The year 2013’s last Something Monday social bike ride took us by San Antonio’s holiday lights and into Main Plaza to enjoy with passersby the sweet sound of a cappella singers performing in the shadow of San Fernando Cathedral.
We started our ride in front of the Southtown institution, Liberty Bar, and it was a great night for a ride. The rising moon was nearly full, the evening air just chilly enough to feel like the holiday season. The downtown streets were free of traffic and friendly to cyclists.
Our first stop took us to Alamo Plaza and the 55-foot tall H-E-B Christmas Tree. The red, white, and blue LED lights were shining bright, even amid the well-lighted commercial buildings across South Alamo Street.
We headed west on Houston Street where the trees lining the streetscape are wrapped in warm, white lights. It’s the kind of simple decor that makes the street one of the best locations for a downtown stroll during the holidays.
We made our way to Main Plaza where we were met by eight young women who immediately broke into seasonal song. The AcaBellas are an all-female a cappella group made up of students from Trinity University.
The AcaBellas exude talent. If you haven’t had a chance to see this group perform live stage presence, warmth, humor and originality. They move from a classic Christmas carol to a contemporary interpretation and arrangement with confidence and ease. They are one of San Antonio’s best-kept secrets, and yes, they are available for parties and special events. The Rivard Report highly recommends the ensemble.
They belted out traditional carols with perfection and included old hits like Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s classic “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” More than a dozen families and friends strolling through the plaza stopped for a moment to listen before continuing on their evening travels.
The setting was perfect. Main Plaza does a wonderful job of dressing its grounds for the holidays. The San Fernando Cathedral looms large but is complemented by the 20-plus foot Christmas tree that stands nearby. Many of the buildings surrounding the plaza participate in the annual “Light Up Downtown” contest, making it a must-see for families. The historic Bexar County Courthouse resembles a magical ginger bread house from another era.
The year 2013 has been a great one for The Rivard Report (we turn two years old in February) and Something Monday, our partnership event with San Antonio B-cycle, is one example of how we are trying to showcase the best and brightest of San Antonio.
We want to thank all the participating individuals and organizations that have led tours and talks for our Something Monday gang. The Mission Reach, the restored Spanish Missions, Breckenridge Park, historic downtown churches and Masonic temples, and Main Plaza are among the destinations where we were met by experts who shared their stories and this city’s stories with our friends. We’ve enjoyed some good rides, made new friends, and learned a lot about our city.
We have a wonderful community of supporters helping us make Something Monday something you should try in the New Year. There is a lot to see and experience.
For more information about The AcaBellas’ upcoming performances or to book a gig, contact Lauren York at firstname.lastname@example.org.