The Hershey Theatre, conceived in 1933 by noted philanthropist and chocolatier Milton S. Hershey, stands as an opulent tribute to the performing arts. Taking architectural cues from Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, the foyer’s towering arches gleam with golden paint and crystal chandeliers. The blue-and-gold mosaic that leads to the main seating area is the masterwork of two German artists who spent two years on its construction. Once inside the theater, audiences might think they’ve stepped onto the streets of Venice thanks to the atmospheric ceiling, stonework facades, and gondoliers paddling them to their seats. ####Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Music has permeated the 800 manicured acres where the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has stood since 1969, when farmer Max Yasgur agreed to let love, peace, and harmony grow wild at the very first Woodstock festival. These days, the renowned outdoor venue and cultural center continues to attract the biggest acts in music to its pavilion stage. The open-air design ensures ample ventilation on the natural sloping lawn, and a roof protects up to 15,000 fans from inclement weather and the prying eyes of Cessna pilots.
Challenge Nation pioneered the urban-adventure race with a race season that includes visits to more than 35 cities across the country. Each scavenger hunt is personalized to the hosting city, exploring its many diverse neighborhoods with a series of clues that would test even the most skilled children's-book detective. The teams?composed of at least two people?vie for a $300 first-place prize. The Amazing Race?style competition rewards quick wits and wise planning over physical fitness, so the best way to prepare is by doing logic puzzles while eating Funyuns and lounging in a La-Z-Boy. The top 25 teams qualify, the top five receiving free entry, to compete in the national championship, which rewards winning teams with a $5,000 cash prize.
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.
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.
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.