Texas’ Alamo City will turn 300 this year – and they definitely plan to celebrate in a big way. There have been a few bumps in the road, though.
Josh Baugh, City Hall reporter for the San Antonio Express-News, says the city’s annual New Year’s Eve party will be the kickoff for the Tricentennial anniversary. Baugh says that throughout the year, hundreds of community events will celebrate San Antonio’s history.
“Mayor Ron Nirenberg likes to talk about this kind of being the hallmark event that sets the stage for the next three hundred years as well,” he says.
Many Texans aren’t aware of the upcoming event, but the publicity push began awhile back. Baugh says the city council created a nonprofit government corporation in 2015 directed toward running the Tricentennial – but others believe the planning process should’ve started sooner.
The commission’s CEO Edward Benavides recently resigned, saying there was negativity surrounding the event. Some say his resignation stems from the rivalry between two TV stations that want exclusive rights to carry the event.
“Whether it happens and it ends up being successful is an unanswered question and only time will tell,” he says.
Baugh says Mayor Nirenberg has become the chief fundraiser and spokesman for Tricentennial by making phone calls and knocking on doors to ensure the event receives enough support.
Tricentennial has had a difficult time raising funds. Its $10.1 million budget was about 60 percent fulfilled at the beginning of the month, but that’s down from the original $50 million budget goal.
“I don’t think that this speaks to anything politically that’s happening at City Hall or in the city manager’s office,” he says. “This is strictly a chronic failure of administration on this once-in-a-lifetime event.”
Written by Dani Matias.