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First night of NIOSA draws big crowds ready to Fiesta

Mayor Nirenberg said he is proud of San Antonians and the way they handled the pandemic. He feels comfortable to party with a purpose.

SAN ANTONIO — The heart of San Antonio was alive Tuesday night. Fiesta favorite 'A Night in Old San Antonio' NIOSA is back. It ends on Friday. Thousands packed 'La Villita' for night one of NIOSA, on Tuesday.  It does look somewhat different this year. There aren't as many food booths and organizers are keeping track of the number of people they're allowing in at the event. Mayor Ron Nirenberg was part of the parade that kicked-off the event.

"It is just great to finally see people smiling, and an outpouring of joy," he said.

The mayor was decked out in Fiesta medals, including one from KENS 5. He said he is proud of San Antonioans and the way they handled the pandemic. He feels comfortable to party with a purpose.

"We have been waiting two very long years for Fiesta," he said. "There is an exuberance out here."

The mayor said they are continuing to follow health guidance and ask people who have not been vaccinated to wear a mask. Fiesta goers said they feel safe being out here too.

"San Antonio did exactly what they were asked," a fiesta goer said.  "We stayed home. We took care of business."

"I call the crowd is thinner than normal, which is great," another woman said.  It is great. It makes you feel safe. You can socially distance."

There are 14 different cultural areas at NIOSA. NIOSA is a 'celebration for preservation' and is put on by the Conservation Society of San Antonio.