11 Days Of Fiesta San Antonia Fun

by | Aug 21, 2018 | Arts and Events, Travel, USA

Fiesta San Antonio

300 Years In The Making

Fiesta San Antonio

This year, San Antonio celebrates 300 years. Back in 1718, San Antonio de Bexar Presido was no more than a sleepy settlement of the Spanish Empire.

300 years on, it is now the nation’s 7th largest city, and a 21st century metropolis with intertwining traditions and modern cultures.

Fiesta San Antonio is an annual 11-day event in late April, featuring multiple parades, food festivals, markets, live music and other fun activities.

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.

Fiesta San Antonio

11 Days Of Fiesta Events

Fiesta San Antonio

NIOSA

A Night in Old San Antonio, better known as ‘NIOSA’, joined Fiesta 70 years ago, in 1948. NIOSA festival is a 4-night festival held in the downtown, historic arts village of La Villita and located on the banks of the San Antonio River.

The San Antonio Conservation Society sponsors NIOSA. The society works to save and preserve San Antonio buildings and city’s cultural heritage. The festival fundraiser involves thousands of volunteers each year to stage NIOSA. Entry is $15US.

There are several hundred food and drink vendors, plus an assortment of booths; live music performances; childrens’ activities; decorations and souvenirs.

A Night in Old San Antonio, better known as ‘NIOSA’, joined Fiesta 70 years ago, in 1948. NIOSA festival is a 4-night festival held in the downtown, historic arts village of La Villita and located on the banks of the San Antonio River.

The San Antonio Conservation Society sponsors NIOSA. The society works to save and preserve San Antonio buildings and city’s cultural heritage. The festival fundraiser involves thousands of volunteers each year to stage NIOSA. Entry is $15US.

There are several hundred food and drink vendors, plus an assortment of booths; live music performances; childrens’ activities; decorations and souvenirs.

NIOSA Fortune Telling Booth

NIOSA ‘Night in old San Antonio’ Fortune Telling Booth 70 year Anniversary.

Fiesta San Antonio

‘Coronation of the Queen’

The Order of the Alamo was founded in 1909 by a group of patriotic San Antonio men, who wished to enlarge Fiesta’s annual celebration for the heroic struggle for Texas’ Independence from Mexico. Each year, a Queen is elected to reign over San Antonio’s Fiesta celebrations. Since its beginning, the membership of the Order of the Alamo has elected 104 Queens who are crowned at a fundraising event, ‘Coronation of the Queen’, during Fiesta week.

Fiesta San Antonio
Fiesta San Antonio

Viva Fiesta!

Fiesta San Antonia commenced 127 years ago as one parade event, ‘Battle of the Flowers’. Today, over a hundred free and fundraising events are produced by non-for-profit or military organisations. These non-for-profits called Participating Member Organisations (PMO) raise the much needed funds for great causes such as scholarships, medical research, historic preservation, special needs for children and their families. Fiesta is a ‘Party with a Purpose’.

2018 Fiesta Program

The ‘Fiesta Carnival’ at the Alamodome; ‘Texas Cavaliers River’ Parade; ‘NIOSA’; ‘Battle of the Flower’ Parade; and ‘Fiesta Flambeau’ Night Parade are the biggest highlights and draw a huge enthusiast crowd. Click Here for the 2018 full program.

Fiesta San Antonio

Fiesta Flambeau Parade

‘Fiesta Flambeau’ is America’s largest illuminated night parade, attracting more than half million street spectators. 2018, was the 70th anniversary of the parade’s existence, taking the inspiration from the night parades of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. The parade’s name comes from the French word for a candlestick or torch. This year’s parade theme was ‘Three Centuries-One City’, San Antonia celebrates 300 years .

The First Battle of Flowers

A little on the history of the ‘Battle of the Flowers’. 1891, a group of San Antonio citizens decided to honour the heroes of the Alamo and Battle of San Jacinto with a parade. The ‘Battle of Flowers’ Parade is the only one in the country planned and directed entirely by women.

The first parade, 127 years ago, had horse-drawn carriages, bicycles decorated with fresh flowers and floats carrying children dressed as flowers. The participants pelted each other with blossoms. Today, it’s the largest parade on the ‘Fiesta’ program.

Fiesta San Antonio

Taste of the Northside

‘TASTE of the Northside’ is an all-inclusive ticketed event which includes: admission, unlimited food samples, 5 drink tickets and shuttle service to and from the event from designated locations. Presale all-inclusive is $85. Prices increase at the door.

‘A Taste of the Northside’ is a fabulous fundraising evening of savoury and sweet bites prepared by over 50 leading San Antonio restaurants and caterers. Together, with a selection of beers, wines and cocktails plus live entertainment. The Brighton Centre provides holistic services to children with disabilities and/or developmental delays and their families through in-home therapy, early childhood education, special education services in San Antonio and advocacy support.

Fiesta San Antonio
Fiesta San Antonio

King William Fair

The ‘King William’ Fair is located in the gorgeous King William historic district of stately Victorian homes, tree-lined shady streets and gracious gardens. The King William Association is a non-profit organisation which works to preserve and protect the oldest residential historic district in Texas and promote the unique cultural heritage of San Antonio.

The fair incorporates a funky parade, art and craft vendors, live performances on a number of stages, food and beverage booths and childrens activities. Entry $15US.

Fiesta Generates Millions Of Dollars

Fiesta San Antonio

Fundraising Grand Scale

In 2017, Fiesta San Antonio generated $340M.

The UTSA Centre for Community and Business Research released its economic impact study of Fiesta San Antonio.

  •  Contributed $340.1M in sales to the local economy (compared to $284M in 2007).
  • Supported 3,464 full-time-equivalent local jobs.
  • Provided $206.3M in value added to the area.
  • Generated sales tax collections of $3.6M for local government.
  • Generated $188M in spending by non-local visitors, which supported more than 1,840 full-time-equivalent jobs, $111.8M in value added and $2M in sales taxes for local government.
  • Attracted 2,512,489 event attendees.
  • Mobilised 75K volunteers.

Fundraising Fiesta Medals

For those who have attended the San Antonio Fiesta will know there is a lot of medal! Here’s a brief history on the origin of the Fiesta medals.

Col Leon Childers of the US Army came up with the idea in the late 1970’s after he saw how medals were used to generate fun and enthusiasm among recipients. He was looking for an idea to generate camaraderie with the public during the ‘Fiesta’ events and came up with the idea of making a military looking medal and handing them out during selected events. It was a huge hit and has raised millions of dollars for thousands of charities.

Each event organiser sells their own personalised promotional medal including the attending vendors. These medals are priced between $5 – $20, some businesses choose to give their medals away as promotional advertising. All the medals are collectible and very sort after.

During the ‘Fiesta’ people wear the medals they collect with pride around their neck or pinned to clothing and hats.

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