¿Están listos? The Tejano Conjunto Festival is back for its 36th year.

The festival, hosted by the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center and one of San Antonio’s most beloved cultural events, kicks off Tuesday with events through Sunday.

Guadalupe Executive Director Cristina Ballí is organizing the fest with consulting help from festival creator Juan Tejeda, who retired from directing the festival last year. Ballí said the entire weekend typically draws about 6,000 people, hailing from all over San Antonio, the United States, and the world.

“That’s the special thing about this festival,” Ballí said, “that people come from all over.”

The party begins with the free seniors dance Wednesday from 10 a.m.-noon at the Guadalupe Theater with music provided by Roger Arocha y Su Conjunto. Later in the day, Alamo Music Center will host Accordion Wars at Sam’s Burger Joint at 6:30 p.m.

The musical performances and festivities at Rosedale Park begin Friday at 5:30 p.m., after the Conjunto Hall of Fame gala at the Guadalupe Thursday at 6 p.m.

Like every year, the family-friendly conjunto festival is featuring about 30 of the most popular and beloved tejano and conjunto bands in the region from Friday to Sunday. Food and beverage accompany the music and dancing that fills Rosedale Park throughout the weekend.

The weekend’s band lineup can be found here. Saturday’s lineup also features an accordion tuning workshop from 10 a.m.-noon.

Keeping with tradition, Sunday will close out with some of the biggest local names in conjunto music, several of which have achieved national and international acclaim for their music. The lineup includes Eva Ybarra, David Lee Garza y Los Musicales, and Santiago and Flaco Jiménez.

For years, old timers and children alike have flocked to the park for the iconic event that combines music, culture, and community with a distinct South Texas twist. The consistently robust attendance speaks to the power music has in convening people, especially conjunto music which has been engrained in San Antonio culture since the mid-19th century.

“[Conjunto music] is part of our cultural history,” Ballí said.

But the allure of the Tejano Conjunto Festival has extended beyond San Antonio, Texas, and even the United States. Patrons have traveled from places like Spain, Japan, and other countries to take part in the festival over its 36-year history.

“It’s like an annual pilgrimage for conjunto music lovers,” Ballí said.

To purchase tickets and find more information about the festival, click here.

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Camille Garcia

Camille Garcia is a journalist born and raised in San Antonio. She formerly worked at the San Antonio Report as assistant editor and reporter. Her email is camillenicgarcia@gmail.com