World Heritage Festival Celebrates the Missions’ First Year of UNESCO Designation

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The City of San Antonio celebrates the first anniversary of the Missions’ designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a multifaceted festival. In addition to a “Nuestra Historia” archival exhibition (10am-5pm daily, Presidio Gallery, 126 E. Nueva St.), the festival features several don’t-miss events. Notably, at Thursday’s San Pedro Creek Groundbreaking Ceremony, Opera San Antonio will premiere the first act of Las Fundaciones de Béjar, an opera commissioned by Bexar County and penned by John Phillip Santos (6:30pm, Fox Tech High School Athletic Fields, 701 N. Flores St.). Come nightfall on Friday, Mission San Jose will get a temporary makeover via “Restored by Light,” a spectacle using projection technology to recreate its original frescoed facade (6:30-11pm, Mission San Jose, 6701 San Jose Drive). On Saturday, the Mission Pachanga highlights San Antonio’s rich cultural landscape by showcasing an eclectic array of local musicians (from the jazz and swing of Brent “Doc” Watkins to the mystical fusion of Femina-X) alongside classic San Antonio fare (11am-11pm, Mission Park Pavilion, 6030 Padre Drive). The festival culminates on Sunday with a series of Celebratory Masses held at Missions Concepción, Espada, San Juan, San José and San Fernando. Free, Wed-Sun, visit worldheritagefestival.org for a full schedule of events. 

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