Fiesta’s Princesses Go-A-Missing; Top Float Filched From Facility
San Antonio Fiesta, a longstanding tradition, has been robbed. A prominent parade showpiece has been stolen from storage. And if the float isn’t recovered, replacing it will cost the Fiesta Commission thousands of dollars.
It’s like the Grinch that stole Christmas or, in this case, Fiesta. Some time before October 24, the Fiesta Royalty Float was stolen from the offices of long term float builders, Southwest Parades Inc., on Seguin Street. This float carries a number of the Fiesta’s princesses and queens.
“Miss Fiesta San Antonio, The Teen Queen, the Charro Queen, the Queen of Soul, and Miss San Antonio have been on the float in the past. It is a tradition that the queens are there, and of course, everyone yells ‘show us your shoes!’”
John Melleky is the CEO of the Fiesta Commission, and he’s clearly very upset. As anyone from the Alamo City with any appreciation of a tradition going back almost 125 years, would well be. “Fiesta is a fusion of arts, heritage, and culture. With that in mind,” continued Melleky, “The float is a vitally important piece of that and part of the traditions and the culture of San Antonio. It really is what makes Fiesta one of the most unique festivals of the world.”
The float was taken out of what was thought to be a secure outdoor storage area; the gate lock was cut. It was decorated but had a covering. “That was the only float that was taken from among the four of five floats that were out there,” said Melleky. “It had the blue tarp covering it and it was all packed up so you didn’t really know it’s a Fiesta float.”
Unfortunately, though, someone clearly did. The commission has had this float since 2009, and replacing it will cost them between $15,000-20,000. Melleky said it isn’t something a nonprofit could anticipate.” It is not in our budget, it wasn’t something we were expecting.”
Although a police report has been filed, there’s not much of a chance that the float will be recovered. The commission is asking for donations to help fund the purchase of a new one. Any donations made will be tax deductible, as the Fiesta Commission is a nonprofit. The website is Fiesta-SA.org.