Performers dressed as peacocks and tigers dance at the 6th annual Diwali San Antonio. Photo by Scott Ball.
Performers dressed as peacocks and tigers dance at the 6th annual Diwali San Antonio. Photo by Scott Ball.

The chilly morning after Halloween – well, chilly for San Antonio – started off with hot coffee and a ribbon cutting. Councilmembers Diego Bernal (District 1) and Shirley Gonzalez (District 5) joined more than 100 residents on the South Alamo Street Bridge to celebrate its official grand opening. It’s been more than two years since the construction started on the main artery to the Blue Star Arts Complex.

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Improvements include roadway reconstruction from four narrow-lanes to proposed three-lane (center turn lane) wider sidewalks, curb ramps that meet ADA standards, pedestrian crosswalks, a pedestrian “refuge island,” landscaping, and CPS Energy gas main and AT&T fiber optic line replacement. The engineer hired by the City for the project is GKW Engineering. The contractor is J3 Company. TCI, CPS Energy, AT&T, and SAWS all have collaborated on the project.

Read more: South Alamo Street Bridge to Reopen

As night fell, the lights of the Diwali San Antonio Festival rose. Photographer Scott Ball was there to capture one of the largest City-sponsored Diwali celebrations in the U.S. at Alamo Plaza:

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Words by Scott Ball:

“Alamo Plaza was jam-packed for the 6th Annual Diwali San Antonio Festival of Lights.  With performances from the Hindu community representing every state of India, it was a sight to see. Every performance had a different tone from swift, flowing ensembles to stage-shaking acrobatics. Plenty of food from all over Asia was in large supply, I personally had a couple delicious samosas.  As a photographer it has always been a dream of mine to travel to India and capture the gorgeous color I keep hearing about. Diwali San Antonio allowed me to experience a slice of that fantasy and it gave me goosebumps. I will go to India one day, but until then San Antonio seems to be filling that void quite nicely.”

Photographer Stephen G. McDowell attended the evening Día de los Muertos celebration at La Villita. After (or next to) Fiesta, the traditional celebration of friends, family, and celebrities passed is one of San Antonio’s biggest parties citywide. The full day of events downtown included a market, cultural educational sessions, face painting, an altar contest, and  of course – live music and DJs at the Arneson Theatre.

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Another successful weekend for San Antonio’s neighborhoods and culture. Cheers to you for making it so.

Related Stories:

South Alamo Street Bridge to Reopen

Día de Los Muertos 2014 to Delight San Antonio

From Diwali to NaMaargam, Indian Culture Alive in San Antonio

San Antonio: Cool and Cultured, and Secure Enough to Say So Politely

Iris Dimmick

Senior Reporter Iris Dimmick covers public policy pertaining to social issues, ranging from affordable housing and economic disparity to policing reform and workforce development. Contact her at iris@sareport.org