As part of our commitment to safe, clean, enjoyable creeks and rivers, the San Antonio River Authority (River Authority) maintains more than 500 acres of parks along the San Antonio River’s 240-mile course. As our community gets back to in-person events, the River Authority is committed to safely providing events that showcase the San Antonio River and other park projects.
The first phase of the San Pedro Creek Culture ParkCulture Park) opened to the public in May 2018. The Culture Park is located on the western edge of downtown San Antonio, not far from The Alamo. The park exemplifies beauty with a purpose, as it also serves as vital infrastructure for a growing downtown. The River Authority is managing the construction of the still-growing park, which is being built with funds from Bexar County and the City of San Antonio. For the section of the Culture Park that is already open, the River Authority is responsible for the operations and maintenance, which includes engaging the community through programs and events.
Illume: Making Spirits Bright
We are thrilled to announce that the Culture Park’s annual holiday event, Illume: Making Spirits Bright, takes place in person on Friday and Saturday, December 10 and 11.
Starting at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, December 10, visitors to the Culture Park will discover a variety of vibrant, whimsical sculptures designed by San Antonio-based artist Justice David Gutierrez. This temporary installation, titled Babbling, will be located beneath the street bridges and in the creek channel.
During the daytime, these sculptures will lay “dormant” while visually standing out against the natural environment. At night the sculptures will “wake up” and illuminate with color-changing LED lights set to a multicultural musical score composed by San Antonio-based musician Alberto Vazquez. The nocturnal music and sculptures will come together to create a kind of abstract symphony. The installation will be up through January 3, 2022.
Friday’s participants will also have the opportunity to meet the artist Justice David Gutierrez while enjoying FREE Mexican hot chocolate and bunuelos provided by Vero’s Café.
We invite you to come back on Saturday, December 11, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. for further festivities! There will be food trucks and a giant movie screen displaying a special video presentation that features culinary demonstrations, musical performances, and local artists highlighting our community’s diverse culture. There will also be a giveaway opportunity to win a River Walk and Museum Reach Boat Experience.
Can’t make it out to Illume? Join us on Thursday, December 16, 2021, from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. for a unique opportunity to paddle the Museum Reach segment of the San Antonio River Walk at night!
The Holiday Museum Reach Nighttime Kayak Event is part of the River Authority’s Be River Proud Kayaking Series. The River Authority is providing 35 kayaks with paddles and a personal flotation device (PFD) for use on a first-to-register online basis. A $15 registration fee will be required to save your spot. The registration fee will be donated to the San Antonio River Foundation, the nonprofit organization associated with the River Authority.
Want to bring your own paddling equipment?
No problem! Please register online so we know you’re coming with your kayak, canoe, or stand-up paddling board. There is no registration fee if you’re providing your own equipment. However, if you choose to do so, you must also bring a PFD to wear. PFDs will be required for all participants.
Registration will open on Wednesday, December 1 at 5 PM CST. Please visit our event page or our social media channels for the registration link.
On the evening of the paddling event, Santa is coming to town to make a special appearance on the river, so make sure to capture a selfie with Santa. FREE coffee by Summer Moon will be available. You can also enjoy some sweet desserts from Funnel Cake Fanatics that will be there for purchase.
See you on the river!
***In accordance with CDC guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic, mask-wearing and social distancing are strongly encouraged while on our facilities, parks, and trails.**