Photo courtesy of Brendan van Son

When you think of San Antonio, you may immediately remember the Alamo. But in addition to that legendary Texas landmark, there’s so much more that makes this authentic city memorable.

Awash in Old World charm and a melting pot of culture, San Antonio is a kaleidoscope of history, food, art, and more.

These eight highlights cover some of the not-to-be-missed experiences you should prioritize while in this immersive destination.

Explore the River Walk
Forgive us for stating the obvious, but the Paseo del Rio — the River Walk — lives up to its reputation as the No. 1 tourist attraction in all of Texas.

The world-renowned, 15-mile urban waterway has multiple personalities: quiet and park-like in some areas, while others are brimming with activity from European-style sidewalk cafes, boutiques, art galleries, nightclubs, and gleaming high-rises.

Explore the vibrant maze of walkways, bridges, and canals by foot or jump aboard a Go Rio! river barge for a guided tour or a dinner cruise.

See history come to life
The Mission Reach, an eight-mile stretch along the San Antonio River, has recreational trails, pedestrian bridges, pavilions, and portals to the beautiful, colonial San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that includes Concepción, San José, San Juan, and Espada.

You can also find Hot Wells along Mission Reach. It's a one-time bathhouse-turned-resort turned-entertainment complex that burned several times over, and the ruins are fascinating.

Downtown, the Spanish Governor's Palace is the only remaining example in Texas of an aristocratic, 18th-century, Spanish Colonial, in-town residence (and it's reportedly very haunted!).

The 1731 San Fernando Cathedral is the oldest standing church and continuously functioning religious community in Texas. Four nights a week, French artist Xavier de Richemont’s The Saga is projected on the façade of the cathedral and tells the history of San Antonio through music, sound, light and visual narration.

South Texas history, culture, and natural science are the focus at The Witte Museum, where you'll find dinosaur skeletons, cave drawings, wildlife dioramas, and several historic homes.

Head to historic art districts
Located on the south bank of the River Walk, the charming La Villita (which translates to “little village”) occupies one square block in the heart of downtown San Antonio.

It was one of the city’s original settlements, and now the tiny district’s cobblestone streets are lined with an eclectic array of adobe structures and early Victorian and Texas limestone buildings that house boutique-style shops with works and wares from artists and craftsmen.

Dating to 1840, Market Square (El Mercado) is a festive combo of Tex-Mex cuisine, music, entertainment, and shopping with more than 100 locally owned businesses.

Just past the hustle and bustle of downtown you’ll find Southtown the Arts District, a trendy, creative community populated by historic houses, converted warehouses, artist lofts, shops, galleries and restaurants.

It also includes the King William Historic District, which reflects San Antonio’s German heritage in a treasured residential area that was originally settled in the late 1800s. There are many mansions in the area, and you can tour the beautiful Villa Finale while there.

Discover even more art
With more than 20 museums, San Antonio has no shortage of artistic experiences, including street murals that dot the city.

With a Mediterranean-style mansion setting, The McNay art museum is beautiful on the outside and inside, with 22,000-plus collection of works, including post-impressionist and modern pieces, medieval offerings, Native American art, and more.

The San Antonio Museum of Art is housed in a castle-like structure that was formerly the Lone Star Brewery. It’s notable for its antiquities collections and a 30,000-square-foot Center or Latin American Art — the largest of its kind — as well as an Asian art wing that spans nearly 6,000 years of history.

Located in a historic building with a sculpture garden onsite, the Briscoe Western Art Museum is a hub for the art and culture of the Wild West.

For an immersive and interactive experience, Hopscotch is a unique, 20,000-square-foot art gallery with 14 distinctive, playful, and whimsical installations from more than 40 local, national, and international artists.

And San Antonio’s newest contemporary art center, Ruby City, is a crimson-hued building that displays paintings, sculptures, installations, and video works.

Find The Pearl
A vibrant micro-community all its own, The Pearl is a highly curated culinary and cultural destination with multiple dining options, shops, and a weekend farmers market, all centered around a historic German brewery that was founded in 1881.

Pearl’s Bottling Department Food Hall has also risen to the rank of a must-visit culinary hub thanks to resident gems like Caribbean street food-peddler Mi Roti and tasty ramen emporium Tenko Ramen.

Just outside the food hall is the Park at Pearl, an expansive lawn where you can catch a concert, fiesta, or dance party on any given evening.

Indulge in an epicurean experience
Known as the culinary capital of Texas, San Antonio is recognized as one of only two U.S. cities designated as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy (the other is Tucson) because of its unique blend of cuisine options. And it’s about more than just the crazy-good food, too; local restaurants serve up experiences, traditions, and culture.

But where to start the foodie tour? In 2022 alone, dining destinations across the city received seven nominations for the James Beard Awards, one of the highest honors in the culinary industry.

Put these nominees on your short list, including Clementine for chef John Russ’s seasonal eats inspired by global flavors.

Pitmaster Esaul Ramos’s 2M Smokehouse has impressive barbecue — and desserts, too — for the ultimate savory and sweet combo. And if you get nothing else at Cured, you must order chef Steve McHugh’s ultimate charcuterie plates.

Renowned Mexican restaurant Mixtli fuses old pre-Hispanic techniques with modern, avant-garde cuisine, and the menu rotates every 45 days. Pastry chef Sofia Tejeda’s delectable desserts there are not to be missed, either.

Speaking of baking, bakery-cafe La Panaderia specializes in making handmade bread and pan dulce inspired by Mexico’s Golden Era with influences from the famous bread-baking brothers José and David Cáceres.

Modern wine bar and bottle shop High Street Wine Co. has a distinctive selection of small-production wines, and their shareable snacks and small bites are equally impressive.

Put October 27-30, 2022 on your calendar for the Tasting Texas, Wine + Food Festival, which is being hosted in historic Travis Park downtown. It’s the first-ever statewide culinary festival to partner with the James Beard Foundation and will showcase both distinguished and up-and-coming chefs from all across Texas, as well as national all-stars and diverse talent.

Attend a show — or three
Prominently situated near San Antonio’s River Walk, the Tobin Center is a world-class venue that’s a central hub for performances as well as for local performing arts groups.

The opulent Majestic Theatre, built downtown in 1929, is a stunning setting for touring Broadway shows, concerts, and the San Antonio Symphony.

The neighboring Charline McCombs Empire Theatre reflects the beaux-arts grandeur of the 1920s and hosts touring musical acts and other entertainment headliners.

The 1926-built Aztec Theatre is a beautifully restored Meso-American-themed masterpiece for live concerts and other touring productions.

Get in touch with nature
Historic Brackenridge Park is a 343-acre refuge in the heart of the city, where you'll find more than just walking trails and picnic-perfect zones. Also onsite are the Japanese Tea Garden, Sunken Garden Theater, and the San Antonio Zoo, the third largest in the nation with a collection of more than 3,500 animals representing 750 different species from around the globe.

Not far from Brackenridge, the San Antonio Botanical Garden is teeming with beautiful, lush vegetation; there’s even a sensory garden, where emphasis is placed on the texture and scent of plants. Its monumental exhibition, Rooted, is from acclaimed contemporary artist Steve Tobin and features more than 20 towering, nature-inspired sculptures — it’s on view through October 30, 2022.

Discover more to look forward to during a San Antonio sojourn and start planning your trip here.

Canopy by Hilton

New River Walk luxury hotel with Fiesta flair checks into San Antonio

Texas travel

The newest hotel to rise on San Antonio's River Walk promises to immerse guests in the city's Fiesta culture with its Old World vibes and nods to its arts, entertainment, and culinary scenes.

Canopy by Hilton San Antonio Riverwalk, a 195-room hotel featuring two locally inspired restaurants and 2,300 square feet of meeting and event space, opened April 22 at 123 N. Saint Mary’s St.

The first concept of its kind in San Antonio from Hilton, the hotel was designed to blend seamlessly into the surrounding River Walk, and aims to strike a balance between modern design and rich cultural décor, with Canopy incorporating the old Alamo Fish Market building into the space and repurposing historic features and long-standing limestone walls.

With the intention of showcasing local artwork and San Antonio-specific style elements whenever possible, Canopy has high aspirations of becoming an iconic addition to the River Walk. That local emphasis even trickles down to the shower tile in its guest bathrooms: a black-and-white pattern representing the classic San Antonio quatrefoil logo, which honors the four city pillars of people, pride, passion, and promise.

“I can’t think of a better city in which to grow Canopy’s footprint in Texas. San Antonio increasingly becomes a must-visit destination for its rich history, architecture, award-winning restaurants, and eclectic culture,” says Phil Cordell with Canopy by Hilton.

Recognizing San Antonio’s UNESCO distinction as a Creative City of Gastronomy, Canopy is highlighting local ingredients and South Texas cuisine at its two onsite eateries. Domingo Restaurant, which celebrates “the culture of San Antonio with modern culinary flair,” features a menu that runs the gamut from brunch plates to light appetizers like Mexican shrimp cocktail and halibut ceviche, and more substantial entrees like ribeye a la plancha, green chile and chicken enchiladas, and the wagyu beef Mexican hamburguesa.

The hotel’s other concept — appropriately named Otro Bar — includes an open-air terrace offering River Walk views. Small bites and tacos anchor the menu, alongside offerings from the full bar, including such concoctions as the River Walker cocktail with La Venenosa Raicilla Tabernas, D'Aristi Xtabentún liqueur, lychee puree, Mahina Coco, and lime juice.

Canopy by Hilton San Antonio Riverwalk is the fourth such property for Hilton in Texas, joining Canopy by Hilton Austin Downtown, Canopy by Hilton Dallas Frisco, and Canopy by Hilton Dallas Uptown.

The new hotel boasts excellent views of the River Walk.

Canopy by Hilton
The new hotel boasts excellent views of the River Walk.
Visit San Antonio/Facebook

The surprising reason San Antonio's River Walk is going to the birds

Bird-eye View

These days, visitors to San Antonio might see more binoculars than margaritas down by the River Walk. That's because a recent resurgence in the native birding population along the river's Museum Reach section is impressing serious bird-watchers and casual observers alike.

Thanks to the multimillion-dollar San Antonio River Improvements Project that finished up in 2013, the birding population along the 8-mile stretch has flourished. Walking along this wilder, less-tamed section of the river, birders might be surprised by what they see flying past.

“Is that a bald eagle?” someone might say, pointing binoculars skyward. Maybe a Great Blue Heron struts past. They may even see a Lazuli Bunting, a migratory bird rarely seen in the eastern two-thirds of Texas, but has made an appearance here of late. This is all because the improvements project has transformed a neglected part of the San Antonio River into a refurbished natural habitat.

From drainage ditch to urban oasis
The project transformed what Visit San Antonio says was essentially a “drainage ditch” — a muddy trickle flowing south of the original River Walk into a mightier stream, and flanked on either side by waving grasses and native vegetation. While the new walking and biking paths now connects the Alamo with other historic missions, thus creating the Mission Reach, it has also served the avian community.

In fact, it's allowed it to flourish, according to results of the Avian Mission Reach Study, which has tracked the area's birding population since 2015 when the San Antonio River Authority launched the program. Under the leadership of respected naturalist Martin Reid, the study documented 197 species and 63,000 birds used the restored habitats — including those that are rare and endangered. Researchers have spied the Interior Least Tern, a federally listed endangered subspecies of Least Tern; the Black-capped Vireo, a state-listed endangered species; and Cassin’s kingbird, a Western species that was only recorded once in Bexar County prior to the study.

Part of the Central Flyway, the San Antonio River is now home not only to resident species but to many migrant species recorded within the Mission Reach study area.

Play ornithologist
Beyond counting birds and recording data, the Avian Mission Reach Study has two goals: to enrich and sustain life in the San Antonio River watershed and to get residents involved with their efforts. The hope is that residents and visitors alike will help track the flora and fauna along the Mission Reach, and become invested in this now-thriving ecosystem.

Use this handy bird checklist to track bird species spotted and then become a “citizen scientist” by downloading the iNaturalist app. Pictures and notes logged into the app by users is actually considered research-quality scientific data. The San Antonio River Authority will then use these observations in its continued efforts to preserve to keep this area — we have to say it — for the birds.

Other area San Antonio-area birdwatching hot spots include Friedrich Wilderness Park, Government Canyon State Natural Area, Medina River Natural Area, and the San Antonio Botanical Garden.

Where to roost
After a day nature walking in the "wilds" of downtown, rest up at area watering holes along the River Walk and at Pearl, just like the migratory birds who pause here on their journeys south. With your birding journey complete, it's time to put down those binoculars and get that margarita after all.

The San Antonio River Walk is becoming a birder's paradise.

Visit San Antonio/Facebook
The San Antonio River Walk is becoming a birder's paradise.
Courtesy photo

8 essential events to attend at 2019 Fiesta in San Antonio

Party Time

It’s time to party in San Antonio. Fiesta is arriving in the city with more events — both official and unofficial — than ever before. The traditional 10-day celebration runs April 18-28, and it's worth a road trip from every corner of Texas.

Many activities are like mini-festivals, full of food, drinks, music, and games. Others are more reverential and pay tribute to the history and culture of the people who have helped to make what the Alamo City is today. Whatever your tastes, here are some of the truly essential (and officially sanctioned) Fiesta events to put on your to-do list.

Fiesta Carnival — April 18-28
You can’t have Fiesta without a multi-day carnival. The family-friendly extravaganza will be held daily in one of the Alamodome parking lots along Cherry Street. The gates open between 5 pm and 6 pm, most days, except for April 20-21 and 26-28 when they open at 11 am. The carnival provides an assortment of food, games, and rides.

Admission is free, but buying a wristband ($22-$25, depending on which evening) gets you access to all the rides.

Fiesta de los Reyes — April 19-28
Market Square is always a festive place, but during Fiesta de los Reyes, it’s pretty much ground zero for partying. There will be many bands on five stages every day. Gary Hobbs, Grupo Vida, Little Joe y La Familia, The Spazmatics, Augie Meyers, and Jay Perez are just some of the scheduled performers that are sure to attract huge crowds. If that’s not enough, there will be a variety of food vendors every where you turn.

Admission is free.

Texas Cavaliers River Parade — April 22
Thousands flock to the banks of the River Walk to see more than 50 decorated, illuminated floats as part one of the nation’s most renowned and unique parades. "Showtime in San Antonio" is the theme for this year’s river parade, over which King Antonio XCVII will preside between 7-9 pm. Created in 1926, Texas Cavaliers are one of the most well-known civic groups in Texas, which in comprised of hundreds of local community and business leaders who raise funds for local youth, first responder, and military charities.

Check the Cavaliers' website for details on ticket packages for special seating along the River Walk.

Cornyation — April 23-25
Fiesta has its reverent, regal coronation of royalty — usually family affairs and celebrations of local culture. Cornyation is not that. It's completely irreverent and very much for the adults. The annual event boasts contemporary, edgy, occasionally raunchy satire and commentary of local, state, national, and global affairs and culture. There are skits and performances galore, and the audience is encouraged to laugh, sing, and chant along. This year's theme is "The Court of Tremendous Expectations." Showtimes are 7 and 10 pm at Empire Theater.

Check out the Cornyation website for ticket information, which range from $15-$100. Act fast, it's one of the hottest Fiesta tickets in town.

A Night in Old San Antonio — April 23-26
Spanning four nights at La Villita, NIOSA is an exploration of the rich, diverse cultures that have played a crucial part in the origins of San Antonio. As such, visitors will have plenty of food and drinks from which to choose. In the mood for escargot or Blarney bacon? How about anticuchos or Yak-i-Tori chicken? La Villita will be filled with the sounds of mariachis, and German, Irish, Americana, and zydeco music, among other genres. There’s also a place for the youngsters. Pro tip: Wear comfortable shoes. A lot of walking and crowd surfing lie ahead.

Tickets are $12 in advance at local H-E-B stores, or $15 at the gate.

Battle of Flowers Parade — April 26
The 128th Battle of Flowers Parade begins around 9:30 am near the Pearl. This San Antonio classic is the nation’s second largest day parade, involving hundreds of entries from around the country walking and riding through the streets of downtown. The parade is so big that it's cause for an official citywide holiday. As it should be because hundreds of thousands of spectators turn out for the lavish parade, with many setting up lawn chairs or camping out in tents to secure their prime spot along the route days in advance.

Admission for official seating: $12-$25. (A free afterparty follows at Pearl.)

King William Fair — April 27
The fair, set across much of the King William Historic District, is family-friendly and yet a little quirky. The event kicks off at 9 am with a mini-neighborhood parade, where most of the entries reflect the Southtown community’s vibe. Visitors then stay for a day full of live music on five stages, art, craft and food vendors, and a massive children’s play area. There’s all kinds of fun to be had wherever you go in the neighborhood turned fairgrounds — especially if you’re lucky enough to know someone who lives there. Such residents can be found having their own house party within a party.

Fair admission: $15 for adults, free for children 12-under. Admission to see the parade is free.

Flambeau Parade — April 27
On the next to final night of Fiesta, downtown is the place to be again for the largest illuminated night parade in the country. Festivities begin 7 pm near the Pearl. Hundreds of entries are watched by hundreds of thousands of spectators lining the streets every year. “Reflections of Music Past” is the theme for this year’s event. Take particular note of the University of Texas Longhorn Marching Band, which takes part in the Flambeau parade every year.

Official bleacher seating is $18.50-$35.

Photo courtesy of King William Association

The history of San Antonio's Fiesta is as colorful as the festival itself

Road trip to San Antonio

It's Fiesta in San Antonio — a season that seems to get longer and start earlier every year. Today, Fiesta can feel like a 10-day, nonstop party across the city, one filled with flower crowns, parades, and medals.

But the history of Fiesta is as colorful as the elaborately embroidered dresses many San Antonian women wear during the celebration. Whether you're traveling south for the weekend, or taking part in the entire 10-day party, check out this brief primer before you hit the road.

A royal — and floral — celebration
Of course, it makes sense to start at the beginning. In 1891, San Antonio residents wanted to pay tribute to the defenders of the Alamo and those who fought in the decisive Battle of San Jacinto with a colorful parade called "the battle of flowers."

An organization of well-to-do local women initiated the Battle of Flowers Association to help with the annual festivities. As the organization grew, so did Fiesta, which was then a series of elaborate, elegant celebrations all culminating in the the flower parade as the main act.

The concept of Fiesta royalty came about in 1895 when the organizers chose a Fiesta queen. Some 14 years later, organizers had established an Order of the Alamo, which would involve a formal coronation of a Fiesta queen.

Organizers also added a king to the order early on, but the names and traditions of nearly all of those original monarchs lasted just a few years. Only King Antonio, conceived in 1916, has lasted this long.

A (very long) Night in Old San Antonio
Fiesta grew with A Night In Old San Antonio. In the years following World War I, NIOSA was one of the most popular Fiesta events, as many people would flock to La Villita every night to enjoy cuisine and music, and celebrate the various ethnic traditions that have made their impact on San Antonio.

NIOSA started as a so-called “Indian festival” in 1938, a street fair-style affair held on a single autumn evening to raise funds for the San Antonio Conservation Society.Society members originally made all of the food at their homes and then brought it to this festival, an homage of sorts to the chili queens who inhabited the downtown plazas in prior decades.

The festival underwent different names and formats until just after World War II when Fiesta planners invited the conservation society to hold its event during Fiesta.

The first “Night In Old San Antonio” held during Fiesta occurred in 1948, and was an instant hit. A decade later, the conservation society expanded the event to four nights.

The party grows bigger
Just before the outbreak of World War II, members of the Texas Cavaliers organization had seen colorfully decorated barges and floats in what they described as “floating gardens” in Mexico City. Upon returning home, the Cavaliers realized that with improvements happening along the San Antonio River downtown, there was an opportunity to recreate that scene in the Alamo City. Thus, the river parade was born in 1941.

Later that decade, local civil engineer Reynolds Andricks, a Fiesta entrepreneur, proposed a lighted night parade that would make for beautiful imagery and a unique event. His idea became known as the Flambeau Parade — still one on Fiesta's most treasured events.

“Flambeau” means burning torch or tall, decorated candlestick in French. Back then, parade marchers would hold either those items or flashlights to guide their way through downtown streets and capture the imagination of spectators.

By the 1950s, Fiesta had grown so large that the local chamber of commerce launched a separate organization, Fiesta San Antonio Commission, to help plan and oversee the events.

Fiesta yesterday and today
By the end of the 20th century, Fiesta activities had spread out further from downtown and into different neighborhoods and even onto the military bases. Many signature Fiesta events grew so large that they moved to entirely different venues.

Take the Oyster Bake, which was just a gathering of St. Mary’s University alumni on the downtown banks of the river each year beginning in 1916. They were there to enjoy beer and oysters and raise funds for scholarships and campus programs. Today, it's a massively popular foodie event, attracting Fiesta-goers from across the city to the St. Mary's campus.

Likewise, Alamo Heights Rotarians began the Alamo Heights Night in the late '80s as a family-friendly block party at the city swimming pool. It wasn’t long before thousands began to show up. Alamo Heights Night got so big it moved to the University of the Incarnate Word, its current home.

Taste of New Orleans was originally Fiesta West, a modest San Antonio Zulu Association celebration at Rosedale Park on the West Side. The association shifted Fiesta West to St. Paul’s Square on the East Side, where it officially became Taste of New Orleans in 1983. Two years later, the event moved to Sunken Garden Theater where it remains today.

Cornyation, the popular satirical take on Fiesta royalty, San Antonio elites, and other noted personalities, originated in the early 1950s when the conservation society invited San Antonio Little Theater — now Public Theater San Antonio — to offer additional Fiesta entertainment. The event began as costumed pageantry, but the 1960s heralded the arrival of more daring high jinks on-stage and, as such, it became too much for the conservation society to handle. Cornyation would soon be no more.

In the 1980s, one of the first Cornyation organizers, Ray Chavez, decided the time was right to bring back the zany event. With help from the community, Chavez re-launched Cornyation at the Bonham Exchange with skits that pushed the envelope. Cornyation has taken place in different venues over the years, but seems to have found a home at Empire Theater. Today it's a raunchy, can't-miss part of the celebration.

The predecessors of the King William Fair were informal festivals in the King William neighborhood, beginning in the 1950s. Not long after King William Association was created in the late 1960s, the group developed a more formal organization for the fair.

The event initially took place in King William Park, but it quickly grew in popularity, attracting hundreds, then thousands of partygoers. It has since expanded to a neighborhood-wide event, featuring arts and food booths, music stages and children’s activities across several blocks.

Some newer events, such as Fiesta Castle Hills, have very modest beginnings. This is the first year it’s an official Fiesta function, but it started a decade ago as a free, family-friendly celebration for the North Side suburb. Though rains fell on the inaugural event day, they didn’t damper the enthusiasm of the families who enjoyed refreshments, meeting with artisans, and children’s activities. Much of that spirit remains at Fiesta Castle Hills.

That's just the tip of the iceberg. So, the next time you're watching Mexican traditions recreated at A Day in Old Mexico or find yourself dancing to Tejano artists at Fiesta de los Reyes, take time to imagine how those events were born. After all, history can be a party, too.

Lauramay LaChance

Grand Texas hotel checks in with coveted 5-star rating

Shine On

For Dallas travelers, this is a choice time to head to one of San Antonio's gems, as another has been added to Hotel Emma's glittering crown. After being named one of the best in the world by editors at the exclusive Andrew Harper Travel, and landing the No. 10 spot for best hotel in the U.S., Hotel Emma is now checking in with a 5-star rating from AAA.

On June 6, nonprofit has bestowed upon the San Antonio property a coveted AAA Five Diamond Award, effective beginning in 2019. Anonymous AAA represenatives review more than 27,000 hotels every year, but less than 1 percent (actually 0.4 percent) actually make the list.

The Emma joins the Ritz-Carlton Dallas as the only other Texas property on the coveted list. The Dallas hotel's rating was announced in January.

Anonymous AAA represenatives review more than 27,000 hotels every year, but less than 1 percent (actually 0.4 percent) actually make the list. It's a rigorous process that includes in-person inspections, stealthy overnight stays, and review by a panel of experts.

“Five Diamond properties consistently exceed expectations to deliver a highly personalized, memorable experience far above the ordinary," explained Michael Petrone, director of AAA Inspections & Diamond Ratings, in a release.

And indeed the Emma does. Its stunning setting inside the 1894 former Pearl Brewhouse aside, the hotel's impeccable touches — custom turndown service, thoughtful tokens, luxe linens, exceptional staff — make the experience not only memorable, but dreamlike. (Also, the bathrooms alone, complete with impeccable tilework, clawfoot tubs, and vintage-inspired doors, are worth a staycation.)

Worldwide, Hotel Emma and Ritz-Carlton Dallas are among just 121 hotels with the designation.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Brooks & Dunn boot-scoot into this week's 5 hottest Fort Worth headlines

This week's hot headlines

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines. Looking for the best things to do this weekend? Find that list here.

1. Brooks & Dunn kick up 'Reboot Tour' with 2023 stop in Fort Worth. Brooks & Dunn, the best-selling duo of all time, are continuing their "Reboot Tour" in 2023, including a stop at Dickies Arena on Saturday, May 6. Fort Worth is the only Texas city on their list, and tickets went on sale Friday, January 27.

2. Much anticipated Italian restaurant from top Fort Worth team has a date. A new restaurant from one of Fort Worth's top food & beverage teams has an opening date: 61 Osteria, the much-anticipated restaurant from restaurateur Adam Jones and acclaimed chef Blaine Staniford, will open in downtown Fort Worth on January 31. Ta-da.

3. Wealthy Fort Worth neighbor cashes in as the richest city in Texas for 2023. North Texans wanting a glimpse into the lives of the 1 percent won't have to travel far to get a peek. Southlake has been named the richest city in Texas for 2023 in a recent study.

4. Quite the bounty of bites in this roundup of Fort Worth restaurant news. This roundup of restaurant news around Fort Worth includes restaurants newly opened, restaurants coming soon, new menus, new tacos, new pizzas, and more. So much more. Here's the latest batch of Fort Worth restaurant news.

5. The best Fort Worth restaurants to celebrate Valentine's Day 2023. For restaurants, Valentine’s Day is the Super Bowl of dining events, which is ironic this year since the actual Super Bowl takes place just two days prior, on February 12. This is not stopping some restaurateurs from hosting special Valentine’s dinners all weekend long, although some are cautiously opting out of Sunday and Monday. Here are the best options around town.

DFW-based Cinemark theater chain hosts Oscars-themed movie marathon

Awards News

The Cinemark movie chain is giving movie buffs an opportunity to brush up on the Oscars.

Plano-based Cinemark Holdings, Inc. will host its annual Oscar Movie Week festival, this year running from Monday, March 6 through Sunday, March 12, in anticipation of the 95th Oscars ceremony, which airs on March 12 on ABC.

The theater chain will air all of this year’s Best Picture and Best Live Action and Animated Short Film nominees, at more than 120 participating Cinemark theaters nationwide.

According to a release, passes are now on sale now at Cinemark.com/movieweek.

A full Digital Festival Pass is $40 and includes showings for all Best Picture and Best Live Action and Animated Short Film nominees. There's a perk! If you purchase a festival pass, you get 50 percent off any size popcorn during Oscar Movie Week.

Individual showtime tickets will be available starting January 27 at standard pricing, with showtimes beginning March 6.

All Best Live Action and Animated Short Film nominees are bundled into one viewing for just $10 from March 10-12.

For other brushing up, take a look back at what CultureMap’s film critic, Alex Bentley, had to say about each of the nominees (listed in alphabetical order) when they were originally released.

Cinemark has been hosting other similar marathon events such its collaboration with ESPN to bring college football games to the big screen.

The event takes place at these theaters across the U.S., including the following locations in Texas:

  • Austin: Cinemark Southpark Meadows
  • Denton: Cinemark 14
  • Fort Worth: Ridgmar Mall
  • Grapevine: Cinemark Tinseltown
  • Houston: Cinemark Memorial City
  • Plano: Cinemark Legacy
  • Plano: Cinemark West Plano
  • San Antonio: Cinemark San Antonio 16
  • The Woodlands: Cinemark 17

New play about Uvalde shooting takes the stage at Fort Worth university


A TCU faculty member has written a new play called For the Love of Uvalde: A Play Inspired by the Robb Elementary School, and it's premiering January 28 both in-person on-campus and online via streaming.

(Note: After the premiere, it remains available to watch here.)

Playwright Ayvaunn Penn, who is part of the Theatre TCU faculty, also wrote a play in 2020 inspired by the Botham Jean shooting by police officer Amber Guyger.

The premiere staged reading of For the Love of Uvalde promises a similar evening of art for social change, paired with a panel-led community discussion. This staged reading will feature select songs and monologues from the show.

The original play uses testimonies to explore the aftermath and varying viewpoints of the families, politicians, and medical professionals affected by the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde last May. Nineteen children and two adults were killed in the deadliest shooting ever at a Texas public school.

Panel members for the discussion include Dr. Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado, TCU Chief Inclusion Officer; James McQuillen, director of Theatre for Youth at Casa Mañana; Professor Lisa Devine, UNT Theatre for Social Change professor; and Shania Tari, M.S, LMFT-A & EMDR trained.

A collaboration between Theatre TCU, TCU School of Music, and El Progreso Memorial Library in Uvalde, the event is free to attend, though tickets are required and may be reserved here. It begins at 6:30 pm at PepsiCo Recital Hall at the Mary D. and F. Howard Walsh Center for Performing Arts on the TCU campus.

El Progreso Memorial Library will also stream the event on YouTube so that community members may join and participate in the discussion and reflection.