SAN ANTONIO — One of central San Antonio's most popular Fiesta events arrives Saturday morning, bringing a parade, food, live music and fun to the historic King William neighborhood.
Proceeds raised at the King William Fair are donated to neighborhood preservation efforts, as well as education and artistic initiatives; in addition, the King William Association has donated nearly $800,000 in grants and scholarships since 2001, according to the event's website.
King William Fair began in 1968, and has grown over the years to become one of the most beloved Fiesta celebrations. It kicks off with a morning parade – this year's theme is "A Story About Fiesta" – at 9 a.m., and you can expect to see revelers donning colorful, flamboyant Fiesta garb.
About 35,000 people are expected to attend King William Fair, which runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. If you plan to be one of them, here's what you should know.
How much does it cost?
Admission is $20 if you buy an online ticket prior to Saturday, or $25 at the door. Children under 12 get in for free.
Admission doesn't cover your food or drinks, however. For that you'll need a BlastPass, a wristband that visitors can load up with credits (each credit costs $1) to make purchases at vendor stands, of which there will be more than 70 this year. BlastPasses can be reloaded at seven different stations throughout the fair.
BlastPass credits are only good for the 2023 King William Fair, and refunds won't be issued for unused credits, meaning you'll want to make sure you use it all up before you head out.
How can I get there?
Depends on how big a traffic headache you're willing to risk. Parking is available for $15 a space at the Federal Building in Hemisfair, located at 727 East Cesar E. Chavez, as well as limited neighborhood parking throughout Southtown. Some property owners may offer spaces for up to $30.
Parking spots in Alamodome Lob B will also be available for $10 a vehicle; it's about a 15-to-25-minute walk from there to the King William Fair grounds.
You can also take advantage of the VIA Park & Ride service, which costs $1.30 per person each way and takes off from the Crossroads station on the northwest side and the Stone Oak station on the far north side.
What is the parade route?
As mentioned, the parade marks the kickoff to the King William Fair at 9 a.m. The route is one and a half miles long, lasts about 90 minutes and can be viewed for free along Adams Street between Pereida and Eagleland Drive, as well as along East Guenther between South Alamo and Eagleland Drive.
See the full route below.
PHOTOS: Inside the King William Fair for Fiesta 2023
What else is there to do?
What isn't there? Kid's Kingdom features opportunities to catch some vaudeville, martial arts and flamenco performances with the family, while elsewhere on the fairgrounds you can dance to live jazz, conjunto, country or Mexican folk bands.
And make sure to keep your eye open for the street performers this year, including belly dancers, singing accordionists, stiltwalkers and, of course, mariachis.
And you'll need to come with an appetite. King William Fair is set to feature dozens of food vendors, whether you're hungry for chicken-on-a-stick, tacos, gorditas, loaded fries, elotes, funnel cakes or sausage wraps... and that's just the start.
The Texas Wine Garden will also be set up, with nine wineries represented. Remember to have your BlastPass before stopping by!
What isn't allowed at the fair?
If you bring a cooler, tent, canopy, large umbrella, or outside food or beverage to the fair entrance, expect to be turned away. Weapons are also prohibited, and if you're planning to bring a stroller, best make sure it's a small one that can navigate the crowds easily.
Learn more here.
How's the weather looking?
Gorgeous! After storms and hail briefly brought Fiesta events to a halt Friday night, Saturday is looking much nicer. Expect sunny skies, low humidity and temps in the mid-60s at 9 a.m. when the parade is kicking off, as well as a breezy northerly winds.
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