The winters aren’t too harsh in San Antonio , but that doesn’t stop people from enthusiastically celebrating the warmer spring weather with festivals and gatherings. One of the city’s first major annual events, Remember the Alamo Weekend (210/273-1730), is held the first weekend of March. A stirring sunrise ceremony honors the Texans who died at the siege of the Alamo , and much of the daytime activity involves living history reenactments, music, demonstrations, and food.
Another distinctive event in March is the St. Patrick’s Day River Dyeing Parade and Pub Crawl (210/273-1730, www.thesanantonioriverwalk.com ). City officials use 35 pounds of environmentally safe green dye to tint the San Antonio River the color o’ the Irish. Residents and visitors celebrate Celtic culture throughout the weekend with a pub crawl, river parade, and Irish music and dance.
The city’s biggest and best annual celebration, Fiesta San Antonio (210/227-5191, www.fiesta-sa.org ), is held in April. This massive 10-day event is the cultural highlight of the year for the city and the 3.5 million people who attend the festivities, which range from colorful parades to fashion shows to art exhibits, concerts, and a legendary oyster bake. The pageants and parties are important social events, and the carnivals and galas celebrate the city’s proud Latino heritage.
Another major event, one that draws nearly a million people each June, is the Texas Folklife Festival (at the Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 S. Bowie, 210/458-2224, www.texancultures.utsa.edu ). This event celebrates the Lone Star State’s cultural diversity through art, crafts, music, and plenty of amazing food. Cultures not always associated with Texas proudly represent the state each year, including Scotland, China, Norway, India, Greece, and the Canary Islands.
September is still summertime in San Antonio , and the biggest cultural events of the month are related to Fiestas Patrias, particularly Mexican Independence Day, also referred to as Diez y Seis de Septiembre (for September 16). Celebrations including dances, food booths, and carnivals take place at Market Square, La Villita, and Guadalupe Plaza. For more information visit www.diezyseis.org .
Those in the San Antonio vicinity on November 2 shouldn’t be afraid to take part in the events of El Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). This Mexican custom welcomes back departed family members and friends for one day through offerings (skulls made of sugar, marigolds), parades (many participants dress as skeletons), and grave decoration. Call 210/432-1896 for details about specific event information.
The Christmas season in San Antonio  officially kicks off with the Holiday River Parade and Lighting Ceremony (210/227-4262) on the Friday after Thanksgiving. More than 122,000 colorful lights are simultaneously lit, bathing the River Walk  in bright festive hues, while decorated floats glide along the sparkling water.
This is Texas after all, so San Antonio residents proudly head ‘em up and move ‘em out to the Stock Show and Rodeo (3201 E. Houston St., www.sarodeo.com ) for two weeks in early February. All the traditional events are here—calf roping, barrel racing, bull riding—as well as popular children’s events such as the calf scramble and mutton bustin’ (sheep riding).