5:30pm - 10:30pm
Gates close each night at 10:00pm
In 1937, the San Antonio Conservation Society planned a one-day Native American Festival along the banks of the San Antonio River to celebrate the heritage of the city's early settlers while raising funds for historic preservation. Rain, however, actually prevented that first start.
Subsequent years were very successful and gave rise to the event's expansion and official naming as A Night In Old San Antonio (NIOSA) in 1948.
What began with a handful of Society ladies serving food and drink from river barges, has grown into a mammoth enterprise orchestrated by over 16,000 volunteers who stage and man the annual four-night event each April. The historic, downtown village of La Villita takes center stage as 85,000 visitors now come through the gates during NIOSA.
As in years past, a chairman elected by the Society’s board of directors plans the event along with appointed vice chairmen. It is a year-round endeavor that includes volunteers who continue the tradition of filling and decorating the celebrated cascarones (confetti-filled eggs) and creating lavish paper flowers and banners that contribute to the festive atmosphere.