SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — The sixth annual World Heritage Festival is next week and event organizers are excited to return to an in-person event after going virtual in 2020.
The festival is set for September 8 through 12 and will include some virtual events alongside physical events to celebrate San Antonio’s historic missions. All in-person events will take place outdoors and event organizers are encouraging participants to wear face coverings and stay socially distanced.
“The traditions and shared history that began thousands of years ago and evolved with the many ethnic groups over time have created the San Antonio we live in today,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said. “Our historic San Antonio missions are a reminder of the influences that have helped make San Antonio a unique and authentic city. We must continue to honor that historical and cultural legacy because San Antonio heritage, is indeed, world heritage.”
The city’s five Spanish Colonial missions — San Jose, San Juan, Espada, Concepcion, and The Alamo — are the only United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization designated World Heritage Sites in Texas and only one of 24 in the United States.
“The County is honored to be a part of the World Heritage Week celebrations recognizing our UNESCO World Heritage designation. I will never forget when we visited Bonn, Germany in 2015 to advocate for this recognition in front of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee,” Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said. “It was a historic moment when the Alamo and missions joined other famous places throughout the globe as World Heritage sites as they are an important part of our history and culture. It is my hope that people from around the world continue to embrace and experience these historic sites for years to come.”
Event organizers said the 2021 World Heritage Festival will see the return of the September 11 commemoration event Restored by Light that pays tribute to military and first responders in San Antonio.
Here is the schedule of in-person events:
Mission Marquee Plaza, 3100 Roosevelt Ave., 78214
Join us for a media arts exhibit presented by Blue Star Contemporary and Darmstädter Sezession. The evening includes short films by local and Darmstadt artists. Celebrate contemporary art from these two sister cities and enjoy meeting artists, art kits, food trucks, and refreshments. Videos included in the program were selected through competitive open calls held by each organization. From a shortlist of artists, one San Antonio artist will be awarded $6,000 and announced at Thursday’s event!
Blue Star Contemporary along with Darmstädter Sezession present an evening of short films by local and Darmstadt artists. Celebrate contemporary art from these two sister cities and enjoy meeting artists, art kits, food trucks, and refreshments. Videos included in the program were selected through competitive open calls held by each organization. From a shortlist of artists, one San Antonio artist will be awarded $6,000 and announced at this event!
Mission San Jose, 6701 San Jose Dr., 78214
The Office of Historic Preservation’s popular event Restored by Light returns to Mission San Jose with family-friendly activities and entertainment. Bring a picnic or enjoy snacks from the food truck court. Before dark, enjoy kids’ activities and a ballet folklorico performance from the San Antonio Parks & Recreation Dance Program. At dark, the façade of Mission San Jose will be restored to its original frescoed appearance using projection technology illumination. This year, students from SAISD schools will also be displaying original artwork on the mission façade. This event is 100% outdoors, and masks or face coverings are required to enter the event grounds. Celebrate our local heritage with food, music, and fun!
Mission Park Pavilion, 6030 Padre Dr., 78214
Registration fees: $15-35
Register by August 30: www.worldheritagefestival.org
The Tour de las Misiones Bike Ride, Walk and Run beginning and ending at Mission Park Pavilion. The events will include a leisurely ride ranging from 7- to 22-miles with stops at each mission and an enjoyable 5 or 10K walk and run through the scenic River Reach and Mission San Jose. Participants who register by August 30 are guaranteed to receive a commemorative finisher’s medal, runner’s bib, passport, and T-shirt. Immediately following the Tour de las Misiones, participants can enjoy music by DJ Steven Moya and local artists to highlight the distinct and diverse spirit of our city. The event will feature local artisans, community organizations, food vendors, music, and more. Military discount is available using code MILITARY at checkout for $5 off.
The tour is presented by the City of San Antonio’s World Heritage Office, Bexar County, the San Antonio River Authority, America’s Walking Club, South Texas Off Road Mountain Bikers, SATX Social Ride, and IAAPWEB.
The World Heritage Office and its collaborative partners present the 2nd annual Music and Movie Under the Stars, with a tribute in remembrance of September 11. Celebrate our local heritage with food, music, and fun, and connect with our military historians, veterans and first responders to learn about our city’s rich history. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, and picnics to enjoy a free screening of the Superman favorite, “Man of Steel,” shortly after dusk. This free family-friendly event will be filled with fun interactive activities, pop-up vendors, food trucks, and refreshments.
Mission Espada, 10040 Espada Rd., 78214
Join Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, MSPS to celebrate the “Season of Creation” with a Mariachi Mass at Mission Espada followed by a walk in support of God’s creation on the river trail to Mission San Juan. Bring your water bottles and comfortable shoes. Enjoy tacos, paletas, and coffee.
9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily
View online at www.worldheritagefestival.org
In celebration of the Sister Cities relationship, signed in 2017, between San Antonio and Darmstadt, City of Science, in Germany, both cities have come together to present this exhibition of photos from the Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt, a historic ensemble of buildings and parks. Darmstadt’s famous Mathildenhöhe was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2021, just like the San Antonio Missions were in 2015.
Various locations in the World Heritage Area
View online and download the free brochure at www.worldheritagefestival.org
The City of San Antonio Department of Arts & Culture and World Heritage Office collaborated with community partners and other City departments to develop a multi-site public art project throughout the World Heritage Area. The mural trail is a series of functional murals that also provide an aesthetic vision that reflects the rich history and culture of the missions, people and neighborhoods within the area. The project includes installations at Stinson Municipal Airport; Villamain Road at the Loop 410 underpass; Mission Parkway at Southeast Military Road; and US 90 at Roosevelt Avenue, Steves Avenue, Mission Road, and Presa Street.
Listen online and download the free brochure at www.worldheritagefestival.org
Explore The Alamo and San Antonio Missions National Historical Park online from the comfort of home or use the special audio tours to accompany your in-person visit.