar County and the historic figures that have shaped it to this day.
“San Antonio is on the move and it’s growing,” said County Judge Nelson Wolff. “Everywhere you turn, there’s an economic development project. So its a great time to be celebrating our Tricentennial and we’re going to be doing a couple of things at the county as well. That includes fireworks and live entertainment at these events.”
On May 2, along with programming on what has been called the History and Education Day, there will be free Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) activities at all 29 public library locations.
Thursday, May 3 will be Founders’ Day with events across the city capped off by the Founders’ Day Gala at the newly renovated Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. The remainder of the week will showcase Arts for All, Legacy Day, Military Appreciation Day and the annual Siclovia bike-riding event.
“This will be a unique coming together of all the people here in San Antonio. We’re going to have a great time and we’re also going to learn a great deal,” concluded Judge Wolff.
More information on San Antonio Tricentennial celebration and the full list of events are available at the Tricentennial Commission’s official site.