MAY 22, 2023 — The San Antonio Lion Dance Association will kick off the opening parade of the UTSA Asian Festival, taking place from 10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 27, at the UTSA Downtown Campus. The parade will include representatives from every performer and vendor along with UTSA Administration and local dignitaries, including the Bexar County Judge Peter Sakai, who will proclaim Asian Festival Day in Bexar County.
Once held in February to observe Lunar New Year, organizers moved the festival to May during Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month to celebrate all the diverse Asian diaspora represented in South Texas and San Antonio. The festival is more accessible this year with the move to the Downtown Campus because of its centralized location. UTSA will open lots D-1 through D-5 under IH-35 to provide free parking for festival attendees.
This year also marks the event’s return after a three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“UTSA is committed to continuing the special events and programming of the Institute of Texan Cultures that San Antonio loves by combining honored traditions with a fresh new perspective,” said Veronica Rodriguez, interim lead curator at the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures. “Attendees can look forward to stellar performances, hands-on demonstrations and the sights and tastes of Asia that we all so love.”
The entire Downtown Campus will be fenced. Participants will enter the grounds from the northeast corner of the campus at Buena Vista St. and Pecos La Trinidad, along the IH-35 access road. The festival encourages attendees to pre-purchase tickets to expedite entry to the grounds.
The campus’ Bill Miller Plaza will feature dozens of settings with seating and tables scattered throughout. On the south quarter of the plaza, in front of the Durango Building, there will be two stages for entertainment, with performances alternating between the two. Guests can stand or sit on the grass lawn to watch the performances. VIP seating will be available on the sides of the stage.
At the plaza’s center, concessions will include booths for bottled water and alcoholic beverages. The northern quarter of the plaza will feature two large tents for merchandise vendors and exhibitors. The outside track of the north quarter will have four food trucks. Several food vendors will also be located on the ground level of the parking garage, attached to the plaza’s east end.
Merchandise vendors will accept only credit cards. Food vendors will accept cash or credit.
The southwest corner of the plaza will include a “Kids Corner” featuring a petting zoo, slides, and oversized games.
Featured performer Betty Soo, the Austin-based folk singer, takes the stage at noon, and the high-energy headliner, Red Baraat, closes the festival with a performance from 3:25 to 4:30 p.m., the festival’s last call for food and drink.