by M.R. Brown
It's Fat Tuesday and Downtown Tuesday couldn't be luckier to be celebrating its One-Year Anniversary on a day famed for food, beer, beads and mischief.
"San Antonians need to know, if you haven't been downtown in a while, you don't know what you're missing," said Mayor Castro at the anniversary press conference at Ocho Lounge earlier today. "Downtown Tuesday is just one of the ways we are making downtown more convenient and more vibrant for residents."
One of the biggest draws for the program comes with the promise of free parking downtown from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. In the past year, Downtown Tuesday has been responsible for 36,000 cars parked for free at city-operated garages and lots. "For our garages and Market Square and Dolorosa lots, this represents a 48 percent increase in car counts over the past year," said District 1 Councilman Diego Bernal.
Part of Castro's SA2020 initiative and the "Decade of Downtown" movement, Downtown Tuesday was created by the City of San Antonio's Downtown Operations Department to lure residents and tourists to live, work and play in San Antonio's quickly developing downtown. Besides offering free parking, Downtown Tuesday has partnered with more than 75 local businesses over the past year to provide specials and discounts.
The program also announced a social media contest today, inviting those reveling in Downtown Tuesday to share their photos for chances at weekly prizes and a grand prize of six months free parking at the St. Mary's parking garage.