Night in Old San Antonio (NIOSA®) 2017 is About to Begin
Each spring, the La Villita Historic District—an 18th century Spanish neighborhood on the banks of the San Antonio River downtown—becomes A Night In Old San Antonio (NIOSA®) for four nights during the city’s Fiesta celebration. This year’s celebration takes place April 25-28, 2017. Night in Old San Antonio® celebrates the customs and cultures unique to our region and its proceeds support the community through the preservation, education and research programs of the Conservation Society. NIOSA is the top fundraiser for historic preservation in the nation. In the past ten years alone, more than $12 million has been netted at NIOSA to fund the Society’s mission. NIOSA proceeds support restoration and preservation of historic properties and parks throughout the city and neighboring counties, as well as education and advocacy programs and projects such as the Heritage Education tours, seminars, community tours, scholarships, resource library and house museums. NIOSA’s community impact totals $1.3 million annually with payments of $511,000-plus paid to the City in rental, fees, permits and taxes, and over $800,000 paid to local suppliers and entertainers.
What began as a one-night street festival in 1938 with a handful of costumed Society members serving food and drink from river barges, has grown into a mammoth enterprise involving over 20,000 costumed volunteers who stage and man the event in April. Over 80,000 visitors celebrate the nation’s largest preservation festival with a dozen entertainment stages and more than 240 decorated food booths in 15 heritage-themed areas. NIOSA directly benefits the city of San Antonio through rent, police, fire, trash and health inspection payments, totaling over $4.5 million since 2000.
The 15 areas presented Night in Old San Antonio include ARNESON THEATRE—an open-air theatre overlooking the San Antonio River, built by the Works Projects Administration in the late 1930s; CHINATOWN—a giant Chinese dragon greets guests for traditional Chinese cuisine; CLOWN ALLEY—for the child in everyone with games, face painting and kid foods; FRENCH QUARTER—celebrates the early French settlers of South Texas with bistro décor and gourmet cuisine; FROGGY BOTTOM—pays tribute to the city’s early African-American settlers who migrated to San Antonio from Louisiana in the mid-late 1800s; FRONTIER TOWN—the largest area at NIOSA® where San Antonio’s rugged past takes center stage; HAYMARKET—duplicates the site near San Fernando Cathedral where citizens gathered to exchange fresh produce and livestock during the Spanish Colonial period; INTERNATIONAL WALKWAY—offers foods from Italy, Greece, England and Belgium; IRISH FLAT—pays homage to Irish immigrants with Irish folk bands, sing-alongs and green beer; MAIN STREET USA— features two stages of entertainment and serves AllAmerican favorites; MEXICAN MARKET—the original area of NIOSA® celebrates the city’s strong cultural ties to Mexico with folkloric dancers, Latin rhythms, cascarones (confetti-filled eggshells), folk art and Mexican foods; MISSION TRAIL—commemorates San Antonio’s indigenous peoples and the historic missions where they lived and worked; SAUERKRAUT BEND—celebrates San Antonio’s German immigrants who built homes in the King William neighborhood along a bend in the San Antonio River; SOUTH OF THE BORDER—features the regional foods and décor of Northern Mexico and South Texas; and VILLA ESPAÑA—depicts a Spanish village with authentic Spanish dishes.
NIOSA also sponsors NIOSITAs (mini-NIOSAs) throughout the year for conventions, meetings and festivals—for groups from 300 and up—to raise additional funds for historic preservation. To learn more about NIOSA or NIOSITAs, visit www.niosa.org.
For more information on the Conservation Society and its many programs, visit www.saconservation.org or contact the Conservation Society at (210) 224-6163; fax (210) 224-6168; or email@example.com