The Conservation Society of San Antonio to celebrate city’s culture with “Fall Heritage Festival” In La Villita on Friday, Nov 6, 2020

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This “Fall Heritage Festival” on Friday, Nov 6, will be solely produced by and benefit The Conservation Society of San Antonio’s historic preservation programs and services. Tickets to the outdoor event will be limited to 1,000 people and will be all-inclusive—all guests pay a flat fee of $125/per person which entitles them to all food and drink served during the festival.

“This is not a NIOSA celebration, but San Antonians will notice many welcome comparisons to NIOSA in food and drink such as NIOSA favorites Mr. Chicken; Maria’s Tortillas; Bongo K Bobs and German sausage. The spread out nature of this festival will hearken back to the roots of our first festivals."

In keeping with The Conservation Society of San Antonio’s mission of preserving historic buildings, objects, places and customs relating to all that is admirably distinctive to the state, The Conservation Society of San Antonio is planning a “Fall Heritage Festival” in La Villita on Friday, Nov 6, 2020, it was announced today by Patti Zaiontz, president of rhe Conservation Society.

The event will be produced by and benefit The Conservation Society and its many programs and services, including tours of historic sites for school children; grants for community preservation projects; two historic house museums; a research library; awards for the restoration of the built environment and for the publication of outstanding books on Texas history; speakers; and support of heritage projects.

“A fall festival is nothing new for The Society; this will be the tenth fall festival hosted by the Society—with a 74-year break,” adds Zaiontz. The Conservation held its first harvest festival in November of 1936 on the grounds of Mission San Jose. “From 1936 to 1946 (with breaks in 1943 and 1945 because of the war), it was held in the fall—under different names and with slightly different themes and locations--but all with the same focus as this 2020 festival: to educate San Antonians about their city’s culture and to raise money for historic preservation.”

The “Fall Heritage Festival” will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on the approximately four acres grounds of La Villita National Historic District, bounded by the San Antonio River and Alamo, Nueva and Presa streets.

There will be three entrance gates to the event: South Presa near Villita Street; South Alamo Street near East Nueva Street; and East Nueva Street--midway between South Alamo and South Presa.

Tickets to the outdoor event will be limited to 1,000 people and will be all-inclusive—meaning all guests pay a flat fee of $125/per person which entitles them to all food and drink from the festival’s food and drink booths. Two local bands will entertain guests.

E-TICKETS GO ON SALE FRIDAY OCTOBER 9 at 10:00 AM. All attendees must be 21 years or older; guests will be carded. Only eTickets will be sold and are on sale October 9 through the Society website at http://www.saconservation.org/news-events/ or http://www.etix.com. Tickets are non-refundable. Event will occur rain or shine.

Food specialties will include Mr. Chicken; Maria’s Tortillas; Bongo K Bobs; German Sausage and much, much more. Drink booths will include imported and domestic beers; wine Margaritas; wine; cold drinks and water.

The Fall Harvest Festival will be coordinated by Terry Schoenert—Fourth Vice President of The Society and Chairman of “A Night In Old San Antonio®” —and her team of NIOSA® experts.

“This is not a NIOSA celebration, but San Antonians will notice many welcome comparisons to NIOSA in food and drink,” says Zaiontz. “The spread out nature of this festival will hearken back to the roots of our first festivals on the grounds of Mission San Jose.”

Guests are invited to bring non-perishable food to donate to the San Antonio Food Bank at the three entrance gates. The economic fallout from the pandemic has meant an extra 50,000 children are at risk of hunger in our community. Most wanted items can be found at: https://safoodbank.org/ways-to-help/give-food/

To throw an event that is “smart, small and careful” the Society is incorporating these procedures:

  • Only 1,000 guests stretched over the four acres of La Villita will allow for distancing on a huge scale
  • Electronic tickets at entry eliminates need for ticket exchange
  • Guests must wear masks at the event except when seated while eating or drinking
  • Guests must follow social distancing rules
  • All volunteers and entertainers are pre-screened with temperature checks; must wear masks and gloves
  • Enhanced sanitizing protocols will include additional hand sanitizer and hand wash stations, at entrances and throughout venue
  • Buffer zones will be incorporated between performers and guests
  • There will be designated eating areas
  • The Society will provide additional trash receptacles, recycle bins and appropriately distanced portable restrooms

True to its mission, the Society will intersperse several photo displays and vignettes relating to La Villita’s heritage:

  • The Assembly Building on La Villita’s grounds was the site of a speech by Jackie Robinson on March 16, 1960 following the lunch counter desegregation. November 6 is also the birthday of Mary Lilian Andrews, the 17-year old who sparked the integration effort.
  • The Cos House where Mexican General Perfecto de Cos “signed the articles of capitulation” on December 9, 1835 after being defeated by the Texian Army.
  • St. Philip's College, where Artemesia Bowden transformed a weekend sewing class for six black girls into a still extant junior college.
  • La Villita was the recruitment center for the Casas Revolt of 1811.
  • The Society’s own purchase of the Dashiell and Bombach houses in the 1940s to help develop La Villita Arts Village.
  • The indigenous history of this high ground near the San Antonio river crossing.

POLICIES:    The following items are prohibited on the La Villita grounds; the Society will NOT provide a place to check these items:

  • Weapons (including concealed weapons).
  • Outside food & beverages, recreational wheels (i.e., scooters, skateboards, roller blades, Heelys, etc.), drones
  • Bags/Backpacks: Any bags, including backpacks, larger than 12"x12"x6" are prohibited unless they are clear or mesh. The use of clear bags of any size is encouraged to expedite entry into this event. Prohibited bags will not be held nor checked-in at the gates. All bags brought into the event may be screened.

For more information on the festival, contact niosa@niosa.org or 210-226-5188, or visit the website http://www.niosa.org or Facebook.com/NIOSA.NIOSA. For more information on the Conservation Society go to conserve@saconservation.org or 210-224-6163, or visit http://www.saconservation.org or Facebook.com/saconservation.

MEDIA:     Interviews with President Patti Zaiontz or bilingual spokespersons are available from Jeanne Albrecht at 210-392-9047 or jca@jeannebiz.com.

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