On the far northwest side of San Antonio, Helotes is home to about 7,500 people. It is 16 miles from downtown, and 30 miles southeast of Bandera.
This area has been occupied for a long time, with anthropologists finding evidence of seasonal occupation from around 5,000 B.C. The Lipan Apache moved into the area around the late 17th century, then forced out in the early 19th century by the Comanche Indians. A Scottish immigrant purchased the land that would later become the town in 1858. In 1946, a dance hall opened that continues to draw country talent such as Willie Nelson.
Helotes incorporated in 1981, and there was very little in the town. The town has struggled with maintaining the rugged country charm. Old Town Helotes is the revitalized downtown and includes a church, a winery, a Mexican restaurant, and a few other businesses. There are also many chain restaurants and retail shops nearby. The Cornyval Festival is thrown every year to celebrate the town’s namesake and history.
Residents of Helotes are zoned to a number of different schools in the Northside Independent School District. 40 percent of the households in town have children under the age of 18 living in them.