Fiesta Noche del Rio
The Alamo Kiwanis Club Charities, Inc. has been producing FIESTA NOCHE DEL RIO continuously since 1957, when it was asked by the City Council to stimulate interest on the Riverwalk. It joined with “San Antonio’s First Lady of Song” – the late Rosita Fernandez – who was looking for a venue through which to showcase local talent.
When the first FIESTA NOCHE DEL RIO was performed in 1957, Dwight Eisenhower was President and Casa Rio was the only restaurant on the Riverwalk. Each year the show celebrates the regional culture by presenting “exciting and festive entertainment under the stars on the banks of the San Antonio River on the Arneson River Theater Stage.”
FIESTA NOCHE DEL RIO is the oldest outdoor dance performance of its kind in the United States. Spanish for “Party Night on the River” it is the annual fund raising project held from mid-May through mid-August. This musical variety show of authentic Mexican, Spanish and Texas songs and dances is performed by paid local professionals at the Arneson Outdoor River Theatre. The audience is seated on tiered grass seats across the river from the stage and is located in La Villita, the Little Spanish Village of the city. At the begin ning, one performance a week was given, but the popularity has caused it to grow to two nights a week with privately sponsored performances given for special occasions. One such event was the visit of the wife of the President of the United States, Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson, when she came to the city to dedicate the river beautification project in 1966. She planted a tree at the foot of the bridge which crosses the river from the audience to the stage entrance!