Fiesta favorites return
Do you know the following Fiesta facts?
Here's your syllabus to gaining new knowledge about the Alamo City's biggest party
Fiesta is born with Battle of the Flowers
Visitors and "royalty"
Food, fashion and night lights
Get ready: Fiesta favorites return
Fiesta San Antonio will return this year with fan favorites Fiesta Flambeau and Battle of Flowers after canceling in 2021 when only a limited number of events were celebrated back in June due to COVID-19.
Although we're still two months away, San Antonians have plenty of reasons to count down until the city's rich history and culture come alive during the iconic 11-day event beginning March 31.
Many San Antonians know the basics of Fiesta, such as helping local charities by growing their medal collections and dressing in bright, festive colors. But what about more specific knowledge? Here's 10 reasons you should brag to your friends about Fiesta.
Do you know the following Fiesta facts?: Here's your syllabus to gaining new knowledge about the Alamo City's biggest party
- What year was Fiesta born?
- How did the Battle of Flowers get its name?
- Who is included in official Fiesta royalty?
- About how many people attend Fiesta?
- How many events are part of Fiesta?
- What many times has Fiesta been canceled?
- What event officially kicks off Fiesta?
- About how much time does it take to sew the coronation dresses?
- What streets does the Fiesta Flambeau parade begin and end?
- How many culturally themed areas are located at NIOSA?
Fiesta's beginning: Fiesta is born with Battle of the Flowers
San Antonio residents decided to honor the heroes of the Alamo and Battle of San Jacinto by creating the first Battle of Flowers event in 1891.
The Battle of Flowers, the largest parade in Fiesta, used horse-drawn carriages and bicycles decorated with flowers in the first parade. There was also floats carrying children dressed as flowers with participants throwing blossoms at one another.
Participants: Visitors and "royalty"
After the success of Battle of the Flowers more events were added each year to include a carnival, balls and coronations of "royalty."
Fiesta San Antonio has nine Official Fiesta Royalty members. Each member is supported by her/his respective Participating Member Organization to support charitable activities benefitting the San Antonio community.
- Queen of the Order of the Alamo
- King San Antonio
- Rey Feo
- Miss Fiesta San Antonio
- La Reina de la Feria de las Flores
- First Teenage Queen
- Charro Queen
- Queen of Soul
- Miss San Antonio
Present day, more than 2.5 million people attend Fiesta San Antonio every year, according to an economic impact study done in 2017 by the UTSA Center for Community and Business Research.
Events: Few cancelations
Since 1891, Fiesta San Antonio has only been canceled 7 times.
- 1918-1919 during WWI
- 1942-1945 during WWII
- 2020 due to COVID-19
Years vary with the amount of events available filled with free, family-friendly and even pet-friendly festivities. This year fiesta brings over 100 events. Past years range between 105 to 120 events.
The official kick-off of Fiesta San Antonio is called "Fiesta Fiesta" held on the first Thursday of Fiesta. The event is free and takes place at Hemisfair Park in Downtown San Antonio.
Preparation: Food, fashion and night lights
Travel the globe
Some San Antonio participants will begin preparations months in advance as lots of time, coordination, and energy are needed as the event draws nearer.
NIOSA (Night in Old San Antonio) is a four-night festival celebrating the city's diverse culture with 14 culturally themed areas filled with food, drinks, entertainment, souvenir booths and more.
The culturally themed areas include French, German, Mexican, Irish, Chinese, American and more. Below is a list:
- Arneson Theatre
- China Town
- Clown Alley
- French Quarter
- Froggy Bottom
- Frontier Town
- Irish Flats
- Main Street USA
- Mexican Market
- Mission Trail
- Sauerkraut Bend
- South of the Border
- Villa Espana
- Fabulous Foods
NIOSA is known as the top fundraiser for historic preservation in the nation, according to their website.
Sparkle and kick your heels
Fiesta is all about style. If you're looking for a runway show look no further than some fiesta coronation gowns. These show-stopping gowns will be worn by girls complete with crowns and intricate trains during the Battle of Flowers and Fiesta Flambeau Parade.
Creation of the gowns take several months from August to February adding up to around 150,000 hours of work. Last year, the gowns were displayed at the Witte Museum after the parades were canceled due to COVID-19 but are returning this year.
Light up the night
The Fiesta Flambeau Parade is internationally known as "America's Largest Illuminated Night Parade" attracting more than 750,000 street spectators, according to their website.
Residents have the option to reserve a spot along the parade route beginning at Broadway and Grayson ending at Martin and Santa Rosa Street.
The night parade is filled with school organizations, military, popular folklórico dancers and more marching in their illuminated attire.
For a full list of Fiesta events, check out their website.