For three days every summer, Texans gather at the Texas Folklife Festival to celebrate their unique heritage through music, dance, food and crafts. This year, the festival will be June 10-12 at the Institute of Texan Cultures.
Also featured is a year-long exhibit that formally opened May 19 at the Institute. The exhibit, “40 Years of Texas Folklife Festival Memories,” showcases stories, images and sounds highlighting the festival’s most memorable moments. The 10 sections of the exhibit feature oral histories, photographs from four decades, souvenirs, costumes, musical instruments and more.
Your admission to the Texas Folklife Festival will also include entry to this exhibit on the main exhibit floor at the Institute.
The Texas Folklife Festival itself distills the essence of Texas into a three-day celebration of music, dance, costume, crafts, food and diversions from the many unique people who call Texas “home.”
“The Texas Folklife Festival has made a huge difference over the years,” says Jo Ann Andera, festival director since 1981. “There are groups that exist and thrive today because they wanted to participate in the Folklife Festival. Ukrainian, Greek or Lebanese, they are proud of who they are and they are proud to call themselves Texans.”
For some Texas Folklife Festival participants, the event is a family reunion. Groups such as the Wends, Greeks and Lebanese have attended since the very beginning. As the years have gone by, beloved festival personalities have passed away, most recently, Claudia Ball, the second festival director, whose memory is honored in the exhibit.
“The Texas Folklife Festival has touched so many lives and brought together so many diverse groups,” says Andera, festival director since 1981. “It was right after Vietnam and the Civil Rights movement and the public was so divided. When we started this 40 years ago, we had no idea how much the festival would mean to them or how important it would be for San Antonio and Texas.”
The Texas Folklife Festival is held on the grounds of the Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Durango Blvd. Festival hours are 5–11 p.m., Friday, June 10; 11 a.m.-11p.m., Saturday, June 11; and noon-7 p.m., Sunday, June 12. Adult admission (age 13 and up) is $10 in advance or $12 at the gate. Child admission (age 6-12) is $5 advance or $5 at the gate. Children 5 and under free. Advance tickets go on sale May 1 at TexanCultures.com, the Institute of Texan Cultures museum store, HEB stores, Ft. Sam Houston, Lackland AFB and Randolph AFB.
For more information and tickets, call (210) 458-2300, visit www.texasfolklifefestival.org , or follow Texas Folklife Festival on Facebook.
The Institute of Texan Cultures is located on the UTSA HemisFair Park Campus, 801 E. Durango Blvd., a short distance from the Alamo and the River Walk. Regular museum hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Museum admission is $8 for adults (ages 12-64); $7 for seniors (ages 65+); $6 for children (ages 3-11); free with membership, UTSA or Alamo Colleges identification. For more information, call 210-458-2300 or visit TexanCultures.com.