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Luminaria Returns To Light Up Downtown Streets

In one month, San Antonio will once again be illuminated for the city’s annual multi-media art show known as Luminaria.

The annual arts and culture show fills downtown with music, lights, and unique art displays from over 600 artists and 80 musicians. HemisFair Park is practically turned into a living lit-up painting.  Mayor Julián Castro said Luminaria is the largest single-night arts event in Texas.

"There’s so many artists, there’s so many different platforms, from performance art to visual arts, it’s just a great night to appreciate art and to do it in a non-stuffy environment to have fun," Castro said.

315,000 people attended last year’s Luminaria, and about the same is expected for the sixth installment.  Luminaria’s roots began in 2008 under Mayor Phil Hardberger, a rendition of a similar event called White Nights in Paris. It originally stretched over much of central downtown but was limited to HemisFair a few years later. Artistic Director Richard Rosen said they are now trying to move back into town

“A lot of people's memories of the first Luminaria are very strong and that first Luminaria took place all over Alamo Plaza and Houston Street,” Rosen said. “We’ve been looking for a way – how can we make this be what [District 1 City] Councilman Bernal said – how can we make art overflow into the streets?”

Luminaria will be on Saturday, March 9, at HemisFair Park and Alamo Street.

Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules