The lights shine bright across the Lone Star State every holiday season, but perhaps nowhere more so than on San Antonio’s River Walk when they change from white to the colors of Christmas, adding a new dimension of celebration to the watery path that winds its way through town and up to the Pearl District.
Holiday Lights on the River Walk begins the day after Thanksgiving and runs until shortly after New Year’s with more than 2,000 strands and 100,000 lights twinkling in the night. The recognizable bald cypress trees that dominate the riverbank sparkle with lights, and the familiar Go Rio Cruises boats sport red and green strands at the waterline.
“It’s a pretty effect in the water,” says Paula Schechter, marketing and public relations director for San Antonio River Walk Association, host for the event, along with the city of San Antonio. In addition to the boats and trees, magnificent hotels, such as The Hilton Palacio del Rio, change their balcony lights to festive red and green. The lights on the Hilton create a decorative Christmas tree pattern.
Throughout the month of December, enjoy watching carolers as they travel down the river. Every weekend in December, 2,000 luminaries will line the walkway down the River Walk to symbolize the “lighting of the way” for the Holy Family. “It’s the busiest season on the River Walk,” Schechter says. And it’s a wonderful season for visiting the River Walk, as the winter temperatures in San Antonio are generally mild enough for outdoor activities.