45 Years of the Texas Folklife Festival

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For the latest on the Texas Folklife Festival, visit TexasFolklifeFestival.org



45 Years of the Texas Folklife Festival

Celebrating and remembering everything Texas and Texan

SAN ANTONIO – Nothing explains the Texan identity quite like the Texas Folklife Festival. Through its three days, visitors can experience for themselves what it means to be Texans. For a native Texan, it’s a reminder and for a visitor or first-time festival attendee, it’s an explanation.

Texans from around the state will gather at the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures for the 45th annual Texas Folklife Festival, June 10 to 12, to celebrate their heritage and pass along their culture to the next generation.

"People came to Texas from so many parts of the world," said festival director Jo Ann Andera. "They’ve brought their culture with them – their clothing, their food, music, dance, craftsmanship, art, language – everything that makes them a unique people. Over time, they interacted with other cultures, made discoveries, and adapted to a new way of life. They became Texans."

An estimated 250 participating groups take part in Folklife, representing around 40 ethnic communities. Many will be coming for their 45th festival, such as members of the Belgian Club of Texas, the Lebanese community from St. George Maronite Church, San Antonio Pipes and Drums and others.

"Some people have grown up right along with us," said Andera. "For some families, it’s a tradition. We’ve seen three generations working at a booth or performing on stage. They realize the importance of keeping their heritage alive. They are living examples of our museum’s mission."

Through the Texas Folklife Festival, ethnic communities have preserved or rediscovered their roots, resurrected old family recipes, performed old songs forgotten a generation ago, or mastered a skill now considered obsolete or artisan, such as blacksmithing, leatherwork or bobbin lace.

"This is about us," said Andera, "and everything it took to get us here. The Institute of Texan Cultures does a great job preserving cultures, traditions and ways of life, but to really see it and experience it first-hand, alive, and right in front of you, it makes you proud to be a Texan. These diverse cultures, authentic foods, songs, dances – they’re all a part of us. For 45 years, this has been how we remember and celebrate who we are."

To celebrate the festival’s 45th anniversary, organizers have called on groups that often rotate their festival appearances, such as the popular Zorya Ukrainian Dancers, to make the trip for this milestone celebration. Others, such as the Alsatians, have returned after a few years’ hiatus, bringing their dancers and unique foods.

The Institute of Texan Cultures is located on the UTSA Hemisfair Campus, 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd. Festival hours are 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., June 10; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., June 11, and noon to 7 p.m., June 12. Admission is Adult $10 advance, $12 gate; Child $5 advance or gate; group rate for 10 or more in party $8 per person, advance only. Tickets are available at the ITC museum store, HEB locations and local military bases. The institute encourages the use of VIA Park & Ride from the Crossroads location, $5 round trip; or rideshare services such as Lyft, or taking a B-cycle from anywhere downtown. For more information, call 210-458-2300 or visit TexanCultures.com.




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