Market Square at the corner of Dolorosa and South Santa Rosa. Photo by Scott Ball.
Market Square at the corner of Dolorosa and South Santa Rosa streets. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

Across the city on the Friday afternoon before Labor Day, which for many signals the start of a three-day weekend, many people have started to check out early. Some will choose to take mini-vacations, short road trips, or binge watch the latest Netflix series.

Labor Day has been a federal holiday since 1894, honoring the work and sacrifice of the American labor movement. Ironically, a lot of people don’t get the day off. But even if you’re stuck at work this weekend, there are plenty of events day and night in San Antonio to take a stay-cation of your own and try something new.

1966 Farm Workers Strike and March Celebration

A commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the 1966 Starr County farm worker’s strike and march to the state capitol will be held on Monday. The event is being organized by the Cesar Chavez Foundation, the United Farm Workers (UFW), and LUPE (La Unión del Pueblo Entero). It will begin with a 10 a.m. mass led by Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller at San Fernando Cathedral followed by a march to Milam Park, where a rally will be held.

In a phone interview with the Rivard Report, UFW Spokesperson Rebecca Flores said that the event will recognize the sacrifice made by those who sought a higher standard of living for doing agricultural work.

“Those workers wanted to change their lives after hundreds of years of stark poverty,” Flores said. “They walked from Starr County to the state capitol and their spirits never dampened.”

Labor Fest at the Convention Center

The fifth annual Labor Fest, the three-day multi-cultural art and music festival held every Labor Day, kicks off this year at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center with the help of Councilman Alan Warrick (D2). The festival will feature music from Chaka Khan, Memphis Train, the S.O.S Band, and other funk bands, as well as a health career expo and a kids carnival.

The event kicks off at 4 p.m. on Friday and ends after the last show at 10:15 p.m. on Sunday night.

Tickets can be purchased here.

Échale Latino Music Estyles

Échale, the Pearl’s biannual Latino music festival, kicks off at 12:30 p.m. on Monday and rolls into the evening. Along with a stacked lineup of musicians, such as Money Chicha, Los Nahuatlatos, and El Tule, food will be available from The Granary ‘Cue and Brew, Southerleigh, Lick, and Botika. Pearl Farmer’s Market favorite, Ms. Chocolatier, also will be on hand with treats.

In a news release, Elizabeth Fauerso, the Pearl chief marketing officer, praised the event’s growing importance and diversity over time.

“After five years, we feel like Échale has become a San Antonio tradition and with our block party format we’re excited to include more elements that celebrate our musical, culinary and artisan talent,” Fauerso said. “This lineup provides such an eclectic blend of genres that will be perfect for all ages.”

Bulverde Oaks Nature Preserve Tour

For those seeking an escape from the city, the Green Spaces Alliance of South Texas will host its monthly nature hike at the Bulverde Oaks Nature Preserve on Saturday at 9 a.m. Green Spaces Alliance Community Outreach Manager Tia Moen said that everyone is welcome.

“The hike is on a property that we own and build trails on,” Moen said. “It’s led by a master naturalist from the local chapter. We encourage families to come and bring their dogs, as well.”

The trail features rescue bee hives, a bird blind, a stock pond, and various wildlife.

You can register for the free hike here.

San Japan 009

San Japan, the annual anime and Japanese culture convention, is entering its ninth and largest year yet. The panels have been expanded, the game room has been widened, and the amount of guests has multiplied. Cosplay enthusiasts will descend upon the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center over the span of the three-day weekend.

San Japan Community Manager David Ramirez told the Rivard Report that the conference will have ample offerings that will cater to its expanded attendee base. The convention will open its doors at noon on Friday and will wrap up by 7 p.m. on Sunday.

“We’re trying to make it an experience where you feel like you can’t do everything,” Ramirez said.

For the first time in San Japan’s history, Ramirez said, the conference is partnered with the East Asian Institute at the University of Texas at San Antonio and the Japan America Society.

“We’re helping (the Japan America Society) raise funds to help our sister city, Kumamoto,” Ramirez said. “It was struck by an earthquake recently.”

To register, click here.

Labor Day Celebration at Market Square

Market Square, located at 514 W. Commerce St., will host its annual three-day celebration for Labor Day weekend. Along with the usual shopping and food booths, there will be an extensive lineup of Conjunto bands playing. Market Square Manager Mark Jenkins told the Rivard Report that this weekend is Market Square’s biggest celebration it has all year.

“We’re gonna have a mechanical bull and so many other things. It’s gonna be so much fun,” Jenkins said. “This is our favorite weekend of the year.”

The event kicks off at 12 p.m. on Saturday and is free and open to the public.

Plus, there’s still time to register for the World Heritage Festival Bike Ride and the Mission Pachanga music festival.

Top image: Market Square at the corner of Dolorosa and South Santa Rosa.  Photo by Scott Ball. 

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Former intern James McCandless is a recent St. Mary's University graduate. He has worked with the San Antonio Current and Texas Public Radio.