Now in its 45th year, the annual festival takes place at UTSA’s Institute of Texan Cultures, in the southeast corner of HemisFair. The area is heavily disrupted by construction, so these transportation options will allow atteendes to leave their car at home and get to the festival by bus, bike, or rideshare.
Every year, more than 40 different cultural groups in Texas are represented at the event, and more than 250 participants come together to celebrate heritage and culture. The festival, which was inspired by the 1968 Smithsonian’s Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C., showcases the rich cultural heritage of Texas through music, dance, arts, and a variety of different ethnic foods.
Jo Ann Andera, Texas Folklife Festival director, elaborated on the new collaboration and mentioned the special VIA and Lyft rates at a press conference on Wednesday. Festival participants and staff, as well as VIA, Lyft, and B-Cycle representatives, were in attendance to celebrate the partnership.
“We wanted to make it easy for people to get to the festival,” said Andera, adding that the collaboration will create a multi-modal transportation plan for festival attendees.
Andera said that riding bikes, using public transportation, or opting for rideshare are the perfect options for such a busy and transited area.
“I encourage everyone to take advantage of these agreements, and to those who choose to take a car to at least carpool there,” Hemisfair CEO Andrés Andujar said Thursday afternoon. He mentioned how some people forgo going to certain events in the city of the city, thinking it will be impossible to get there or find parking, when in reality it isn’t as bad as originally imagined.
“We need to transition to this new culture of how to get around, and (these collaborations) should continue for other events that take place downtown,” Andujar added.
The collaboration will feature low fares and festival specials for patrons. VIA will offer roundtrip fares for $5, Andera said, and will pick up riders at the Crossroads Park and Ride parking lot located next to the Wonderland of the Americas Mall. For more information, go to VIA’s website.
“Lyft will have a special rider rate where new riders get $20 off and regular riders will get $5 off,” Andera said. “Those opting for B-Cycle can go to any pop-up bike stations and ride in from anywhere in downtown.”
Chef Johnny Hernandez, who recently cooked at the White House for Cinco de Mayo, introduced a new curated area for the festival called El Zócalo, sponsored by H-E-B.
(Read more: Chef Johnny Hernandez Cooking in the White House)
El Zócalo will feature artisans from Mexico, a pop-up of El Machito — one of Hernandez’s popular restaurants located next to the Alamo Quarry — and food demonstrations by the Culinary Institute of America and founder, chef and owner of Pharm Table, Elizabeth Johnson.
Andera is looking forward to the festival, a time-honored community wide collaboration.
“We are the most excited to honor and have the support of those folks who have participated in the Festival for 45 years; they are who help make the Texas Folklife Festival happen,” Andera said. “We’re honored that our community partners have stepped up to celebrate this important milestone with us.”
Festival hours for Friday, June 10 are from 5-11 p.m.; on Saturday, June 11 from 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; and on Sunday, June 12 from noon-7 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased in advance for a lower price at H-E-B stores, Lackland Air Force Base, Randolph Air Force Base, Fort Sam Houston, and ITC’s store or online on their website. Advance adult tickets are $10, and $12 at the gate. All children’s tickets, bought in advance and at the gate, are $5. Children under 5 have free admission.
For those opting on driving to the event, there will be $15 dollar parking available at the Alamodome and at Landry’s Tower of the Americas, Andera said. City lots in the surrounding area will also be available.
For more information, visit the Texas Folklife Festival’s website.
UPDATED: This story has been updated with interviews and information collected on Thursday, after publication.
*Top image: The Texas Folklife Festival announces a collaboration with VIA Metropolitan Transit, Lyft, and B-Cycle. Photo courtesy of the Texas Folklife Festival.