San Antonio’s annual FIESTA celebration honors heroes of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto. This year will be the first year that Hi-Tech Chic will be covering Fiesta that commences April 19th and ends on April 29th. Throughout the years FIESTA has grown into a HUGE celebration of San Antonio’s diverse cultures with 3.5 million attendees. FIESTA, apparently, started off in 1891 with a group of ladies that had decorated horse-drawn carriages, paraded in front of the Alamo, and pelted each other with flower blossoms known now as The Battle of Flowers Parade. What a sight to see back then! After the success of The Battle of Flowers parade more events were taking place on or near April 21 that included a carnival, balls, parades, street dancing, children’s festivals, a Trades Display Parade and an orphans party. The Battle of Flowers Tradition continued with horse-drawn carriages decorated in locally-sourced flower blossoms twenty years later. As of today the Battle of Flowers celebrates more than 125 years of tradition.
San Antonio is a city rich of culture and tradition, I should know since I was born there. Not many know that since 1959 the FIESTA celebration coordinates planning activities with 100 local nonprofit organizations and the more than 75,000 volunteers. It is named one of the nation’s premier festivals with an economic impact of more than $340 million raised by FIESTA events. A few more fun facts about FIESTA include:
- City police are involved in Fiesta in many ways, including parades (so no funny business Fiesta attendees)
- The Fiesta® San Antonio Commission represents those nonprofits when coordinating Fiesta® arrangements with city departments.
- The city passes an ordinance every 10 years (most recently in 2008) that authorizes the Fiesta Commission to put on Fiesta each year.
- City departments like Downtown Operations, Parks and Recreation, the Solid Waste Management Department, and the San Antonio Police Department work with the Commission and its member organizations on a number of operational needs including street closures, security and post-Fiesta cleanup.
- Many Fiesta events, including the major parades, A Night in Old San Antonio, A Taste of New Orleans and the All-American Canteen, take place on city property.
- The city even has its own Fiesta event–Earth Day.
FIESTA has a myriad of events and festival activities but the ones I want to touch on include: Tech Trek, The UIW’s “Cutting Edge” Fashion Show, Texas Cavaliers River Parade, FORD Mariachi Festival Parade and NIOSA.
The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce’s 2nd Annual Tech Trek includes thousands of college students, tech professionals, investors, business owners, and entrepreneurs. During the TechTrek event attendees will visit participating tech companies and get an inside look into San Antonio’s downtown Tech District. The Tech Trek event is on the 24th from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm CST in the San Antonio Downtown Tech District. Admission for the Tech Trek event is free and for more information please visit: https://www.fiesta-sa.org/events/fiesta-tech-trek/.
The UIW’s “Cutting Edge” Fashion Show at FIESTA shows off the latest fashion created and presented by UIW Fashion design students. The collections include garments students have illustrated, designed and constructed in a year-long fashion capstone course. Each collection for the The UIW’s “Cutting Edge” Fashion Show is centered on an individual theme ranging from a season, a color or market segment. The Proceeds from the The UIW’s “Cutting Edge” Fashion Show benefit student scholarships in UIW’s Fashion Management Program. With over 130 years of tradition, the University of the Incarnate Word is the largest Catholic university in the state. Admission for the The UIW’s “Cutting Edge” Fashion Show is $75-$150 and for more information please visit: http://cuttingedge-sa.com.
This year’s Texas Cavaliers River Parade, entitled “Magnificent Missions” has more than 45 decorated floats sponsored by local community organizations and military installations drift down the river along with LIVE music. The Texas Cavaliers River Parade traditions carry on to this day as King Antonio XCVI reigns over the evening’s festivities and welcomes FIESTA goers along the Riverwalk. The money raised through the parade is donated to children’s charities in the community through the Texas Cavaliers Charitable Foundation. Admission is for the parade is $14-$26 and tickets are available for Purchase at The Fiesta Store® and The Texas Cavaliers Office. The Texas Cavaliers River Parade is on April 23rd from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm on the Riverwalk. For more information about the Texas Cavaliers please visit: www.texascavaliers.org and for more information about the parade please visit: https://www.texascavaliers.org/river-parade/fiesta-calendar.
The FORD Mariachi Festival Parade is a FREE FIESTA event that features Mariachi bands and Folklorico dancers from local schools and colleges. The FORD Mariachi Festival Parade event is 3-days long starting April 24th through the 26th from 7:00pm to 9:00pm on the Riverwalk. While along the Riverwalk barges with Mariachi bands randomly stop and play. Each Mariachi band participating in the FORD Mariachi Festival Parade wears the traditional mariachi costume. For more information about the FORD Mariachi Festival Parade please visit: https://www.thesanantonioriverwalk.com/events/ford-mariachi-festival.
The historic downtown village of La Villita has over 85,000 visitors that gather for four nights to celebrate “A Night in Old San Antonio” annually. During NIOSA there are more than 250 decorated food and drink booths and several entertainment stages that show off San Antonio’s the cultures and customs with 15 heritage-themed areas. The proceeds of NIOSA help fund the San Antonio Conservation Society’s purpose to preserve and to encourage the preservation of historic buildings, objects, places and customs relating to the history of Texas. NIOSA is April 24rd through the 27th in La Villita. The admission for adults is $12 advance and $15 at the gate; children under 12 are free when accompanied by an adult. Tickets available for purchase on NIOSA website (http://www.niosa.org/), NIOSA office, The FIESTA Store®, HEB stores and military bases.
I will be covering FIESTA live from the 23rd through the 25th via LIVE broadcasting on our twitter (@hitechchic | @nrpena) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/nina.pena). As a Mexican San Antonio girl my FIESTA experience started when I was a child and to this day my inner child always comes out when I go to FIESTA. The food and reminder of the Mexican culture with live music and entertainment is priceless to me. Viva Fiesta!
Click here for full history of FIESTA San Antonio and learn more about the festival. For the FIESTA parade guide or to purchase parade tickets please visit: https://www.fiesta-sa.org/2018-parade-event-ticket-guide/.