By Tyler Davis
SAN ANTONIO—As April approaches, San Antonio gears up for another great year of Fiesta! The eleven day festival hosts over 100 events celebrating the culture and history of San Antonio. Led by its vibrant parades, live entertainment, and wide variety of events; Fiesta San Antonio is the perfect place to experience this wonderful city. While majority of the events take place in beautiful downtown San Antonio by the famous River walk, other events are held at the Alamo, the Alamodome, and venues in surrounding cities. Fiesta is truly a reflection of San Antonio’s colorful history and cultural diversity, and provides a great experience for everyone.
In 1891, Fiesta started as a single parade to honor the memory of the heroes who fought for the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto. Over the past 125 years Fiesta has evolved in to a nationally recognized event in which tourists from all over the country come to witness.
As always, the festival begins with the prideful ‘Fiesta Fiesta!’ ceremony, which takes place at the Alamo. At this event you can expect to see attendees entertained with pin trading, fireworks, elaborate hats, and showing off their medals. After ‘Fiesta Fiesta!’ jumpstarts the festival, many other events take place over the course of the next ten days.
The Battle of Flowers Parade is one of the main events during Fiesta. It is the second biggest parade in the nation and has attracted crowds over 350,000. This parade is loaded with extravagant floats expressing art, culture, history, tribute, etc. all of which celebrate the heritage of San Antonio. The parade is known for the participants floral tribute, which they place on the front lawn of the Alamo.
One of the most popular events during Fiesta is, Night In Old San Antonio (NIOSA). NIOSA is a four day event held in the historic village, La Villita. Throughout areas of NIOSA, you will see recreations of many different cultures and neighborhoods from the past. Each area is portrayed by specific characteristics such as food, music, and dancing, that define each culture. Chinatown, Irish Flats, Mexican Market, and French Quarter are just a few of the specific areas portrayed within NIOSA. Vendors and booths throughout NIOSO sell treats and provide entertainment, giving one the full experience
Fiesta ends with the largest night parade in the nation, the Fiesta Fambeau Parade. Everything in the parade is covered in lights. Floats, marching bands, and other attractions are all glowing in streets of downtown San Antonio. This illuminating sight is one of Fiesta’s main attractions. The bands of the parade are traditionally led by a university or other well established band, backed by local and out of town high school bands, and loaded with other entertainments.
When that eleventh day comes, and we all begin to pout because Fiesta has to come to an end, it is important to remember that the city of San Antonio and its residents greatly benefit from the festival. Not only does it bring in a massive amount of revenue for San Antonio, but the Fiesta San Antonio Commission is a nonprofit, volunteer organization that uses all proceeds to provide services to the city of San Antonio.