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Arts & Culture

HemisFair's 50th Anniversary Celebrated At The Institute Of Texan Cultures

The 50th anniversary of the opening of HemisFair is Friday, and the Institute of Texan Cultures has invited the public for a weekend full of events to mark the occasion.


The institute was originally built for the fair in 1968 to commemorate the 250th anniversary of San Antonio, the ITC's James Benavides said.

The ITC is opening a pair of new exhibits to mark the occasion, including one to mark 50 years of the institute's work in the community and across the state, called 50 years on HemisFair, Benavides said.

The new exhibits are both located on the museum’s main floor. The Children’s Ballet will be performing, and docents and gallery hosts will lead explanatory walks through the exhibits.

On Saturday night, HemisFair will host a 1968 rewind, featuring a dance and fashion show. Claudia Garofolo of WOAI will emcee the event, along with co-host, former Express-News reporter Michael Quintanilla.

“They've recreated some of the HemisFair uniform dresses that the hostesses wore back in '68,” Benavides said. “...We'll have this great flashback dance.”

Sunday is the ITC's monthly Second Sunday, so entry is free all day.  

Schedule of events:

Friday, 5 - 8 p.m.

  • Kick-off and exhibit opening

Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

  • Children’s Ballet of San Antonio
  • San Antonio Charros

Saturday, 7:30 p.m. - midnight

  • Dance

Sunday, noon - 5 p.m.

  • Children’s Ballet of San Antonio
  • Aranthi Indian Dance Group
  • UTSA Runners Up Acapella


Credit Institute of Texan Cultures

See vintage film of HemisFair from the Texas Archive of the Moving Image below.

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org