© Institute of Texan Cultures
Texas Folklife Festival
A three-day celebration of Texas people, culture, heritage
SAN ANTONIO – Though they came to Texas by different paths and for different reasons, the people who make their home here have had an indelible impact on the state’s cultural fabric. June 7-9 at the Institute of Texan Cultures, the Texas Folklife Festival will celebrate this unique cultural identity that is Texas.
The Texas Folklife Festival is a demonstration and experience of the Texas identity.
“Folklife is about participating with other cultures,” said festival director Jo Ann Andera. “It’s not something you can get from a book, a TV show or an object in a display. Culture is living and when you see it all around you and get to experience it for yourself, that’s when you appreciate how amazing the people around you really are.”
The Texas Folklife Festival gathers participating groups from nearly 40 different cultures that have made Texas their home. Some of the cultures, such as the German, Greek and Lebanese, have been here for generations. Others, such as the Pakistani and Vietnamese have only been in Texas for a few decades and the festival is often the first time these groups are introduced to the community.
“On a number of occasions, we’ve heard groups say, ‘now we really feel like Texans; we’ve been welcomed in our new home,’” Andera said.
The Texas Folklife Festival is an opportunity to experience these cultural groups
and life ways through music, dance, food, craftsmanship and other traditions. A dedicated group of festival participants preserves trades and skills that were necessary to tame the Texas Frontier. While leatherwork, blacksmithing, basket weaving and pottery have been relegated to the hobby arena, these participants pass on the skills that helped Texans win a foothold on the land.
Music and dance travel with a culture and there are many examples of this “hidden passenger” at Folklife. Stages could as easily host a troupe of cloggers, Chinese Lion Dancers, or a group of hula dancers. Music could range from zydeco, to Spanish guitar, to classic rock ‘n’ roll.
Food choices are easily as diverse as the musical selections. A hamburger would be tough to find, unless it’s served on American Indian fry bread. Folklife offers about 150 menu items, sweet, savory and everything in between. It’s a great place to find rarities like Scotch eggs or pierogi, and old favorites like bratwurst and gyros.
“Folklife is the quintessential Texas experience,” said Andera. “It’s our food, our music, our dance and the skills that helped us settle out state. There’s so much to learn, enjoy and experience. It you’re a Texan, come celebrate who you are. If you’re a visitor, come see what it’s all about.”
The 2013 Texas Folklife Festival is June 7 to 9 at the Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd. Admission is Adult (13+): $10 in advance*, $12 at the gate; Child (6-12): $5 in advance*, $5 at the gate; Children 5 and under are FREE. Group sales of 10 or more adult tickets are available in advance only, for $8 each. There may be convenience fees for advance purchase at some locations and online. Advance tickets are now available online, and at HEB Stores, Ft. Sam Houston, Lackland AFB, Randolph AFB and the ITC museum store. For more information, call 210-458-2300 or visit TexasFolklifeFestival.org.