Celebrate a Belated Lunar New Year or Early Valentine’s Day This Weekend

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Performers of the Confucius Institute of UTSA prepare for the stage.

Scott Ball / Rivard Report

Performers prepare to go on stage at the 2017 San Antonio Asian Festival.

Though the Lunar New Year – whose months are coordinated by the cycles of the moon – started earlier this week, San Antonio is just now getting around to celebrating. We’ve rounded up those festivities as well as a few early Valentine’s Day events for you to check out this weekend.

Confucius Wishing Lanterns

Now in its second year, Saturday‘s event could see up to 30,000 lanterns float down and illuminate the San Antonio River Walk. You can contribute a lantern (equipped with an LED “candle”) for $5 or watch the colorful display for free. Be sure to bring cash to pay for your lantern, which will be sold from 3 to 8 p.m. at five different locations marked on this map. The University of Texas at San Antonio’s Confucius Institute will provide Asian entertainment from 5 to 6 p.m., and at 6:30 p.m., the lanterns will start their float down the River. You can launch your lantern at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse at 600 E Market St. and the Shops at Rivercenter at 849 Commerce St. Find more information about the lantern event here.
3-10 p.m.
600 E Market St. (river level)
$0 – $5

Parade of Lanterns

Following the wishing lanterns event on Saturday, 10 river floats carrying large illuminated displays with designs such as dragons and piñatas also will embark on a journey down the river. The Parade of Lanterns will run nightly from 7 to 9 p.m starting Saturday and ending Feb. 23.
7-9 p.m.
San Antonio River Walk, downtown area
Free

Asian Festival: Year of the Boar

If you’re turning 12, 24, 36, or another multiple of 12 in 2019, congratulations, pig – it’s your year! And in honor of Chinese New Year, the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures is hosting an Asian Festival to with food, music, vendors, and cultural performances. You can sample Japanese, Korean, Thai, Laotian, and Filipino eats while shopping for clothing, art, and jewelry. There also will be a crafting area, martial arts demonstrations, a mahjong table, and more. Tickets are available at the gate. Children ages 5 and under get in for free, while children ages 6 to 12 pay $5, and adults pay $12.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
801 E. Cesár E. Chávez Blvd.
$5 – $12

Cocina Botanica: Asian Lunar New Year

The San Antonio Botanical Garden offers a recurring cooking class that showcases fresh fruits, garden vegetables, and herbs that grow in South Texas. Right in time (sort of) for the Lunar New Year, this Sunday’s class will celebrate Asian cultures represented inSan Antonio. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased here.
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
555 Funston Pl.
$25

Movie in the Park: Valentine’s Day

Grab a blanket and and some snacks to enjoy a movie under the Tower of the Americas. Saturday’s screening of the star-studded rom-com Valentine’s Day starts after sundown, so make sure you’ve got enough layers to stay warm while snuggling up with your boo.
6 p.m.
739 E. Cesár E. Chávez Blvd.
Free

Campanas de America Valentine’s Day Concert

On Saturday, 51-year-old Letty Maldonado plans to ask her ex-husband and current significant other Mario Vigil to remarry her during the intermission of Our Lady of the Lake University’s Valentine’s Day concert. The couple first eloped in 1984, and divorced in 1992. Five years ago, they rekindled their romance.

Campanas de America will provide the romantic backdrop for Maldonado’s proposal. The award-winning mariachi ensemble has been performing at OLLU Valentine’s Day concerts for more than a decade. This year, 4-year-old local sensation Mateo Lopez joins the ensemble as a vocalist. Doors to the Thiry Auditorium open at 5:30 p.m. and the concert starts at 7:15 p.m. Intermission is slated for 8:15 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here.
5:30 p.m.
411 S. W. 24th St.
$5 – $20

8th Annual Be My Valentine 5K Run/Walk or Be My Other Half Half Marathon

Run organizer Huarache Turbo is bringing back its annual Be My Valentine 5K and introducing a new run – the Be My Other Half Half Marathon. The 5K has a $35 registration cost, while registration for the half marathon costs $130 for two runners (since you’re supposed to run with your other half. But no pressure – besties count, too!) You can register as a solo runner for the half marathon for $65, but the award for “best costume” will go to a dynamic duo. Packet pickup on race day starts at 8 a.m. at Comanche Park, where the races will take place. Register online by Feb. 9 at 11:59 p.m. to get a spot. All races start at 9:30 a.m.
8 a.m.
2600 Rigsby Ave.
$35 – $130

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