The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

World Heritage Festival hosts third annual Music and Movie Under the Stars

World Heritage Festival hosts third annual Music and Movie Under the Stars - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Attendees at the third annual "Music and Movie Under the Stars," hosted by the World Heritage Festival, watch a movie Sept. 9 at the Mission Marquee Plaza. Photo by Briana Walden

The World Heritage Festival lit up the stormy night sky with its third annual “Music and Movie Under the Stars” event Sept. 9 at the Mission Marquee Plaza.

Attendees endured 90-degree weather with a light breeze and threatening-storm clouds that didn’t deliver a single drop of rain.

Colleen Swain, director of the World Heritage office, attributed the “slightly smaller turnout than last year” to the potential rainfall.

Though this is the festival’s seventh year, it is only the third for this event, which was added after a conversation with retired Maj. Gen. Juan Ayala, now the director of Military and Veteran Affairs.

“The first park rangers were military members, and we’re a military city, so we felt the need to celebrate that as a part of the festival,” Swain said.

Despite the deceitful clouds, attendees enjoyed various vendor booths with hand-crafted goods such as artwork, jewelry and cookies. Three food trucks were on-site with an assortment of tacos, hot dogs, burgers, quesadillas, Frito pies, burritos and raspas.

Folding chairs and picnic blankets scattered the lawn while attendants enjoyed the performances by the United States Air Force Band of the West Pop Group, Velocity and the Texas Children’s Choir.

Bill Manchester, director of the Airmen Heritage Training Complex, spoke to the crowd briefly about civilian access to museums on military installations. Manchester said civilians must go through a vetting process before being issued passes to the museums.

Blue Star Contemporary, a nonprofit art institution located in Southtown, was also in attendance, offering arts and crafts to make and take. The craft of making safety-pin ribbon awards is based off the work of Sarah Sudhoff, Blue Star’s exhibiting artist.

Blue Star also was recruiting for their student-artist program, MOSAIC.

MOSAIC coordinator Aminah Parham said, “The program is open to high-school students interested in developing their professional artistic skills.”

In attendance with Parham was Asaiah Puente, education manager at Blue Star, who said, “We offer a lot of public programs, and we love to come out and showcase the education side of the museum while giving the public a taste of our programs.”

Blue Star also screened a short film, “Found Closet,” which expanded on their MOSAIC art program.

While relaxing on the lawn with his family, Rick Cruz, San Antonio native and returning attendee, said, “I grew up in the area and used to come here when it was still a drive-in, so there’s a lot of nostalgia here for me. We come to most of the events and love that they are family-friendly and outside.”

In slight opposition to that, Cruz’s wife Heather Cruz said, “The event is fun so far, but it would be better with more engaging activities for the kids.”

Despite that, the couple sees themselves returning for the event next year.

The Mission Branch Library, which adjoined the Mission Marquee Plaza, also had a booth in attendance.

Oscar Gonzalez, library manager of the Mission Branch Library, said, “These events are a great outreach opportunity for the library and a good display of unionship (sic) for the community.”

As the night sky loomed, the booths broke down and the crowd settled in for the feature film presentation of “Captain America: The First Avenger,” which closed out the evening.

About the Author

Briana Walden
Briana Walden is a junior communication major with a minor in history at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. In 2019 she completed an associate degree in liberal arts at San Antonio College. She plans to pursue a master's degree in library science and serve her community as a local librarian. Outside of school she is a stay-at-home mom who enjoys reading, thrifting, visiting museums and traveling.

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