San Antonio is a city that enjoys two things, and does them both well: keeping itself clean, and throwing a party whenever possible. If the two can be combined, then all the better. Knowing this, it shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone familiar with the city, that the Mud Festival does just that.
One of the city's most interesting and bizarre events, the Mud Festival takes place each January for one week, and commemorates the draining and cleaning of the river. Early in San Antonio's history, the river was thought to be dangerous, dirty, and was even declared off-limits to military personnel for a time. Today, these ideas have softened quite a bit, as the River Walk is now a world-class tourist attraction, in and of itself, which, of course, requires maintenance. Each year the City Parks and Recreation Department drains the river and cleans up the debris that litters it. It's hard to know what will be found, with so many restaurants and commercial enterprises nearby, that pulling tables, chairs, and other things from the river is almost a certainty.
The Mud Festival occurs each year after the river has been filled up again, and is put on by a group called the Paseo del Rio Association. The festival features balls, parades, and arts and crafts exhibitions, which normally draw around 15,000 people. Each year a Mud King and Queen are selected from participants, normally made up of local celebrities and business people. The king and queen are chosen by who is able to raise the most money for the organization.
The river is drained from the 2nd of January to the 9th, and the festival will take place from the 10th through the 13th. The arts and crafts show is slated to run from the 11th until the 13th. All events will be held in various locations and businesses along the River Walk, and for more information call 210.227.4262.