Book Your Own Private NIOSITAs for Conventions, Meetings and Festivals from The San Antonio Conservation Society
Book Your Own Private NIOSITAs for for Conventions, Meetings and Festivals for groups of 300 or more any time of year from The San Antonio Conservation Society. All proceeds go to the San Antonio Conservation Society and its historic preservation efforts.
One of the most popular festivals held in the nation is “A Night In Old San Antonio®” (NIOSA®), a four-night festival sponsored by the San Antonio Conservation Society during the city-wide Fiesta celebration every April. Through the magic of 200-plus food, drink and atmosphere booths; 13 continuous live musical acts; children’s games; decorations; souvenirs; and more than 16,000 costumed volunteers, NIOSA brings the city’s heritage alive in 15 areas.
WHAT IS A NIOSITA®? For the past 57 years, Conservation Society volunteers have also staged NIOSITAs (private, mini-NIOSAs) in La Villita’s historic plazas for conventions, meetings and any group that loves a fiesta—for groups of 300 and up—to raise additional funds. In fact, the Conservation Society was the first organization in San Antonio to produce these outdoor festivals for private groups, establishing NIOSA as the premiere caterer of “fiestas.” The first NIOSITA was held in 1960 after the red-carpet premiere of The Alamo movie starring John Wayne and Richard Widmark (both who attended the NIOSITA).
Just as NIOSA commemorates the ethnic and cultural influences of San Antonio with food and entertainment, a NIOSITA reflects the diverse cultures of San Antonio. Cuisine at a NIOSITA is pure Texas, including NIOSA favorites such as chicken and beef fajitas, chalupas, tamales and chili, Maria’s Tortillas, NIOSA sausages, shypoke eggs and Mexican pastries. Guests will arrive to the sounds of strumming guitars, shiny brass horns and mariachi voices, with a confetti greeting as they enter the decorated plaza. The music selection includes Mexican style or country-western music. Menus can be customized to each group, and all items are prepared fresh and served continuously by Conservation Society volunteers from brightly decorated carts and booths. The Society only produces NIOSITAs in the buildings and plazas of La Villita.
“NIOSITA guests constantly tell us that they not only enjoy NIOSITAs because they are so genuinely San Antonio, but are pleased that the proceeds raised goes straight to historic preservation efforts in San Antonio and central Texas,” says Margie Arnold, San Antonio Conservation Society Fourth Vice President (and NIOSA/NIOSITA chairman).
NIOSA is the top fundraiser for historic preservation in the nation and truly lives up to its motto as a “Celebration for Preservation.” Funds raised enable the Society to continue its mission of preserving historic buildings, objects, places and customs relating to the history of Texas and all that is admirably distinctive to the state. Out of the roughly $1.4 million netted annually at 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, the resource library and the house museums.
Additional examples of just a few of the Conservation Society’s efforts since the mid-1920s to preserve the city’s historic landmarks and traditions include:
- acts that led to the eventual preservation of the city’s beloved Missions
- the purchase of many significant buildings to save them from demolition, including the old Ursuline Academy (now the Southwest School of Art) and the Aztec Theatre
- bestowment of brick-and-mortar grants, cultural/educational grants and scholarships totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars annually
- the record breaking historic move of the Fairmount Hotel through downtown
- preservation of the cultural events of Las Posadas and Los Pastores
- providing buses, guides and teachers’ curriculum for the tour of San Antonio’s most historic sites for nearly 2,400 fourth graders annually for 25 areas schools
- sponsoring community education programs focused on various topics including historic tax credits, building green, adaptive use and historic home maintenance
More information on NIOSITAs can be obtained by visiting http://www.niosa.org/p/home/299 or by contacting the NIOSA office at (210) 226-5188 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2017, for the sixth year in a row, “A Night In Old San Antonio®” (NIOSA®) earned one of the top levels of certification from the City of San Antonio based on its Green Events Ordinance sustainable policies for medium and large-scale events.