Please note that the information contained below is always subject to change. For the most up-to-date information on these events, call the number provided, or check with the Convention and Visitors Bureau (tel. 800/447-3372, ext. 4; www.sanantoniovisit.com).
For an exhaustive list of events beyond those listed here, check http://events.frommers.com, where you'll find a searchable, up-to-the-minute roster of what's happening in cities all over the world.
The Fiesta City -- San Antonio's nickname refers to its huge April bash, but it also touches on the city's tendency to party at the drop of a sombrero. It's only natural that a place with strong Southern, Western, and Hispanic roots would know how to have a good time. Elaborately costumed festival queens, wild-and-woolly rodeos, and parades and mariachis are rolled out year-round.
Michelob ULTRA Riverwalk Mud Festival, River Walk. Every year, when the horseshoe bend of the San Antonio River Walk is drained for maintenance purposes, San Antonians cheer themselves up by electing a king and queen to reign over such events as Mud Stunts Day and the Mud Pie Ball (tel. 210/227-4262; www.thesanantonioriverwalk.com). Mid-January.
Stock Show and Rodeo, AT&T Center. In early February, San Antonio hosts more than 2 weeks of rodeo events, livestock judging, country-and-western bands, and carnivals. It's been going (and growing) since 1949 (tel. 210/225-5851; www.sarodeo.com). Early February.
San Antonio CineFestival, Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center. The nation's oldest and largest Chicano/Latino film festival screens more than 70 films and videos (tel. 210/271-3151; www.guadalupeculturalarts.org). Mid- to late February.
Dyeing O' the River Green Parade. Are leprechauns responsible for turning the San Antonio River into the green River Shannon? Irish dance and music fill the Arneson River Theatre from the afternoon on (tel. 210/227-4262; www.thesanantonioriverwalk.com). St. Patrick's Day weekend.
Starving Artist Show, River Walk and La Villita. Part of the proceeds from the works, sold by nearly 900 local artists, goes to benefit the Little Church of La Villita's program to feed the hungry (tel. 210/226-3593; www.lavillita.com). First weekend of the month.
Fiesta San Antonio. What started as a modest marking of Texas's independence in 1891 is now a huge event, with an elaborately costumed royal court presiding for 9 or 10 days of revelry: parades, balls, foodfests, sporting events, concerts, and art shows all over town. Call tel. 877/723-4378 or 210/227-5191 for details on tickets and events, or log on to www.fiesta-sa.org. Late April (always includes Apr 21, San Jacinto Day).
Tejano Conjunto Festival, Rosedale Park and Guadalupe Theater. This annual festival, sponsored by the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, celebrates the lively and unique blend of Mexican and German music born in south Texas. The best conjunto musicians perform at the largest event of its kind in the world. Call tel. 210/271-3151 for schedules and ticket information, or check the website, www.guadalupeculturalarts.org. Early May.
Return of the Chili Queens, Market Square. An annual tribute to chili, which originated in San Antonio, with music, dancing, crafts demonstrations, and (of course) chili aplenty. Bring the Tums. (tel. 210/207-8600; firstname.lastname@example.org). Memorial Day weekend.
Texas Folklife Festival, Institute of Texas Cultures. Ethnic foods, dances, crafts demonstrations, and games celebrate the diversity of Texas's heritage (tel. 210/458-2224; www.texancultures.utsa.edu). Four days in early June.
Juneteenth, various venues. The anniversary of the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas in 1865 is the occasion for a series of African-American celebrations, including an outdoor jazz concert, gospelfest, parade, picnic, and more. Call the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau for details at tel. 800/447-3372. June 19.
Contemporary Art Month, various venues. More than 400 exhibitions at more than 50 venues make this month a contemporary art lover's heaven (especially inside the air-conditioned galleries). To find out what's showing where, call tel. 210/212-7082 or log on to www.camsanantonio.org.
Diez y Seis, various venues. Mexican independence from Spain is feted at several different downtown venues, including La Villita, the Arneson River Theatre, and Guadalupe Plaza. Music and dance, a parade, and a charreada (rodeo) are part of the fun (tel. 210/223-3151; www.agatx.org). Weekend nearest September 16.
Jazz'SAlive, Travis Park. Bands from New Orleans and San Antonio come together for a weekend of hot jazz (tel. 210/212-8423; www.saparksfoundation.org). Third weekend in September.
Oktoberfest, Beethoven Halle and Garten. San Antonio's German roots show at this festival with food, dance, oompah bands, and beer (tel. 210/222-1521; www.beethovenmaennerchor.com/oktoberfest.htm). Early October.
International Accordion Festival, La Villita. Inaugurated in 2001, this squeezebox fest was such a success that it became an annual event. More than a dozen ensembles play music from around the globe, from Cajun, merengue, zydeco, and conjunto to klezmer, Basque, and Irish music. There are also dancing and workshops for all ages (tel. 210/865-8578; www.internationalaccordionfestival.org). Mid-October.
New World Wine and Food Festival, various venues. Celebrity chefs from around Texas help celebrate San Antonio's culinary roots with everything from tequila tastings and chocolate seminars to cooking classes. It's a taste treat, and it's all for charity (tel. 210/930-3232; www.newworldwinefood.org). First weekend in November.
Ford Holiday River Parade and Lighting Ceremony. Trees and bridges along the river are illuminated by some 122,000 lights. Celebrities, duded-up locals, and lots of bands participate in this floating river parade, which kicks off the Paseo del Rio Holiday Festival (tel. 210/227-4262; www.thesanantonioriverwalk.com). Friday following Thanksgiving.
Fiestas Navideñas, Market Square. The Mexican market hosts piñata parties, a blessing of the animals, and surprise visits from Pancho Claus (tel. 210/207-8600; www.sanantonio.gov/sapar). First 3 weekends in December.
La Gran Posada, Milam Park to San Fernando Cathedral. Dating back to the 1800s, when it was staged in the same area, this candlelit procession reenacts Mary and Joseph's search for shelter in a moving rendition of the Christmas story (tel. 210/227-1297; www.sanantonio.gov/sapar). Third Sunday in December.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.