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Texas Folklife Festival Creates a Sense of Community, Shared Values, and Pride

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Each summer the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures celebrates the meaning of being a Texan. Situated on the UTSA Hemisfair Campus of the Institute, the Texas Folklife Festival takes on a life of its own for three days in San Antonio. Showcasing the diversity and rich heritage that the Lone Star State possesses, the event hosts a varied selection of ethnic music, dance, arts, and crafts, and features approximately 250 cultural organizations, six music and entertainment stages, 60 artisans, and over 100 authentic cultural foods.

Texas Folklife Festival Creates a Sense of Community, Shared Values, and Pride

Photo: Facebook/Texas Folklife Festival

Modeled after the Smithsonian’s event of the same name, the Texas Folklife Festival sprung forth from O.T. Baker’s participation in that event in 1968. Attending their inaugural festival on behalf of the Institute of Texan Cultures, he returned to San Antonio so inspired, plans to replicate the model were put in motion.

Texas Folklife Festival Creates a Sense of Community, Shared Values, and Pride

Photo: Facebook/Texas Folklife Festival

The first Texas Folklife Festival was held in September of 1972 on the grounds of the institute at Hemisfair. Now in its 46th year, it continues in O.T. Baker’s vision, a phenomenal event which has not only received numerous international, regional, and local awards, but has created a sense of community, shared values, and pride.

Texas Folklife Festival Creates a Sense of Community, Shared Values, and Pride

Photo: Facebook/Texas Folklife Festival

This annual showcase has continued in the Texas Hill Country with the help of a dedicated team of organizations and cultural communities such as the Greeks, Belgians, Lebanese, Buffalo Soldiers re-enactors, bagpipers, chuck wagon cooks, hula dancers, whittlers, bread bakers, pho cooks, and so much more (too many to list!) Taking place June 9-11 at the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures Hemisfair Campus (please visit their website for admission details and pricing), the Texas Folklife Festival is a one-of-a-kind event that truly celebrates what it means to be Texan.

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