The Where I Live series aims to showcase our diverse city and region by spotlighting its many vibrant neighborhoods. Each week a local resident invites us over and lets us in on what makes their neighborhood special. Have we been to your neighborhood yet? Get in touch to share your story.
When I was growing up on San Antonio’s Northeast Side, Friday nights were spent at Skateland East and Saturdays were spent at Windsor Park Mall or the Galaxy theater. After Roosevelt High School football games, every Rough Rider could be found at Godfather’s Pizza. If the Rough Riders won, you could count on the City of Windcrest lighting the flame atop the water tower to notify the town. It was a great time and place to grow up.
I am a creature of habit and love knowing all the ins and outs of a neighborhood. When it came time for me to buy a home, Windcrest was the obvious choice. Windcrest is an incorporated city, approximately two square miles in size. In just those two square miles, you’ll find two duck ponds, walking trails, a park with baseball fields, a community swimming pool, tennis courts, a nine-hole golf course and a civic center that can be rented for events. On any given day, you can see residents making full use of these amenities and waving to passersby.
Windcrest is perhaps best known for its Christmas lights. From a very young age, every Christmas we would drive around Windcrest and look at the lights in amazement. To this day, cars line up for a mile waiting to begin the route to view all the decorated homes in December. Some homes are truly breathtaking and magical. Recently, Windcrest garnered national attention when one of our neighbors was featured in ABC’s “The Great Christmas Light Fight” (and, won!). Windcrest during the holidays is quite a sight to see.
But my favorite part about living in Windcrest is the sense of community. When I first moved in, the city would hold “Welcome to the Neighborhood” parties at the civic center and invite all those who had moved to Windcrest within the year. Neighbors, police officers, volunteer firefighters and city council members would attend to meet and greet the newbies.
You can count on us to have a city-wide parade for Fiesta, Fourth of July, Christmas, and myriad other occasions. In May 2020, the city held a parade for graduates who were unable to walk the stage at commencement due to the pandemic. The city asked graduates and their families to stand in front of their homes so that police, firefighters, EMS paramedics and any resident who wanted could join the parade and congratulate the graduate. They drove by with goodie bags and handed them to the graduates while honking their horns, running their sirens, playing “Pomp and Circumstance” on speakers and congratulating the grads.
In addition to the many parades, there are frequent 5K events, group bicycle rides and an annual trunk-or-treat. Each of these events is usually followed by a party with hot dogs and other snacks so that everyone can have an opportunity to meet their neighbors.
There are pancake breakfasts, barbecue plate sales and chili cook-offs to benefit different organizations in town that provide services to those in need. During the holidays, volunteers assist our elderly neighbors in hanging exterior Christmas lights so they, too, can participate in what is known as “Windcrest Light Up.” It’s neighbors helping neighbors. This is what will always make Windcrest home for me. It also doesn’t hurt that my other family members make Windcrest home, too.
Windcrest will celebrate 62 years of cityhood this year. It has changed in many ways and in other ways, it has stayed the same. The city still lights the flame atop the water tower after every Roosevelt win, and the sense of community is strong as ever. When Rackspace moved in, it brought a younger, more diverse crowd to the area, a change I’m happy to see. City leaders are working on a strategic plan for growth and development, investing in infrastructure and amenities to make the city enjoyable for years to come. I hope our city leaders will prioritize economic and environmental sustainability so that Windcrest can be around for the ages.