“A Night In Old San Antonio®” Brings the Heritage of San Antonio Alive in Four-night Festival

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250 Food and Drink Booths and 12 Musical Stages keep 18,000 Guests Happy

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Fifteen unique cultural areas are represented at A Night In Old San Antonio. Each offers the sights, sounds and tastes of the national heritage early immigrants brought to the city as they settled the wild Texas frontier.

“A Night In Old San Antonio®” (NIOSA®) is a four-night festival in the heart of downtown San Antonio that celebrates the city’s diverse cultural legacy for more than 85,000 revelers annually.

Sponsored by and benefiting the San Antonio Conservation Society, the 68th presentation of NIOSA will be held April 19-22, 2016 from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m, nightly during the city’s Fiesta San Antonio® celebration. Gates close and alcohol sales stop at 10 p.m.; food sales and entertainment continue until 10:30 p.m. NIOSA is held on the grounds of La Villita National Historic District—the 18th century Spanish neighborhood, bounded by the San Antonio River and Alamo, Nueva and Presa streets (approximately five acres).

Through the magic of more than 250 food, drink and atmosphere booths, 12 live musical acts, children’s games, decorations, costumed volunteers and souvenirs, NIOSA brings the city’s heritage alive in its 15 areas. Check NIOSA’s website and mobile website for a complete list of all food, entertainment and drinks, by area. A map of these 15 areas can be found on the NIOSA website at http://www.niosa.org/EventMap.aspx.

What makes NIOSA unique from the zillion festivals in Texas?

  •     All food items are created, perfected, and prepared by NIOSA volunteers on-site and truly reflect the areas where they can be found. In fact, sometimes the only place they can be enjoyed is at NIOSA.
  •     All food booths are run by Conservation Society volunteers; many are second or third generation of a family to man a NIOSA booth. Volunteers come from all over the country to work at NIOSA. No food vendors or restaurants produce or sell food at NIOSA.
  •     On the average, NIOSA revelers annually consume over 31,000 lbs. of beef; 14,750 lbs. of chicken; 9,800 lbs. of sausage; 3,200 turkey legs; 56,500 buns, rolls and bolillos; 36,645 flour tortillas; 11,000 tamales; 29,120 lbs. of fruits and vegetables; and 4,000 lbs. of guacamole.

NIOSA is sponsored solely by the San Antonio Conservation Society. Founded in 1924, the San Antonio Conservation Society is one of the oldest and most active community preservation groups in the United States. Beginning with efforts to prevent historic structures from being razed and to preserve such unique sites as the city’s Spanish Colonial missions, the society has been responsible for saving most of the historic attractions that now make San Antonio one of the top tourist destinations in Texas. The Society was integral in the Missions’ nomination as an UNESCO World Heritage Site, initiating the nomination process in 2006 and continuing to support the nomination until they were awarded UNESCO World Heritage status on July 5, 2015.

NIOSA is the top fundraiser for historic preservation in the nation and truly lives up to its motto as a “Celebration for Preservation of Texas History,” NIOSA chairman Patti Zaiontz, elected by the Conservation Society in June 2015 as its Fourth Vice President, volunteers her time all year to plan and coordinate the event, and is assisted by four NIOSA vice chairmen and a treasurer—also all volunteers. NIOSA funds the San Antonio Conservation Society with over $1.2 million annually in profits to continue supporting the Society’s mission for preservation of Texas History and its historic properties, places, customs and educational programs. In the past ten years alone, more than $12 million has been netted at NIOSA to fund the Society's 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. In addition, NIOSA’s community impact totals $1.3 million, with payments of $511,000+ paid to the City in rental, fees, permits and taxes, and over $800,000 paid to local suppliers and entertainers.

Gate tickets are $15 for adults; children 12 and under are free when accompanied by an adult. Discount advance tickets are available for $12 online at https://www.niosa.org/, the NIOSA Corner Store in La Villita and at other locations throughout San Antonio in mid-February; visit the website for specific locations. Handicap access at all gates, except for the one at Alamo and Villita streets.

Visit https://www.niosa.org/, contact (210) 216-5188, email niosa(at)niosa(dot)org or follow NIOSA on Facebook. NIOSA’s mobile website includes an interactive map, lists of all foods, beverages, entertainment and more.

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Jeanne Albrecht

Jeanne Albrecht
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