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Fiesta Noche del Rio in San Antonio

Fiesta Noche del Rio, Arnesdon River Theater Riverwalk, San Antonio TX
The Master and Mistress of Ceremonies for Fiesta Noche del Rio in San Antonio


Ya wanna have a good time in San Antonio? Then you hafta go to the Fiesta Noche del Rio. What began as a fundraiser for the local Kiwanas almost six decades ago is now one of the most entertaining evenings you can enjoy in San Antonio.

Our New Favorite Thing on the Riverwalk

We bought our tickets along the Riverwalk the day of the show and then did a little Margarita tasting, I mean sightseeing, before going back and snagging a seat in the Arneson River Theater.

The warm up act was an amazing flamenco guitarist with an acoustical twelve string.  He sat on a chair, pulled the guitar into his lap and plucked out beautiful music while providing a stomping percussion with his feet.  Absolutely fascinating and very stirring.

Fiesta Noche del Rio, Arneson River Theater, Riverwalk, San Antonio TX
Deb recruited for a little audience participation. If they knew what kind of voice she had, they would have had her singing into the microphone instead of just holding it.

Soon the Master and Mistress of Ceremonies came out to lead us through the evening.  Both had marvelous voices and a serious dose of fun to share with the audience.  They not only led you through the performance, they initiated audience participation and entertained your socks off.  When it came to audience participation, you’d have to talk to my bestie and traveling companion, Deb.  They participated with her several times.

Musica and Danza

The dance numbers were amazing.  How those performers keep from passing out during their routines I have no idea.  The weather was actually quite pleasant for those of us merely sitting idle in the amphitheater.  For the fast moving, fully-costumed dancers under the lights, it was a whole ‘nother thing.  I want to tell you that in spite of the heat, every step was precise and vigorous and their smiles never faded by even a degree.

Fiesta Noche del Rio, Arneson River Theater, Riverwalk, San Antonio TX
Beautiful Mariachi music performed by gorgeously costumed musicians was my favorite part.

If you are wondering what kind of music they danced to, then let me ask you this…what kind of music do you like?  If you like rap, then you would have been out of luck, but pretty much everything else was there, from the classical flamenco guitar to jazz to country to…well you name it.

My very favorite was the Mariachi.  It sounds like happy music to me – even when they sing sad songs.  The haunting horns seem to reach down to someplace in my soul.  My heritage is as about as Anglophile as you can get, but one of those guys from the Spanish Armada must have something to do with my DNA.

Fiesta Noche del Rio, Arneson Theater, Riverwalk, San Antonio TX
Swirling Skirts

Of course, when the Mariachi’s come out to play, then you also get to see the dancers whirl around in the flowing skirts of their traditional costumes.  If I actually tried their thrilling spins, I’d end up on the floor with the skirt wrapped around my head, but as they twirl, I can imagine myself twirling with them and it is glorious.

I could go on with my rapturous description of the evening, but pictures really are worth thousands of words, so enjoy some of the others I took.

After the Fiesta

We strolled down to Durty Nellie’s after the show for a little of their more raucous entertainment, but my dreams were full of throbbing flamenco music and swirling skirts.  This was the best money I spent on my vacation, yet it was also one of the smallest ticket prices I’ve ever payed for live entertainment.  Do not miss it.  It’s really worth going down there just for the show!

Saturday was our museum marathon – and it was a marathon in more ways than one.  Come back next week and find out why.

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