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The Lighting of the River Parade Brings Sparkle to the Dining Scene

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The Ford Holiday River Parade and Lighting Ceremony is Nov. 23.

One of the most enjoyable events of the entire year in San Antonio is the sparkle and luster of the Ford Holiday River Parade and Lighting Ceremony, which kicks off the holiday season on the river. This parade is always the Friday after Thanksgiving, which means it is on Nov. 23 this year. A number of restaurants along the river are offering seats and special meals to celebrate. The list includes the following:

Achiote River Cafe & Bar at the Grand Hyatt, 600 E. Market St., (210) 451-6171 — Seating is from 5 to 10 p.m. The meal includes salads, antipasto Latino, shellfish with orzo, jicama with citrus, chips with guacamole and three salsas, lobster and shellfish bisque, hickory-smoked strip loin, dill-crusted Scottish salmon, chicken Margharite, Texas short rib chili con carne, macaroni and aged white cheddar and miniature desserts. Cost is $65 per person for patio seating, $45 for restaurant seating, and half price for children ages 6-12. Price does not include tax and 18 percent service charge.

Hilton Palacio del Rio, 200 S. Alamo St., (210) 224-3367 — The menu for river parade includes romaine and chive wedge salad with cilantro rolled goat cheese and chipotle Caesar dressing; Airline chicken breast with ancho chile butter; Cilantro rice and chef’s selection of holiday vegetables; and Kahlua and Mexican chocolate cheesecake. Menu includes iced tea and coffee service with dessert. Additional beverages and cocktails can be purchased at an additional charge. Price: $59.95, dinner with outdoor patio seating; $42.95, dinner with indoor seating; $25, single parade chairs, available on the night of the parade.

The Jack Guenther Pavilion 6-9 p.m., 210 W. Market St., the Briscoe Western Art Museum and Rosemary’s Catering have joined together to offer Holiday River Parade patrons a gourmet dinner and premier seats for the River Walk lighting and the parade. You’ll enjoy a direct bird’s-eye view of the River Parade route, sitting directly across the river from Arneson theatre. Guests will experience indoor and outdoor spaces, a gourmet dinner, private restrooms, exclusive parade seating, a cash bar and plenty of room to mingle and enjoy the holiday season with friends and family. This event welcomes large families, tourists, parade enthusiasts, foodies and anyone looking for a fun experience in downtown San Antonio! Reservations are now being accepted. No tickets will be sold the day of the event, reservations must be placed in advance to secure a spot. Call Rosemary’s Catering at 210-474-7640 or email

Las Canarias at Omni La Mansion del Rio, 112 College St., (210) 518-1063 — La Mansión Pool Buffet will be served 4:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. with cash bar until 9 p.m. Pricing: Adult: $32.95 per person; children ages 6-12: $16.95 per person; children ages 5 years and younger can eat for free but the cost of a riverfront seat is $10 each. Riverfront seat is available for $25 per person in advance or $15 per person on the day of, based on availability. Las Canarias is offering the following dining options from 5:30 p.m., during dinner service: Restaurant Interior: Limited à la carte dining menu will be available with complimentary river-front seat. Restaurant Patio: Dinner available for $150 per person and includes a four-course dinner, one complimentary glass of champagne and one complimentary cheese and fruit plate, per table.

Ostra at the Mokara Hotel, 212 W. Crockett St., (210) 396-5817 — The following dining options are available from 5:30 p.m., during dinner service: Restaurant Interior: The regular à la carte menu will be available, no food and beverage minimum required. Restaurant Patio: Patio dining requires a food and beverage minimum of $50 per person.

The holiday season kicks in with the Lighting of the River.

Paesanos Riverwalk, 111 W. Crockett St., (210) 227-2782 — Start with an optional appetizer sampler for two: Parmesan Crusted Artichoke Hearts, Giant Calamari With Duet of Sauces And Crab Cake Croquettes, $14.95 extra. Follow that with a multi-course meal that begins with field green salad or Italian Wedding Soup. Entrée choices: Shrimp Paesano, Nicoise Salad With Herb Crusted Salmon, Grilled Center Cut Filet Mignon, Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breast, or Eggplant Parmigiana. Dessert: Crepes With Fresh Strawberries. Includes iced tea, assorted soft drinks and coffee. Seating and Pricing Options: Riverfront dining, $80; other seating options, $58.95. Tax and 20 percent service charge to be added. Children’s menu available.

Rio Rio Cantina, 421 E. Commerce St., (210) 226-8462 — Among the treats during the river parade are Fresh Tostadas and Dips, Multi-Colored Tortilla Chips, Salsa and Chile Con Queso, Fiesta Layered Dip, Rio-Rio Veggie Wraps, Chicken Flautas, Mini Barbecue Chicken Kabobs, Salad Station, Build Your Own Fajita Super Nacho Station, Beef & Chicken Fajitas Al Carbon, Enchilada Station, Mexican Rice and Refried Beans, and desserts. Price: Adult, $49.95; Child 9 and younger, $24.98. A 20 percent service charge and tax will be added.

Zuni Grill, 223 Losoya St., (210) 227-0864 — A multi-course meal will be served including Spinach Salad followed by a choice of Shrimp Paesano, Grilled 10-ounce Chipotle Rubbed Ribeye, Southwest Chicken or Portobello Fajitas. Dessert is Chocolate Confusion Cake. Dinner includes iced tea, assorted soft drinks and coffee. Seating and pricing options: Inside dining with parade chair on the river, $49.95; outside river patio table for dining and viewing of parade, $49.95; dining inside on second level loft with a parade chair on loft balcony for viewing, $49.95. Sales tax and 20 percent service charge will be added. Kid’s menu available.

Photos courtesy

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