At 7:00 p.m. on the Friday following Thanksgiving, the switch is thrown and approximately 122,000 twinkling lights form a magical canopy over San Antonio's River Walk. The lights shine brightly every evening through January 1.
The lighting ceremony is the official kickoff to the Paseo Del Rio Holiday Festivities. Tickets are sold through the Paseo Del Rio Association at (210) 227-4262. For over 20 years, the spectacular one-hour parade along San Antonio's River Walk features decorated, illuminated floats with celebrities, bands and lavishly-costumed participants.
Over 150,000 people will gather along the River Walk to watch the spectacle live along the parade route.
In December enjoy the Fiesta de las Luminarias. Experience the holiday serenity of the River Walk as you stroll along the lush banks of the San Antonio River guided by more than 6,000 luminarias. Warmly glowing candles in sand filled bags line the walkways to symbolically mark the "lighting of the way" for Holy Family. This centuries old tradition begins at dusk Friday, Saturday & Sunday only.
Your River Walk Experience
The lights dance above you in joyful color. Who wouldn't be uplifted by a visit to San Antonio's River Walk at holiday time. You can enjoy walking or just sit at an outdoor cafe (yes the weather is mild) and watch the world float and walk by. But for a real treat, consider a dinner on the river. There are several River Walk restaurants that offer dinner on the River barges.
We recently took the cruise offered through Boudros, one of the top restaurants on the River Walk.
We boarded the boat just in front of Boudros. The table was set and the wait staff were pouring margaritas and wine. The staff took our orders for entres and told us we would take a short cruise and be back to the restaurant to pick up the main course and dessert.
Soon, Boudro's famous fresh guacamole arrived and we set sail down the river for a narrated cruise. We enjoyed our appetizers and salad and, just as they said, we ended up back in front of Boudros and were served the main course, piping hot from the kitchen.
Setting sail again down the river we went even farther, entranced by the colorful lights hanging from above.
Throughout the trip we were serenaded by boat loads of carolers and bands. From the banks we could hear the strains of Mariachi music. It was indeed a magical evening.
Information on Barge Dining with Boudros
Community Barge Dining
Reservations for community barge dining may be made up to two weeks in advance. Please contact the Catering Office at (210)224-1313 (Mon-Fri 8 am-5 pm CST) or the restaurant at (210)224-8484 for availability and times of barge dining. A credit card number is required to confirm. Boudro's Website
Private Barge Dining
Reservations for private barge dining must be made with the Catering Office. For menus and pricing please call (210)224-1313 (Mon-Fri 8 am-5 pm CST). Boudro's Website
For information on River Walk festivities go to the River Walk Website.
For Boat Tour reservations go to the Rio San Antonio Cruise Website.