Hundreds of people participated in the 23rd annual César E. Chávez March for Justice, which made its way from the near West Side through downtown to Hemisfair, on Saturday.

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Despite light rain Saturday morning, more than 200 people gathered at the steps of the gazebo at Milam Park in west downtown to participate in the 29th annual San Antonio International Women's Day March.

"We are one. We are the same. You're not alone. Take my hand," "Grandmother" Emma Ortega of the Lipan Apache and Carrizo/Comecrudo Tribe sang while beating a buffalo drum she decorated with painted dragonflies.

"They represent the dreams of the individual, the dreams of everyone," Ortega said.

The theme for this year's march was ¡La Luche Sigue!, Nevertheless, We Persist!

Victoria Castellanos, first-year marcher and social work major at the University of Texas at San Antonio, said having studied women's rights in college motivated her to attend.

Members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Abbey of the Alamo Inc., an advocacy group who's members are anonymous, wore handmaiden costumes.

The costumes, made popular by the TV series adapted from Margaret Atwood's novel "The Handmaid's Tale," have become a symbol of solidarity in regards to women's right and the Me Too movement.

"The march is about elevating women's voices," said Sister Katya Klyzm, a member of the group, who declined to give their birth name.

Seasoned marcher Lala Bernal said she attends the march every year because it's important to exercise civil rights.

"One's concerns should be brought to the forefront as much as possible," Bernal said.

The march passed through the downtown, including the Alamo, before returning to Milam Park.

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Newlywed couple LaShaundra Caesar and Mary Hall, who met on eharmony less than two years ago, said they chose Valentine’s Day to get married because the timing felt right.

"Also, so I can remember it," Caesar said laughing.

The couple was one of more than 30 who were married at 10 a.m. Thursday on the north steps of the Bexar County Courthouse. This was the 30th year the free weddings were offered in bulk to the public on Valentine's Day.

County Clerk Lucy Adame-Clark administered the vows for the 10 a.m. ceremony. Other ceremonies were held at 12:01 a.m., noon and 2 p.m.

Couple Joe and Teresa Mora said they wanted to tie the knot earlier, but hadn't found the moment.

"When we heard about the ceremony we decided, let's just do it," Teresa Mora said.

Bride Gesalyn Alvarado, who married Adrian Alvarado during the ceremony, was born on Valentine's Day.

"I've always loved the day, and now I have another reason to celebrate it," Alvarado said.

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Floating artwork by Jeff Zischke of Scottsdale, Arizona, illuminate the side of the Instituto de Mexico during Luminaria Nov. 10 at Hemisfair. View more photos. Rados | SAHeron

2018 was a year of constant change. With all the global issues, sometimes it’s hard to think local and be present. Looking through my pictures over the last year with the San Antonio Heron has me sentimental and grateful. San Antonio has a cultural identity unlike any other. San Antonio is a city where each person plays a part in the great symphony. From artists to activists, this city bleeds humanity from every pore. From one proud San Antonian to another, Happy New Year! — V. Finster, Heron contributor

Artist Adriana Garcia was commissioned to depict San Antonio’s 300-year history at San Pedro Creek Culture Park. Here, she works in her home studio. Read her story. V. FINSTER | CONTRIBUTOR
Robert Torres (left), 59, and Cesar Laijas, 56, share a laugh at the Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner Nov. 23 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. The two single men have become friends the past four Jimenez dinners. "We're just single men who have been by ourselves," said Torres, who brought additional condiments and several turkey tchotchkes as decorations. V. FINSTER | CONTRIBUTOR

The Hays Street Bridge continued to be a symbol of changing neighborhoods as some community members of the Dignowity Hill neighborhood fought a proposed development next to the bridge. V. FINSTER | CONTRIBUTOR

Sophia Torres, 83, reacts to a presentation on the Alamo master plan June 19 at the Ron Darner Park Operations Headquarters on the West Side. V. FINSTER | CONTRIBUTOR

Models walk the runway during Runway En La Calle at the 10th annual Una Noche en La Gloria Oct. 20 on Guadalupe Street. View more pics. Rados | SAHeron

Peter Czuprynski climbs a wall in late July as Armadillo Boulders rock climbing gym opened in Tobin Hill. V. FINSTER | CONTRIBUTOR

People dine on the River Walk during the annual Ford Holiday River Parade the night of Nov. 23. View more photos. V. FINSTER | CONTRIBUTOR

Soap Factory residents Anthony Dempsey (from left), Dennis Dahms and John Q. Pardini discuss what they describe as poor management during a July 11 meeting at Columbus Hall across the street. Rados | SAHeron
By around 9 p.m. Nov. 23, the crowd at Travis Park had thinned out some. But people were still taking photos of the H-E-B Christmas tree throughout the night. V. FINSTER |

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Having to shoot many assignments, because the Heron is a start-up and our freelance budget is thin, I gained a new appreciation for the difficult job photojournalists take on every assignment. — Ben Olivo, Heron editor

Thousands of artists participate in the 15th annual Chalk It Up on Oct. 13. View more pics. BEN OLIVO | HERON

Indhu Masanam (from left), Vyshnavi Nelaturi and Madhuri Chundu release diyas during the 10th annual Diwali festival Nov. 3 at Hemisfair. View more photos. Rados | SAHeron

Twenty five or so community members attended the third public meeting on the future of Guadalupe Plaza on Oct. 29. BEN OLIVO | HERON
Mini Christmas trees are placed in front of the Alamo in protest of the 50-foot tree's relocation to Travis Park last year. BEN OLIVO | HERON
The clouds were particularly cool as Oct. 25 came to a close. BEN OLIVO | HERON

Members of the Central Catholic High School JROTC carry the Stars & Stripes down Houston Street during the Veterans day Parade Nov. 10. View more parade pics. BEN OLIVO | HERON

Ben Carrington, (left) dressed as "Whomp" from Super Mario 64, takes a picture with a fan as Mike Bosque, dressed as Gir from "Invader Zim," looks on at San Japan Sept. 1 at the convention center. More San Japan pics. BEN OLIVO | HERON
The moon greeted San Antonians late afternoon on Dec. 20. BEN OLIVO | HERON

A procession during the Dia de los Muertos festival makes its way through La Villita Oct. 27. More photos. BEN OLIVO | HERON

A couple walks their dog on the Museum Reach by the Pearl on Dec. 23. Watch: Museum Reach Christmas tree light show and other holiday scenes BEN OLIVO | HERON

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Photos by V. Finster | @v.finster

On Saturday, the Avenida Guadalupe Association held its 10th annual Una Noche en la Gloria, a multidisciplinary arts block party on the near West Side.

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Saturday night, a few hundred people attended the Cherry and Lamar Block Party, an event organized by a group of activists and artists who oppose an apartment development they say will block views of the Hays Street Bridge.

Browse photos from the event by Heron photographer V. Finster.

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