For three days in November, the Weihnachtsmarkt Christmas Market brings Olde World Christmas spirit to New Braunfels. Vendors set up cheery red and green booths in the German-style holiday market, where they sell homemade wares such as aromatic roasted nuts, unique toys, vintage cameos, and homemade toffee. Nearby, authors sit ready to discuss their novels or sing their favorite Christmas carols at the on-site book fair and a jolly Santa eats breakfast with kids of all ages. To keep guests warm during the event, Sophie's Cafe serves up warm mugs of soup paired with sandwiches or tempting desserts.
Proceeds from the event benefit The Sophienburg Museum and Archives, which serves as the hub for immigration ship logs, photos, and documents of the first German Americans who found their way to Texas.
Overlooking downtown San Antonio, the Tower of the Americas stretches 750 feet into the sky and delights visitors with 360-degree views of the city. The Flags Over Texas observation deck educates with a series of murals detailing the history of the six flags that have flown over the state's buildings throughout its existence. Moving seats simulate the sensation of flight in the 4-D Skies Over Texas ride, where images enhanced by 3-D glasses leap out at viewers, showing Texas wildlife and festivals.
The San Antonio Film Festival unearths cinematic treasures and provides a platform for artists to unveil their works to a diverse audience. College and high-school categories showcase the future of filmmaking, and documentaries drag real-world issues—such as the epidemic misuse of the word "literally"—into the light. Festival-goers literally never stop between viewings, keeping busy while meeting some of the filmmakers, soaking in words of wisdom from panelists, and participating in workshops.
At the Mediterranean Food Festival, up to 14,000 visitors gather at San Antonio's La Villita district to taste the cuisine and culture of eight different ethnic groups from around the Mediterranean Sea. Snacks and entrees from Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, and Israel keep crowds lively as they learn about the rich history, music, and artwork of the diverse peoples of the region.
Stephanie Sant'Ambrogio has classical music in her blood. The one-time concertmaster of the San Antonio Symphony descends from a line of concert pianists and symphony violists, and her sister Sara plays the cello in the award-winning ensemble Eroica Trio. One summer evening in 1996, Stephanie was feeling deprived during the symphony's seasonal hiatus when inspiration struck: why not found a new festival all her own? Going strong 17 years later, the Cactus Pear Music Festival sprawls out with five concert programs scheduled in three cities over the course of two weeks.
A direct descendant of the 1891 flower-chucking commemoration of the Battles of the Alamo and San Jacinto, Fiesta San Antonio illuminates the cultural depth and noble past of the city. Fiesta commission membership benefits include an exclusive membership pin or ladder bar for each year of membership, a copy of the Fiesta magazine, participation in the commission's annual membership meeting on May 24, a 15% discount on official merchandise at the Fiesta Store, and a limited-edition medal.