Queen Escaramuza Harley Jane De Luna gathers children for a group photo at the San Jose MissionFest. Photo by Michael Cirlos.

Families arrived early Sunday morning to Mission San José, where they were greeted by the festive sounds of a Mariachi Mass. Thousands of people carried lawn chairs and cascarones as they approached the mission for a day of food, music, and Fiesta fun.

Profits from the San José MissionFest are used to preserve and maintain the historic structure and its church. Founded in 1720, Mission San José served as a place for Spanish settlers and indigenous tribes to work and worship. It’s one of the five historic San Antonio Missions recently designated a World Heritage Site in July 2015.

The so-called “Queen of the Missions” welcomes millions of visitors every year to walk, learn and pray on the grounds. Sunday afternoon the expansive lawn was filled with games and live music performances by artists including Little Joe y La Familia, “the King of Brown Sound,” who introduced a unique combination of country, norteño and blues to multiple generations who were ready to dance.

Vendors were also on site to offer Fiesta-goers delicious snacks, while kids enjoyed games, arts and crafts.

The festival will close at 11 p.m. with a special performance by Erick y Su Grupo MASSORE, where attendees will enjoy one of the last official events of Fiesta.

The festival is free for children and only $5 for adults after $5 p.m.

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Lea Thompson

Lea Thompson, a former reporter at the Rivard Report, is a Texas native who has lived in Houston, Austin and San Antonio. She enjoys exploring new food and culture events.