SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) -If you need your fix of Maria’s Tortillas, chicken on a stick (Mr. Chicken), or Bongo K Bobs, get ready for the Fall Heritage Festival next month at La Villita sponsored by The Conservation Society of San Antonio.
While the food may sound familiar, Society president Patti Zaiontz says this is not Night in Old San Antonio, where as many as 20,000 Fiesta revelers usually pack La Villita. They’re limiting attendance to 1,000 guests at the festival Nov. 6. That may sound like a lot, especially during the pandemic, but the activities will be spread out over 4 acres of outdoor space.
“It will definitely not be elbow to elbow at all,” said Zaiontz. “People will be spread out. The booths will be spread out and there’ll be three different seating areas.”
A fall festival is not new to the Society. The organization held its first harvest festival in November of 1936 on the grounds of Mission San Jose.
“Members would bring their pet livestock, their goats and chickens and give it a real flavor of mission life,” Zaiontz told KTSA News.
She says the focus was to educate San Antonio residents about their city’s culture and to raise money for historic preservation. Eventually, the festival turned into a spring event and became part of Fiesta San Antonio. When COVID-19 forced the cancellation of Fiesta this year, the Society started thinking about how to have a safe fundraising event to pay for the organization’s programs and services, including tours of historic sites for students, grants for community preservation projects and two historic house museums.
In addition to numerous food and beverage booths, the festival will feature two entertainment stages and several photo displays and historic vignettes relating to La Villita’s heritage, including the CosHouse where Mexican General perfecto de Cos signed the articles of capitulation in 1835 after being defeated by the Texian Army, and the Assembly Building where Jackie Robinson delivered a speech in 1960 following the lunch counter desegregation. La Villita was the recruitment center for the Casas Revolt of 1811.
Hand sanitizer and hand wash stations will be at the entrances and throughout La Villita. Masks will be required except when seated while eating or drinking and guests must follow social distancing rules.
Tickets are $125 and that includes all food and drink from the various booths. The event is open to people 21 and over. For more information on the festival, contact [email protected] or 210-226-5188, or visit the website www.niosa.org.