SAN ANTONIO – La Villita may be undergoing some changes, but NIOSA is back at the historic site for Fiesta 2022.
The popular Fiesta event, known as A Night In Old San Antonio, kicks off on Tuesday and runs every night through Friday. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and close at 10:30 p.m. each day.
Although the food, music, drinks and atmosphere are the same as in the past, there are some things to know before you go.
For example, cashless wristbands will be required to purchase food and drink on the grounds, and the layout will change due to construction. Here are seven things to know about NIOSA 2022:
How does the construction modify the layout?
Due to ongoing construction in La Villita, NIOSA will extend to Alamo Street and the southwest side of Hemisfair.
This will place a few stalls and areas, like Frontier Town and Clown Alley, in new locations, according to NIOSA.
“The move leaves more room for the crowd at the popular event,” organizers said.
All 14 cultural zones will still be available on four acres. Here is the most recent map from the NIOSA organizers:
Should I buy my ticket before leaving?
You don’t have to, but it might save you some time.
Organizers said e-tickets can be purchased in advance at NIOSA website. Tickets will also be sold at the entrance gates.
Whichever route you take, tickets are $20 for adults, excluding purchase fees. Children 12 and under are free when accompanied by an adult.
If you purchase an e-ticket, you must present the purchase code over the phone or print it out at the entrance gate so it can be scanned.
BlastPasses are coming back in 2022
Unlike previous years where kiosks took tickets, all NIOSA attendees will be required to have a BlastPass for purchases.
People can use their BlastPass, a cashless and contactless wristband, to buy everything on-site at NIOSA, including food, drink and non-food items.
“BlastPass stores credits on the wristband for a simple checkout process that’s a convenient, cleaner way to pay for items, without the need for paper coupons that can easily get lost,” organizers said.
People can buy their BlastPass in line or on NIOSA grounds. There will be BlastPass stations on the ground so people can load more money onto their wristbands. For more information on this process, click here.
Who are the performers?
Arneson Theatre: Doctors Groove
French Quarter: Chris Lopez Band (Tuesday and Wednesday), Passing Strangers (Thursday and Friday)
Frog button: The Celsius band
Border town: Will Carter Band
Haymarket: Culture Jam (Tuesday and Wednesday), Jesse D and Southwest Band
Main Street: The San Antunes
Mexican market: Karizma
Sauerkraut elbow: Eurofest
Villa Espana: dukes of cool
Are masks or vaccines needed due to COVID-19?
Guests and volunteers won’t be required to wear masks this year, and organizers won’t ask for COVID-19 vaccination status, according to the organization.
Additional sanitizing and hand washing stations will be placed throughout the grounds.
Paths to get there
A bike valet will be available outside the NIOSA gate at the corner of Alamo and Nueva streets from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
In this supervised area, bicycles (not motorbikes) can be locked with the owner’s personal padlock and chain.
Additionally, VIA Metropolitan Transit offers Park and Ride services between Crossroads and downtown for NIOSA.
The NIOSA Park and Ride will be available from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. The service is $2.50 each way.
For a list of all Fiesta Park and Ride options, click here. Note that face masks are mandatory in all VIA vehicles and facilities.
Remember to stay hydrated
Tuesday, the first day of NIOSA, clear skies and dry air will allow temperatures to soar into the mid 90s. A cold front on Wednesday will bring highs back into the upper 70s and lower 80s.
When out in the sun, remember to stay cool and hydrated, and wear comfortable, lightweight clothing.
If you need medical attention, there will be first aid stations in Chinatown, Frontier Town, South of the Border, French Quarter, Villa Espana and Haymarket.
Check out the forecast for the week here.
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