San Antonio's Pearl eats, dances, and paints its way through Hispanic Heritage Month
Austinites will have plenty of opportunities to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month close to home, but here's a great excuse to visit our twin flame: San Antonio. And one neighborhood offers a ton of local spirit accessible by foot and without requiring much of a plan.
San Antonians and visitors are likely to spend at least some of Hispanic Heritage Month at Pearl, the de facto city center for local culture. While the more traditional fiestas rage on elsewhere in the city, Pearl businesses offer modernity from Mexican street food to Latin clothes and home goods year round.
As a way to invite more people into the parts they haven't explored yet, the multi-use community has strung together a month of programming between mid-September and mid-October making sure to represent food, art, and more. Offerings include a kickoff party, a night market, and a collaborative new mural by MMCreative Studio.
"San Antonio's history and deep connection to Mexico is intricately woven into the fabric of our city’s culture,” said Pearl CEO Mesha Millsap in a release. “We invite everyone to join us at Pearl as we celebrate our rich heritage with the food, music, art, and culture for which our city is known.”
Pearl visitors should keep an eye out for the following activations:
- September 12-13 — The Culinary Institute of America’s Latin American Cuisine Summit: Foodservice, culinary, and beverage professionals gather for demonstrations and discussions. These will focus on how food and culture intersect with local sourcing and traditional techniques.
- September 16 — Viva Dieciséis at Pearl: The community celebrates Mexico's Independence Day with live music, a grito contest, and kids' activities like Lotería and guitar painting. Musical performances include ballet folklórico and mariachi.
- Wednesdays starting September 20 — Mercadito Cultural: Pearl retailers show their wares while chefs, artisans, and artists bring it all to life with live demos and performances. These include weekly performances by Mariachi Las Alteñas.
- September 23 and 30 — The Culinary Institute of America’s Wine Exploration Classes: The famous culinary school leads wine-lovers through Mexican and South American vintages in their respective classes.
- Sundays, September 24 to October 8 — Vamos a Bailar with Esta Noche Dance Company: The dance company offers bachata and salsa classes for all levels, whether guests have a parter or are dancing solo. Even guests who don't want to dance are invited to sit in and listen.
- Various dates — Calavera and Alebrije Collection: The neighborhood hosts two alebrijes and four calaveras — all large-scale— from the private collection of Chef Johnny Hernandez and La Gloria. The calaveras were created in partnership with local artists.
Food and drink specials will also pop up at various restaurants and bars throughout the neighborhood. Special menus, prices, and performances are on offer at Cured (chiles en nogada dinner), Carriqui (margarita deals and spirit tastings), Boiler House (tastings and a tequila dinner), Botika (spicy pineapple frozen margaritas and tequenhos), Hotel Emma (six-course dinner), and Local Coffee (horchata deals).
There's much to keep track of, but every day at Pearl is an adventure. Keep track of its many offerings via atpearl.com or on social media.