Winner: Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival
434 S. Alamo St.
Just over a decade since it launched under the guidance of former mayor Phil Hardberger, Luminaria has evolved in tandem with the growth of San Antonio. Devised as a localized take on illuminated nighttime festivals across Europe, the multimedia mélange of art installations, live music, light projections and performances of all stripes spent its first three years in a footprint surrounding the Alamo and then set off to light up Hemisfair, the Museum Reach and Dignowity Hill to the tune of slightly mixed reviews. Under the direction of curator Kathy Armstrong, Luminaria has expanded its programming, reinstated an open call for artists, struck up a partnership with the Artist Foundation of San Antonio and added a multidisciplinary Curatorial Committee that's reconfigured each year. In the midst of a five-year commitment to its former stomping grounds in Hemisfair, the free, kid-friendly festival returns this year on Saturday, November 9.
3. Día de los Muertos at La Villita
La Villita Historic Arts Village
418 Villita St.