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.
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.
Ska-punk royalty Sublime with Rome, hip-hop icons Cypress Hill, and reggae-rock party animals Pepper pool their crowd-pleasing talents to devise a surefire prescription for the summertime blues. Carrying on the legacy of legendary singer Bradley Nowell, dead-ringer Rome Ramirez leads Sublime with Rome through energetic numbers from its newest record, Yours Truly, as well as rock-radio mainstays, such as “Santeria” and “What I Got,” that still dominate airwaves with a contagiously laid-back attitude. Multiplatinum hip-hop group Cypress Hill continues to meld worldly genres and salute organic gardening in hits such as “How I Could Just Kill a Man” and “Insane in the Brain.” Heading up the summer fun pack, the Hawaii and California hybrid of Pepper stomps and grinds with goodtime odes to love and pogo sticks, as heard in their song “Give It Up.”
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.