Fiesta: San Antonio’s party of the year

Fiesta is to San Antonians what Carnival is to Brazilians. Every April, downtown San Antonio is transformed from the city’s business district into a two-week long parTAY. Can I get an “ole?”

Fiesta dates back to 1891 when a group of prominent ladies held a parade to honor the heroes of the battle of the Alamo and San Jacinto. Dubbed “The Battle of Flowers,” the parade featured horse-drawn carriages and bicycles festooned with fresh flowers. Soon, a “battle” ensued when the women in the parade began pelting each other with their flowers. These yearly parades became so popular that other events were soon organized to commemorate these battles.

Today, Fiesta is a city-wide 10-day celebration featuring 100 events including three parades (five if you count the two “Pooch Parades”), “Night in Old San Antonio,” neighborhood food and art fairs, a royal court and lots and lots of food!

Gettin’ our Fiesta on!

Among the most popular Fiesta events are the daytime “Battle of Flowers” parade, and the two night parades: “The Fiesta Flambeau” and the River parade.

Carrying Fiesta’s Royal Court, the night parades wind through downtown streets and in barges that float down the Riverwalk. If you don’t attend any other Fiesta event, make it a point to join in the fun and pageantry of these night parades.

Each year, the “Royal Court” crowns a new El Rey Feo (The Ugly King), King Antonio and a bevy of princes, princesses who attend the various Fiesta events to raise money for different charities.

I guess you could say that Fiesta is really just a fund-raising endeavor disguised in lavish parades, music festivals and vendors selling must have Fiesta gear – pinatas, halos made from paper flowers (see picture of me and my friends), food and colorful cascarones (hollowed out eggs filled with confetti) that serve no other purpose than to crack on your friends heads while dancing through the streets of “old San Antonio.”

Battle of Flowers - then

Battle of Flowers – then

Battle of Flowers - now

Battle of Flowers – now

Photo credits:
“Battle of Flowers – then”: Daughters of The Republic of Texas “Inside the Gates” blog
“Battle of Flowers – now”: Planeteyetraveler.com
“Fiesta Poster” – San Antonio Fiesta Commission

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