Hundreds of Southside residents gathered at Mission Marquee Plaza on Saturday morning for the Words & Arts Festival — a day-long celebration of San Antonio’s literacy and arts culture.
The festival kicked off with ballet folklorico and musical performances, and families ventured off to write stories with a Fresh Ink Creative Writing Workshop and Amanda the Poet. Other families enjoyed painting and creating San Antonio and Fiesta-related crafts at booths hosted by ArtPace, SAPL, Spare Parts and MakeSanAntonio.
The Festival also featured free health screenings and health insurance information, as well as information about how residents can benefit from public services. Volunteers from Mercados de O’liva were on hand to offer tasty refreshments, snacks and information on the market’s availably and coming market related events. They will open every third Saturday of each month, and accept Lonestar as payment.
Lines formed around local food trucks near the Mission Library, like Chango’s Gourmet Hot Dogs and Big Guidos. The biggest crowds were for the San Antonio Park & Recreation‘s Tree Adoption Station, where residents were able to adopt more than 100 fruit and native trees.
“We usually do the tree adoption once a year, as it kicks off the Mission Marquee (event) season,” said World Heritage Director Colleen Swain. “It’s certainly been very popular, so we could try to make another one happen.”
Mission Marquee’s 2016 event season will include on-site farmers markets every third Saturday of the month, cultural performances and film screenings at the Mission drive-in, with all events free and open to residents throughout the city.
Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran (D3), in conjunction with the Center City Development Department, and the San Antonio Public Library welcomed residents to the kick-off for the cultural events season at Mission Marquee Plaza and downtown San Antonio. The district has held similar festivals in previous years, but officials moved the date forward to show support for the San Antonio Book Festival, hosted on Saturday, April 2.
“We wanted to connect this to the literary efforts throughout the city and at the Book Festival. There is is just a great sense of feeling of community here,” Viagran said. “This is just one of (the planned Mission events), because we want to make the programming real and relevant for the neighborhood, but we want to connect it to downtown and other parts of the City.”
The San Antonio Public Library was also on site, passing out San Antonio Book Festival flyers and free bookmarks to attendees, and answering questions about the festival’s special events for teens, young children and adults. One event will recognize the 2016 winners of the festival’s annual fiction writing contest.
“We’ve talked to everyone while they wait in line,” said Shannon Stephens, SABF fiction contest co-chair. “And we’ve heard a lot people say that they already know about it, and that they have made plans to attend with their friends and families. It’s going to be a huge event this year.”
For a full schedule of 2016 San Antonio Book Festival events, click here.
Mission Marquee Plaza is located at 3100 Roosevelt Ave. For more information or updates on Mission Marquee Cultural events visit their Facebook page, or view their schedule here.
*Top Image: Lauren and Brandon Allen work on arts and crafts at the Words & Arts Festival. Photo by Kathryn Boyd-Batstone