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Fiesta San Antonio Texas 16th to 26th April 2020
In San Antonio, culture sings. We celebrate our rich heritage with vibrant parades, food-centric events, and lively, local entertainment. We collect medals to show off our San Antonio pride. What started in 1891 as a way to honour the heroes from the Battle of the Alamo has transformed into a way share in the fun of celebrating our city’s largest city-wide party with a purpose, Fiesta.
This year, Fiesta San Antonio runs from April 16 – 26, 2020. Kick off the festivities with Fiesta Fiesta, an opening ceremony complete with locally-themed medal exchanges.
Make plans to attend one of several spectacular parades including Battle of Flowers, Fiesta Flambeau, the largest night parade in the country, and the one-of-a-kind Texas Cavaliers River Parade. And, don’t forget your cascarones – colourful eggshells filled with confetti – for sharing (and breaking!) along the parade routes. For fun with food and drinks, don’t miss Oyster Bake, NIOSA (A Night in Old San Antonio), a Taste of New Orleans, and more. Explore distinctive culture with deep roots at events like A Day in Old Mexico & Charreada, the King William Fair and more. Start planning your Fiesta schedule with this year’s events, parades, and food / drink offerings by visiting the official Fiesta San Antonio website.
What should guests wear to Fiesta?
Fiesta is bright – and so is the clothing! Grab the most colourful items in your closet, your flower crown or “corona” and don’t forget a sash for your medal collection. We recommend comfortable shoes for all the walking and dancing you’ll be doing! Check out more Fiesta fashion.
What’s with all the medals?
As a long-standing tradition, people go on a mission to obtain and wear as many Fiesta medals as possible. You’ll see people wearing their weight in medals – fastened to sashes, jackets, hats and more. Get your own Fiesta medals at the Official Fiesta Store or at various events throughout the 11-day celebration!
Where can guests purchase tickets?
Purchase tickets at the gate of the events, or at the Official Fiesta Store. Don’t forget cash, as many events require you to purchase drink/food tickets once inside.
What’s the best way to get here? Is there parking nearby?
Grab the VIA Park and Ride to events like Oyster Bake, A Taste of New Orleans, NIOSA and the parades. Rideshare is also a good option to get to Fiesta events. Should you choose to drive, take cash, as most parking lots don’t accept credit card.
Do Fiesta events take credit cards?
Bring plenty of cash, since most Fiesta events are organised by local non-profit organisations, they sometimes will not accept credit cards.
What Is Fiesta San Antonio?
Fiesta® San Antonio started in 1891 as a one-parade event as a way to honour the memory of the heroes of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto. That historic commemoration still takes place, but for more than a century, Fiesta® has grown into a celebration of San Antonio’s rich and diverse cultures.
Fiesta® has evolved into one of this nation’s premier festivals with an economic impact of more than $340 million for the Alamo City. Funds raised by official Fiesta® events provide services to San Antonio citizens throughout the year.
The link between Fiesta® San Antonio and the City of San Antonio
Fiesta® San Antonio and the City of San Antonio are closely linked. Scholars have said that the history of the festival reflects the history of the city. But there’s much more.
- City police are involved in Fiesta in many ways, including parades
- The 100 nonprofit organisations that put on Fiesta events are located throughout the city.
- 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 2018) that authorises 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 organisations on a number of operational needs including street closures, security and post-Fiesta cleanup.
- Many Fiesta events, including the major parades Fiesta Fiesta, A Night in Old San Antonio and A Taste of New Orleans take place on city property.
- The city even has its own Fiesta event–Earth Day.
History of the Fiesta San Antonio
In 1891, a group of women decorated horse-drawn carriages, paraded in front of the Alamo, and pelted each other with flower blossoms. The parade was organised to honour the heroes from the battles of the Alamo and San Jacinto and is known as The Battle of Flowers Parade. Since 1959 the Fiesta® San Antonio Commission has coordinated the Fiesta planning activities of 100 local nonprofit organisations and the more than 75,000 volunteers it takes to make Fiesta San Antonio a real Texas-sized festival. Click here for full history of Fiesta San Antonio and learn more about our long-standing traditions.
Led by a volunteer board that includes community leaders and representatives from its nonprofit member organisations, the Commission works year-around to coordinate the thousands of details and day-to-day tasks essential to planning and executing the citywide celebration. The Commission acts as the liaison among participating member organisations, military participants, and City of San Antonio to provide services essential to produce Fiesta San Antonio year after year. The Commission promotes Fiesta® San Antonio regionally, nationally, and internationally, and the festival has become a popular attraction for visitors from far and wide.
Some 3.5 million party-goers enjoy Fiesta San Antonio. More than 20 percent of Fiesta-goers travel from across the state, the nation, and even the world!
One of the most important functions of the Fiesta Commission is the funding of Fiesta events that are not financially self-supporting. In 2012 the commission provided some $375,000 to the participating member organisations that sponsor such events. The commission itself is funded entirely by the private sector and receives no governmental funding. Instead, it relies heavily on membership dues, retail sales and corporate participation to remain self-sustaining.
Some 2.5 million party-goers enjoy Fiesta® San Antonio. More than 20 percent of Fiesta-goers travel from across the state, the nation, and even the world!
One of the most important functions of the Fiesta Commission is the funding of Fiesta events that are not financially self-supporting. In 2019 the commission provided nearly $600,000 in funding and support to the participating member organisations that sponsor such events. The commission itself is funded entirely by the private sector and receives no governmental funding. Instead, it relies heavily on membership dues, retail sales and corporate participation to remain self-sustaining.
The commission also supports other local nonprofit groups like Scout troops, PTAs, civic clubs and others through parade street chair sales. These 100-plus groups can raise thousands of dollars each year–about $600,000 combined for the Battle of Flowers® and Fiesta Flambeau® parades.
For more information about how Fiesta impacts the Alamo City, follow the links below.