SAN ANTONIO — Tbow Gonzales discovered his love for the drums 44 years ago.
"I hit the drum and I was hooked. My first concert was in the east side actually. I was hooked ever since," he said.
But if there's one thing this San Antonio native loves just as much as his musical instrument, it's his city.
"I've been a lot of places but I love San Antonio. Not just because I was born here, but it's just a way that San Antonio is," he explained.
And that's why he was asked to perform during San Antonio's Commemorative Week.
Mayor Ron Nirenberg calls the week the "crescendo of San Antonio's Tricentennial."
"It will showcase the confluence of cultures that make San Antonio and Bexar County the community it is today."
The celebration will last six days. More than two dozen events will showcase the Alamo City through music, art, and education.
It kicks off with a day of reflection on the anniversary of, what might be, the most iconic date in Texas history.
"On May 1, 1718, the Mission of San Antonio de Valero - later known as the Alamo - was established," explained Mayor Nirenberg.
Other highlights of the week include free entry to Morgan's Wonderland for Founders' Day on May 3, fireworks on May 4, and a festival at Fort Sam to wrap up the week.
You can catch Tbow and his drum at the Carver Cultural Center playing during Arts for All Day.
And if you can't wait until May to celebrate San Antonio, celebrate Hemisfair's 50-year anniversary at the Viva Hemisfair! festival Saturday. It includes live entertainment, historic exhibits, a wine festival, and local eats.
The full schedule for Commemorative Week:
Tuesday, May 1: Day of Reflection
- 6:00 p.m. – Musical and dance performances showcasing the Sounds of Faith in San Antonio 300 Prayers Art Installation.
- 7:00 p.m.– Program honoring San Antonio’s native population, special lighting of Commemorative Flame, which will remain in Main Plaza for the duration of Commemorative Week and interfaith celebration featuring 21 religious groups.
- 8:15 p.m.– Candlelight Vigil in Main Plaza
- 8:18 p.m. – City-wide ringing of church bells
- 9:30 p.m. – SAGA light display at San Fernando Cathedral
Wednesday, May 2: History and Education Day
- VIA Mobile Learning Lab – VIA Transit, the official transportation sponsor of the Tricentennial, will showcase history and education on the road with a special traveling exhibit, in partnership with the Witte Museum’s Confluence and Culture: 300 Years of San Antonio History.
- Tricentennial in the Classroom – Elementary school students will be immersed in the Tricentennial with special commemorative lesson plans showcasing our 300 years of history.
- Kickoff of the Tree-centennial – 300 trees will be planted at nine local colleges and universities. Each campus will plant a ceremonial tree to commemorate the week, with the balance planted in the fall.
- FREE STEM Activities – All 29 San Antonio Public Library branches will offer free STEM activities from 2:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 3: Founders' Day
- 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. Free Admission to Morgan’s Wonderland – Special celebrations of San Antonio’s birthday will include the Hartman’s House Puppet Show “Happy Birthday, San Antonio!” and appearances by the Wonder Squad Super Heroes
- 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Our Lady of the Lake University – The Best in the West will showcase the Westside’s unique history and culture. The main stage will feature the Westside Horns, a blessing by the Sisters of Divine Providence, music of the Westside by DJ Chuco Garcia, and poetry by San Antonio’s newest poet laureate and OLLU professor, Octavio Quintanilla, Ph.D
- 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Texas A&M University-San Antonio – San Antonio’s Southside will be on display with an event that features performances from local mariachis, Folklorico, and conjunto groups. The event will pay tribute to vibrant Native American art, including work from local artist and architect Ricky Reyes. The Asociación de Charros San Antonio will bring cultural diversity and family-fun to all attendees.
- 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. St Philip’s College – The celebration will include a keynote speech from Dr. Ruth Simmons, President of Prairie View A&M University. She is the first African American woman to serve as the president of an Ivy League University. The event will also feature a play starring Professor Antoinette Winstead as Artemisia Bowden, founder of St. Phillip’s College, with a prelude from the San Antonio Symphony. A curated exhibit featuring 22 local African American artists, curated by Dr. Scott Sherer. The event will also showcase history with the Bexar County Buffalo Soldiers Association and the Sam Houston High School Drumline.
- 5:30 p.m. University of Texas San Antonio – Historic Futures: A Taste of Folklife Festival – The event will showcase our diversity and rich heritage through a wide variety of ethnic food, music, dance and a firework show at dusk. Music is presented by Conjunto Puro Corazon, Emond Karam, and Bill Smallwood Band. Performances include Ile Bahia Capoeira Luanda, Fiesta City Chorus, Fire on the Mountain Cloggers, San Antonio Pipes and Drums, American Indians, Halau Hawaiian Hula and Lebanese Folk Dancers.
- Founders’ Day Gala at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center – The event will host delegations from eight of nine of San Antonio’s sister cities and will tell the story of San Antonio’s vibrant history. The event will feature special guest actor Nicholas Gonzalez of the hit shows The Good Doctor, How to Get Away with Murder and Narcos. San Antonio’s own “El Charro de Oro” Sebastien De La Cruz will showcase his talents.
Friday, May 4: Arts for All Day
- 8:30 a.m. – Dedication of new public art at Hemisfair by renowned Mexican artist Jorge Marin
- 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. – Free admission to Art Pace, Blue Star Contemporary, Briscoe Western Art Museum, Carver Community Cultural Center, The DoSeum, Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, Linda Pace Foundation, McNay Art Museum, Mexican Cultural Institute San Antonio, San Antonio Museum of Art, Say Si, Southwest School of Art and the Witte Museum.
- 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. – SATX Social Ride Gallery Bike Tour.
- 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. – Free Concert at the Carver Cultural Center – The Carver Community Cultural Center will feature special performances, presented in partnership with Musical Bridges Around the World featuring International Tchaikovsky Competition Bronze medalist cellist Boris Andrianov and guitarist Dmitry Illarionov, the winner of 12 international guitar competitions. Local performers TBow Gonzalez and Michael Pleasants will showcase San Antonio’s artistic talent.
- 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. – Walking tour of Confluence: Art at the Convention Center
- 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. – Free Dance Performances at Travis Park – Performances from Quenedit Dance Theatre; Jacqueline Courchene; McBride Dance; Faisan Folklorico; Juan Pablo Robles Gil; Nina Padilla; and visiting guests from Escuela Superior de Musica y Danza de Monterrey.
- 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. – Conjunto Heritage Taller Performance – The community-based organization will showcase the history and traditions of Conjunto music.
- 9:30 p.m. – Bexar County Fireworks along the Mission Reach.
Saturday, May 5: Legacy Day
- Bexar County will dedicate the first phase of the San Pedro Creek’s transformation into a linear park. This dedication will include family activities, Creek mural unveilings, and entertainment and music for the whole family to enjoy.
Saturday, May 5: Military Appreciation at Fort Sam
- 8:00 a.m. Combat Medic Run
- 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. – Free festival for the whole family, featuring historic tours throughout the day
- 4:00-5:45 p.m. – Military Demonstration Show featuring:
- Black Daggers, U.S. Air Force Special Ops Parachute Team
- Navy Corpsman & Working Dog Demonstration
- Army Fife and Drum Corps
- 1st Cavalry Division Cavalry re-enactment demonstration
- United States Marine Corps Silent Drill
- Air Force Flyover
Sunday, May 6: Military Appreciation at Fort Sam
- 1:00 – 9:30 p.m. – Free festival for the whole family, including special performances and historic tours and including:
- Polo Match
- Joint Forces Retreat ceremony
- Joint Color Guard
- Air Force Flyover
- Navy Corpsman & Working Dog Demonstration
- Army Fife & Drum Corps
- 1st Cav Division Cavalry charge re-enactment
Sunday, May 6: Siclovia Event
- Siclovia will bring their family-friendly fitness event to the Southside with a special Tricentennial edition of the celebration.