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Over the River & Through the Woods



Rendon Photography and Fine Art

A Texas Town With Spanish Accent


San Antonio at Christmas is a magical place. The River Walk sparkles with colored lights and glows with the soft illumination of luminarias. Some say the small paper bags weighted with sand and holding candles originate from the custom of lighting small bonfires along the path to guide worshipers to midnight mass on Christmas Eve. Others attribute the paper sacks to the enchantment of Spanish traders by Chinese lanterns. Whatever the origin, luminarias are a delightful part of San Antonio’s Christmas observances.

Native Americans were here first but Spanish exploration changed everything. By 1718 the first of five missions in the area was founded (San Antonio de Valero, now known as the Alamo). Spain reigned until Mexican independence was won in 1821. Texas became independent of Mexico in 1836 and was admitted to the Union in 1845.

Hispanic culture had over a century to take root in San Antonio soil and still has a strong influence on the city. Nowhere is it more evident than on the Paseo del Rio, or River Walk. Though much of the Spanish flavor is more homage than actual heritage, the illusion is delightful.

Arched bridges take walkers from one side of the river to the other and colorful boats travel up and down the waterway. In December, boats of carolers serenade pedestrians. Over 200 trees dripping with strings of lights line the river and on weekends, 6,000 luminarias shine at water’s edge.

Market Square sports lacy Mexican picado banners
 

Mi Tierra – Mi Favorita

You can’t beat the ambiance at Mi Tierra Café Y Panaderia in the Market Square. Operated by members of the Cortez family for over seventy years, this open-24-hours eatery is a local favorite for great Mexican food. It’s always colorful with all sorts of Mexican decorations but really outdoes itself at Christmas. It’s like being inside a snow globe filled with glitter!

The market area is also a great place to shop for pottery, jewelry, piñatas, tiles, you name it. If it has a Spanish flair, it’s here.

Need more Mexican food? Aim for Saturday, December 7, for the Tamales! Holiday Festival in one of the city’s newer entertainment districts, Pearl.
From pork to pumpkin- tamales at Tamales!

This is the fourth year for the street festival which features tamales, entertainment and children’s activities. You’ll find everything from the expected – beef and pork in a masa covering to pumpkin and raisin tamales wrapped in banana leaves. The lines are long but the wait’s worth it.

Serenade

Though you’ll hear music throughout the town the whole holiday season, the first week in December is truly special: December 1-7, is a week-long mariachi music festival. Over 1,000 musicians are in town performing, competing and attending workshops and jam sessions.

If you’re looking for a celebration with a South-of-the-border twist, nobody says “Feliz Navidad” better than San Antonio.

Other Holiday Happenings:

•    “Holidays in Bloom” at San Antonio Botanical Garden
•    Six Flags Fiesta Texas “Holiday in the Park”
•    Sea World’s “Christmas Celebration”
•    Santa’s Railroad Wonderland, Texas Transportation Museum
•    Holiday Lights Tours by Alamo Helicopter Tours
•    Check visitsanantonio.com for more holiday events.

Fredericksburg buildings trimmed with clear lights

Getting Gemütlich

Fredricksburg is the ideal spot to celebrate Christmas with a German accent. The community was settled in the late 1840s by a group of German immigrants brought to Texas by the Adelsverein, a consortium of German noblemen hoping to establish a new Germany in Texas. The German language was still used in Fredericksburg schools into the early 1900s.

Today’s visitors still get a strong sense of the heritage through the architecture, food and customs maintained by Fredericksburgers. The historic district of town, like many German river towns, is strung out along Main Street rather than being built around a town square. The Marktplatz pays homage to the traditional German marketplace.

Seasonal Specialties

Major symbols of the season can be found in the Marktplatz. It’s hard to miss the 26-foot Christmas pyramid, a sort of layer-cake-carousel decorated with a variety of carved figures ranging from angels and the holy family to nutcrackers and snowmen. Small pyramids, which spin by using the heat generated from candles, originated in the Erzgebirge – the Ore Mountains area on the border of Germany and the Czech Republic. It is said to have been the precursor of the evergreen Christmas tree. The Fredericksburg pyramid, made in the Erzgebirge, is the largest in the United States.

A traditional tree trimmed with lights, stars and gingerbread men stands nearby, and at night all the trees in the park are wrapped in rainbows of color. An outdoor Eisbahn (ice skating rink) in the Marktplatz is open through the New Year’s holidays.

On Friday, December 6, the town holds its annual Light the Night Christmas Parade and After Glow. Booths sell everything from Christmas ornaments and items imported from Germany to local arts and crafts. Sausages and sauerkraut, beer and wine accompany more Texas-style treats. The day is capped with a lighted parade – check in advance for reserved bleacher seating.Shopping in the Marktplatz

Back to Basics

Fredericksburg is well-prepared to host visitors with over 350 B&B and guest accommodations plus a number of popular chain motels. Among the more interesting choices are Sunday Houses, small in-town cottages built in town by early settlers whose farms were away from the settlement.
Newer accommodations have also been built in this style. Generally, there is no caretaker on the property, and while most have small kitchens, no food is provided.

But you won’t go hungry. There are several good spots for breakfast: the Rathskeller, Old German Bakery or Hill Country Donuts and Kolaches among them. Several restaurants specialize in German dishes. The only one I’ve tried was the Fredericksburg Brewing Company. The food was good and the beer’s a big draw (pun intended!).

While You’re Here:
•    Before you go, check www.visitfredericksburgtx.com
•    Take a walking tour of the historic district. Brochures are available
    at the Visitor Information Center, 302 E. Austin.
•    Visit the Pioneer Museum Complex with authentic structures pr
    served from the 19th century pioneers
•    National Museum of the Pacific War – okay, this doesn’t sound
    Christmas-y, and it isn’t, but this museum, originally started in
    honor of Fredericksburg native Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz,
    features a critical part of American history. An important part of
    its mission is reconciliation – and that’s central to the season.
•    Stroll and shop. Fredericksburg has over 150 shops and galleries.
    Benches on the sidewalks are always popular with non-shoppers
    holding packages!

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Calendar

January 2019

Through March 2019, Oklahoma Contemporary is partnering with Madison Square Park Conservancy to bring Erwin Redl’s installation Whiteout to Campbell Art Park. Whiteout is comprised of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Campbell Art Park
NW 11th and Broadway
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
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Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
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Where:
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1 Nature Place
McKinney, TX  75069
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Sponsor: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Telephone: 972.562.5566
Contact Name: Stephanie Jennings
Website »

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Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

ArtNow is Oklahoma Contemporary's annual exhibition of Oklahoma-based contemporary artists. It closes with art sale - the first big party of the year with cocktails, tastemakers and the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Through March 2019, Oklahoma Contemporary is partnering with Madison Square Park Conservancy to bring Erwin Redl’s installation Whiteout to Campbell Art Park. Whiteout is comprised of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Campbell Art Park
NW 11th and Broadway
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

ArtNow is Oklahoma Contemporary's annual exhibition of Oklahoma-based contemporary artists. It closes with art sale - the first big party of the year with cocktails, tastemakers and the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Through March 2019, Oklahoma Contemporary is partnering with Madison Square Park Conservancy to bring Erwin Redl’s installation Whiteout to Campbell Art Park. Whiteout is comprised of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Campbell Art Park
NW 11th and Broadway
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Visitors to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will be able to let their imaginations run wild as they travel back in time with life-size animatronic dinosaurs along a half-mile...

Where:
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
1 Nature Place
McKinney, TX  75069
View map »


Sponsor: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Telephone: 972.562.5566
Contact Name: Stephanie Jennings
Website »

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

ArtNow is Oklahoma Contemporary's annual exhibition of Oklahoma-based contemporary artists. It closes with art sale - the first big party of the year with cocktails, tastemakers and the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Through March 2019, Oklahoma Contemporary is partnering with Madison Square Park Conservancy to bring Erwin Redl’s installation Whiteout to Campbell Art Park. Whiteout is comprised of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Campbell Art Park
NW 11th and Broadway
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Visitors to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will be able to let their imaginations run wild as they travel back in time with life-size animatronic dinosaurs along a half-mile...

Where:
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
1 Nature Place
McKinney, TX  75069
View map »


Sponsor: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Telephone: 972.562.5566
Contact Name: Stephanie Jennings
Website »

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

ArtNow is Oklahoma Contemporary's annual exhibition of Oklahoma-based contemporary artists. It closes with art sale - the first big party of the year with cocktails, tastemakers and the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Through March 2019, Oklahoma Contemporary is partnering with Madison Square Park Conservancy to bring Erwin Redl’s installation Whiteout to Campbell Art Park. Whiteout is comprised of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Campbell Art Park
NW 11th and Broadway
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Visitors to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will be able to let their imaginations run wild as they travel back in time with life-size animatronic dinosaurs along a half-mile...

Where:
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
1 Nature Place
McKinney, TX  75069
View map »


Sponsor: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Telephone: 972.562.5566
Contact Name: Stephanie Jennings
Website »

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

ArtNow is Oklahoma Contemporary's annual exhibition of Oklahoma-based contemporary artists. It closes with art sale - the first big party of the year with cocktails, tastemakers and the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

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Cost: $29.95 per person

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The Melting Pot
4 E. Sheridan Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
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Telephone: 405.235.1000
Contact Name: Rob Fazle
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Cost: $10

Where:
Tower Theatre
425 NW 23rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
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Sponsor: Tower Theatre
Telephone: 405.708.6937
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Through March 2019, Oklahoma Contemporary is partnering with Madison Square Park Conservancy to bring Erwin Redl’s installation Whiteout to Campbell Art Park. Whiteout is comprised of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Campbell Art Park
NW 11th and Broadway
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Visitors to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will be able to let their imaginations run wild as they travel back in time with life-size animatronic dinosaurs along a half-mile...

Where:
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
1 Nature Place
McKinney, TX  75069
View map »


Sponsor: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Telephone: 972.562.5566
Contact Name: Stephanie Jennings
Website »

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

ArtNow is Oklahoma Contemporary's annual exhibition of Oklahoma-based contemporary artists. It closes with art sale - the first big party of the year with cocktails, tastemakers and the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Tickets are now on sale for the the first must-attend party of 2019 - featuring signature cocktails, tastemakers and live art-making! ArtNow is your opportunity to party with a purpose and purchase...

Cost: $75-$150

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Through March 2019, Oklahoma Contemporary is partnering with Madison Square Park Conservancy to bring Erwin Redl’s installation Whiteout to Campbell Art Park. Whiteout is comprised of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Campbell Art Park
NW 11th and Broadway
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Visitors to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will be able to let their imaginations run wild as they travel back in time with life-size animatronic dinosaurs along a half-mile...

Where:
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
1 Nature Place
McKinney, TX  75069
View map »


Sponsor: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Telephone: 972.562.5566
Contact Name: Stephanie Jennings
Website »

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

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Cost: 19.95

Where:
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Sponsor: Andy Alligator's Fun Park
Telephone: 405.321.7275
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America’s largest interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel. At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you...

Cost: $59.95

Where:
The Skirvin Hilton
1 Park Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Sponsor: The Dinner Detective
Telephone: 866.496.0535
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