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San Antonio lights up for the holidays, ice rink opens

The River Walk was lit up on Nov. 12. More area lightings follow.
City of San Antonio
The River Walk was lit up on Nov. 12.

The River Walk is already lit up for the holidays. It was also lit up early last year to brighten spirits during the pandemic. The 100,000 holiday lights would cover 25 linear miles if they were laid out.

The lights will serve as the backdrop for the Ford Holiday River parade scheduled for Nov. 26.

The city's official Christmas tree, donated by H-E-B, arrived at Travis Park on Tuesday. The Concolor Fir from Michigan will feature 10,000 ornaments when it is officially lit the Friday after Thanksgiving.

H-E-B is also sponsoring the University of Incarnate Word's Light the Way Holiday that opens at 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. There will be live entertainment, vendors and food trucks. The Broadway campus will light up Saturday night at six. A fireworks show follows at 9:30 p.m.

The San Antonio Zoo was scheduled to flip the switch on its Whataburger holiday lights on Friday night with Zoo mascot Cowboy and Whataburger mascot Whataguy. It includes two 32 feet LED holiday trees and a 124-feet-long tunnel of lights.

The Rotary Club of San Antonio and Centro San Antonio opened the Rotary Ice Rink at Travis Park on Friday afternoon. Open daily through Jan. 17, the ice rink is expected to attract over 50,000 skaters this year.

“We are overjoyed to be bringing the rink back to Travis Park,” said Brandon Logan, past President of Rotary Club of San Antonio and Rink visionary. “After a challenging couple of years, this is the perfect opportunity and space for the community to gather in beautiful downtown to celebrate the season and one another.”

Tickets are on sale now at rotaryicerink.org. Visitors can enjoy various theme nights with special discounts, including Military and first responder free admission on Mondays, a cheap skate half off admission on Tuesdays, and a group skate night for discounts on groups of 10 plus on Thursdays.

Starting this month, guests of the park can enjoy the twilight of 250,000 lights adorning the trees, live Jazz music, Santa photo opportunities, Rink Reel movie nights and intermittent snow flurries all courtesy of Centro. Visit centrosa.org for more information about events throughout the season,

“Centro San Antonio is delighted to welcome San Antonians downtown this holiday season,” said Liz Burt, Director of Urban Activation + Play. “Whether it’s for the triumphant return of the Rotary Ice Rink or the beloved, nostalgic traditions and celebrations offered only in the heart of our city.”

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