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NIOSA opens Tuesday night, weather clears for weekend Fiesta parades

NIOSA volunteers hoist flower decorations to mount on booths at NIOSA on April 4, 2023.
Brian Kirkpatrick
NIOSA volunteers hoist flower decorations to mount on booths at NIOSA on April 4, 2023.

Night in Old San Antonio opens Tuesday night on the grounds of La Villita, one of the city’s oldest quarters.

The area's collection of vintage buildings harkens to another time, making NIOSA a Fiesta tradition to celebrate the city's mix of cultures with food and drink.

Its proceeds benefit local historic preservation through the San Antonio Conservation Society.

Ginger Klaerner, who helped chair the event, said they're bringing some traditions back to mark their diamond anniversary.

"Chill Queens is coming back into Haymarket.” she said. “There's fried fish coming into Irish Flats. The chicken wings in Main Street. So, there's several things that are coming back into the celebration of the 75th year."

San Antonio once had an Irish neighborhood near the Alamo, dubbed Irish Flats.

The Chilli Queens origins date back to 1947. Society members created replicas of the old-time chili stands that lined Juarez Plaza.

The hours at NIOSA are 5:30 to 10:30 p.m Tuesday through Battle of Flowers Friday. Bring cash to buy coupons for food and drink. ATM machines are located at the gates. Get admission tickets online at NIOSA.org — it's best to take VIA Park-N-Ride to the big party.

Learn more about VIA’s Park-N-Ride program during all of Fiesta here: SAN ANTONIO FIESTA 2023 - VIA Metropolitan Transit (viainfo.net)

Only transparent-see through bags are allowed into NIOSA and are subject to search, except for diaper bags. No baby strollers are allowed either.

Other Fiesta events this week include the continuation of the Fiesta Carnival at the Alamodome and Fiesta De Los Reyes at Market Square.

Another cold front pushing through the city is expected to trigger showers after 7 p.m. on Wednesday and into the early morning hours of Thursday.

The weather looks much better for both Friday’s Battle of Flowers and Saturday’s Fiesta Flambeau parades. It should be mostly clear with parade temperatures in the mid 70s to lower 80s.

The Battle of Flowers rolls between 9:30am and noon on Friday as many schools, businesses and offices close for the day. Learn more here: Home - Battle of Flowers

The Fiesta Flambeau, the nation’s largest nighttime lighted parade, runs from 7:15 p.m. until 11:30 p.m. Learn more here: Fiesta Flambeau

UTSA Football Coach Jeff Traylor is the grand marshal of the Battle of Flowers Parade after leading the team to back-to-back conference championships and its first ever AP Top 25 rankings. Spanish-language television star Danilo Carrera serves as the grand marshal of the Fiesta Flambeau Parade.

Both parades follow the same route down Main Street at San Antonio College and then towards downtown on Lexington, North St. Mary’s, Brooklyn, and Avenue E. The parades will then pass in front of the Alamo on Alamo before turning onto Commerce and north on Santa Rosa, where both come to an end.

Hundreds of thousands combined are expected to turnout for both parades.

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