UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, S.A. Fire Department partner for Toy Day

1930s photo

Fireman M.T. Saenz receives toys from 4-year-old twins Jean and Jane Johnson, Nov. 11, 1936. Image courtesy of UTSA Libraries Special Collections

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(Nov. 22, 2011) -- On Saturday, Nov. 26, the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures and San Antonio Fire Department will bring back a classic San Antonio tradition: Toy Day. With the donation of a new, unwrapped toy for the fire department toy drive, children ages 12 and younger will receive free admission to the museum.

The event reflects the 1930s tradition, when children were rewarded for their generosity with tickets to the movie theater. In keeping with the tradition, the Institute of Texan Cultures will offer entertainment with classic cartoons showing in the 26-screen Dome Theater, and a chance to see the new exhibit, "Timeless Texas Toys," which includes a "make-and-take" craft that children can construct on their own.

Children will have the opportunity to explore San Antonio Fire Department equipment including a ladder truck, a fire engine and an EMS unit. Sparky the Fire Dog and firefighters will be on hand to answer questions about their profession and to offer holiday safety tips.

Cowboy Santa will make an appearance and be available for photos at a small charge of $10. Also, guests can enjoy cookies, apples and milk generously donated by McDonald's restaurants.

All toys donated will benefit the San Antonio Fire Department Toy Drive.

Regular admission is $8 for adults (ages 12-64); $7 for seniors (ages 65+); $6 for children (ages 3-11); free with membership or UTSA identification. The Institute of Texan Cultures is on the UTSA HemisFair Park Campus, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd., a short distance from the Alamo and the River Walk. Regular hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 210-458-2300 or visit TexanCultures.com.

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The Institute of Texan Cultures serves as the forum for the understanding and appreciation of Texas and Texans through research, collections, exhibits and programs. The museum strives to become the nation's premier institution of contemporary cultural and ethnic studies focusing on Texans and the diverse cultural communities that make Texas what it is.

An agency of the UTSA Office of the Vice President for Community Services and a Smithsonian affiliate, the 182,000-square-foot complex, featuring 45,000 square feet of exhibit space and five recreation Texas Frontier period structures, is on the UTSA HemisFair Park Campus in downtown San Antonio.