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The Conservation Society of San Antonio to bring the city's culture alive with the 72nd presentation of "A Night In Old San Antonio"

"A Night In Old San Antonio®" (NIOSA®) is a four-night festival, Tuesday through Friday, April 21-24, 2020 from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. in the heart of downtown San Antonio that celebrates the city's diverse cultural legacy for more than 85,000 revelers annually during the city's Fiesta San Antonio® celebration.

SAN ANTONIO, Feb. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- "A Night In Old San Antonio®" (NIOSA®) is a four-night festival, Tuesday through Friday, April 21-24, 2020 from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. in the heart of downtown San Antonio that celebrates the city's diverse cultural legacy for more than 85,000 revelers annually during the city's Fiesta San Antonio® celebration.

Through the magic of 200-plus food, drink and atmosphere booths; 14 continuous live musical acts; children's games; decorations; souvenirs; and 10,000+ volunteers, NIOSA brings the city's heritage alive in 15 areas.

Celebrating its 72nd anniversary in 2020, NIOSA is the top fundraiser for historic preservation in the United States—living up to its motto as a "Celebration for Preservation." It is solely produced by and benefits The Conservation Society of San Antonio (one of the nation's oldest and most active historic preservation organizations).

NIOSA occurs downtown on the grounds of La Villita National Historic District, bounded by the San Antonio River and Alamo, Nueva and Presa streets (approximately five acres).

NOTE: The NIOSA footprint in La Villita will NOT change in 2020; NIOSA's Frontier Town area will definitely be held in Maverick Plaza, with no changes.

Children 12 and under are free when accompanied by an adult. Discount advance tickets and e-tickets will be available at http://www.niosa.org and at locations around San Antonio as of March 2, 2020.

MORE: "A Night In Old San Antonio" celebrates the city's diverse cultural legacy through its 15 cultural areas: Mission Trail (early years of the San Antonio Missions); Arneson Theatre (amphitheater built in 1941 into the natural curve of the city's river bank); China Town; Clown Alley; French Quarter; Froggy Bottom (cultural contributions of African-Americans); Frontier Town; Haymarket (produce and livestock markets near San Fernando Cathedral during the city's Spanish Colonial period); International Walkway (showcases different ethnic groups that developed San Antonio's unique heritage); Irish Flats; Main Street USA; Mexican Market; Sauerkraut Bend; South of the Border (Northern Mexico influences); and Villa España (Spanish and Canary Islanders heritage).

NIOSA began in 1938 as the "Indian Festival," a one-night street fair held in the fall and patterned after the fiestas of San Antonio's early days. The festival was presented for a few years under different names, finally becoming the "River Festival" in 1944. In 1946, the City of San Antonio asked the Conservation Society to hold its event during Fiesta. In 1948 the one-street, one-night festival was called "A Night In Old San Antonio" for the first time. By 1958 it had expanded to four nights and in 1966, the name was registered and trademarked, reserving it exclusively for the Conservation Society.

In the past ten years alone, more than $12 million has been netted at NIOSA to enable The Conservation Society to continue its 95-year mission of preserving historic buildings, objects, places and customs relating to the history of Texas and all that is admirably distinctive to the state. 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. Out of the roughly $1.5 million netted annually at NIOSA, proceeds support restoration and preservation of historic properties, parks, waterways and tangible cultural heritage of the city and neighboring counties, as well as education and advocacy programs such as the Heritage Education tours, seminars, grants, scholarships, a resource library and its two house museums.

Two stellar examples of the Conservation Society's significance and diligence are its:

  • Decades-long campaign to conserve the San Antonio's five Franciscan Missions. Society members purchased items ranging from aqueducts and farmland to the bronze-medallioned door of the San José Granary. It also brokered the establishment of a state park at San José Mission with the Catholic Church in 1941. In 1978 the Society was critical in the creation of the National Historical Park, and in 2006 launched the UNESCO World Heritage nomination that led to the Missions' inscription in 2015—the only World Heritage Site in Texas.
  • The first Woolworth's lunch counter to peacefully and voluntarily integrate during the sit-in movement was at Alamo and Houston Streets in San Antonio. The Conservation Society has been working with the Coalition for the Woolworth Building over the last year to save this landmark as part of the new Alamo Museum. The Coalition—made of the NAACP, San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum, Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, West Side Preservation Alliance, San Antonio Growth for the East Side and others—released a compromise plan in May 2019 illustrating how the Woolworth Building could be incorporated into a new Alamo museum. The Society successfully nominated the Woolworth Bldg. as a State Antiquities Landmark in 2019. The Woolworth Building was listed on the World Monuments Watch List 2020 as one of 25 sites endangered worldwide.

What makes NIOSA unique from festivals around the world?

  • Food items are created, perfected, and prepared by NIOSA volunteers on-site and truly reflect the areas where they can be found. Many dishes can only be enjoyed at NIOSA.
  • All booths are run by Conservation Society volunteers; many are second or third generations of a family. Volunteers come from all over the country to work at NIOSA.
  • On the average, NIOSA revelers annually consume over 13500 lbs. of beef; 11,000 lbs. of chicken; 4,200 lbs. of sausage; 3,800 turkey legs; 25,000 buns, rolls and bolillos; 25,000 tortillas; 1,400 lbs. of masa; 5,300 tamales; 11,200 lbs. of fruits and vegetables; and 800 lbs. of guacamole.
  • All musical acts play all night, every night, of NIOSA

NIOSA chairman Terry Schoenert—elected by the Conservation Society in July 2019 as its Fourth Vice President/NIOSA Chairman—volunteers her time all year to plan and coordinate the event, assisted by four NIOSA vice chairs (Dee Wright, Julie Terrell, Lisa Pierce and Deborah Lund) and NIOSA Treasurer Jana Foreman—also volunteers. They oversee the other 10,000 volunteers who contribute more than 150,000 volunteer hours to make NIOSA happen.

Gate tickets are $15 for adults; children 12 and under are free when accompanied by an adult. Discount advance tickets are available May 2 through April 24 for $12 at http://www.niosa.org, the NIOSA office at 227 South Presa Street from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays; H-E-B grocery stores in San Antonio, Boerne, Bulverde, Seguin and New Braunfels; Fiesta Store; Southwest Research; USAA; Ft. Sam Houston; Lackland AFB; and Randolph AFB. Buyers should check with sellers; some may add service charge. Discount e-tickets for smart phone or tablet (or can be printed) are sold on NIOSA website.

Visit https://www.niosa.org/, contact (210) 226-5188, email niosa@niosa.org or follow NIOSA on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/niosa.niosa.


"A Night In Old San Antonio®" (NIOSA®) again earned in 2020 one of the highest certifications from the City of San Antonio based on its Green Events Ordinance sustainable policies for medium and large-scale events. In 2011, NIOSA earned the "Platinum Status" in the city's Fiesta Verde program, the first organization in the city to do so.

MEDIA: More comprehensive media materials are available on NIOSA news page. High-resolution photos; recipes; interviews with Chairman Terry Schoenert; interviews with bilingual spokespersons; media passes; and more detailed entertainment/food schedules are available from Jeanne Albrecht at 210-392-9047, or jca@jeannebiz.com.


SOURCE A Night In Old San Antonio