San Antonio, the seventh largest city in the US and the second biggest city within the State of Texas, is situated in the northern part of Southern Texas. The city is the center of Tejano culture, and it is typically sparsely-populated with a low density rate outside of the city. It is the fifth fastest-growing city from the year 2007 to the year 2008 and has a population of around 2 million during the year 2008 alone. This makes it the 28th largest metropolitan area in the US.
The most popular yearly cultural events within the city consist of: Celebrate San Antonio (is the city's New Year's Eve celebration that features musical entertainment, food, family activities and a lot more), Cinco de Mayo (festivities occur in Market Square), Fiesta (a yearly city-wide-10-day festival held in April to honor the memory of the heroes of the Battle of San Jacinto and the Battle of Alamo), Fiesta de las Luminarias (takes place on the River Walk where the river is lined using 7,000 candle-lit sand-filled bags), The Holiday River Parade and Lighting Ceremony (presented by the Paseo del Rio Association and the City of San Antonio the day after Thanksgiving when the switch is pulled to turn on over 122,000 lights that illuminate the River Walk), Passion Play (portrays the story of Jesus Christ's crucifixion each Good Friday at the Cathedral of San Fernando), Michelob ULTRA River Walk Mud Festival (a festival that commemorates the annual draining and maintenance of the channeled section of the River Walk), Shakespeare in the Park (produces a Shakespeare play which is free to the public), and Tejano Music Awards (an awards ceremony devoted to Tejano music).
The city provides a unique view of its culture through its numerous culture, museums of art and national history. The San Antonio Buckhorn Saloon and Museum comprises a taxidermied wing, that holds birds, big cats, reptiles, and large mammals. Texas Transportation Museum has information regarding railways that served Texas. The Witte Museum has a permanent collection represents decorative arts, ethnography and science and textiles. The San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA) maintains extensive collections of Asian, Latino and Ancient art. Museo Alameda is the visual arts and educational component of The Alameda National Center for Latino Arts and Culture and is a partner museum of the Smithsonian Institution. The University of Texas Institute of Texan Cultures is devoted to improving the understanding of technology, cultural history and science and their influence upon the people of Texas. The McNay Art Museum is the first modern art museum in the State of Texas. Artpace San Antonio promotes itself as a laboratory for the advancement and creation of worldwide modern art.
The four major businesses within the city of San Antonio are tourism, health care, government, and financial services. The city is likewise the home of various defense industry businesses, with one of the biggest military concentrations within the United States. Tourism is extremely big within the city, with around twenty million visitors who come to San Antonio every year. The city is home to Fortune 500 companies: USAA, NuStar Energy, Valero Energy Corp. and Tesoro. Other businesses situated within the city of San Antonio are: Whataburger, Taco Cabana, Kinetic Concepts, Harte-Hanks, Frost National Bank, Bill Miller Bar-B-Q Enterprises, Builders Square, and Rackspace. Toyota, AT&T, Boeing, Citigroup, and Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company are amongst the big companies which operate their regional head office within the city.