SAN ANTONIO — Take a stroll through Brackenridge Park Thursday afternoon and you'll find taped off picnic tables, chained up chairs, and tents. The decades long tradition of camping at the park for Easter weekend is back after a two year hiatus due to pandemic restrictions.
Some people simply claim their spots to return to Sunday, while others spend the night in the park. Spots are reserved on a first come, first serve basis.
Near the softball field, you'll find the Mendiola family with tents, foldable tables, chairs, canopies, and their barbecue pit.
"It’s a lot of work, setting everything up, coming out here early, we’ve been out here since about 6:45 this morning," said Anthony Mendiola, who has picked the same spot in the park for 12 years.
"All the family’s gonna be out here with kids, grandkids, everything," he said.
His family spent Easter last year at the park, but the real tradition for them is being able to camp out the entire weekend.
Assistant Manager of Parks and Recreation with the City of San Antonio, Meredith Tilley said she is excited for the return of the city's unique Easter tradition.
Tilley reminds people camping out to be prepared for clean up as well.
"On Monday after Easter we do the cleanup and every year it’s gotten easier to clean up because the campers are doing their part and so that’s my expectations for this year," she said.
Tilley expects turnout to be as big as previous years before having to suspend the practice.
She reminds campers that glass is prohibited at the parks and grills should be treated with caution.
"When it comes to dispose of the ashes, make sure they’re cool to the touch and when those ashes are cool to the touch, put it up in some foil and put that foil, that trash into the trash can not into the recycle can."
Volunteers will be out at parks throughout the weekend starting Friday passing out trash bags.
The park's normal 11 P.M. curfew will be reinstated Sunday night.
Overnight camping will be allowed at the following City Parks:
- Brackenridge Park, 3700 N. St. Mary’s (excludes Brackenridge parking areas)
- J Street, 3500 J Street
- McAllister Park, 13102 Jones Maltsberger
- Roosevelt, 331 Roosevelt Ave.
- San Pedro, 1315 San Pedro Ave.
- O.P. Schnabel, 9606 Bandera Rd.
- Southside Lions, 3100 Hiawatha
- Southside Lions East, 3900 Pecan Valley
- Woodlawn Lake, 1103 Cincinnati (excludes the Island House and gym areas)