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Fiesta 2015 Kicks-Off With 'Fiesta Fiesta'

Joey Palacios
Texas Public Radio
Large elobroate hats have become a staple during Fiesta within the last two to three years.

Thousands of people came together Thursday night at Alamo Plaza to officially ring in Fiesta. San Antonio residents are ready to party with a purpose for eleven days.

Over the next week and a half you’ll be hearing the battle cry of “VIVA FIESTA!” almost everywhere in San Antonio. About 9,000 people attended Fiesta Fiesta in front of the Alamo to kick-off Fiesta 2015 with the ceremonial cutting of the ugly tie and cracking of the cascaron.

Fiesta has been celebrated for 124 years to commemorate the battles of the Alamo and San Jacinto where Texas won its independence. Now, Fiesta Commission Executive Director Phil Nelson says it’s grown to be the biggest fundraiser for the city’s non-profits.

“Every one of these non-profits is putting on an event which allows them to make money that supports their operation during the year,” Nelson said. “The parades are big supporters, the Cavilers, the el Rey Feyo, they give millions of dollars to scholarships.”

Surrounded by food like gorditas and raspas, and the traditional relics of Fiesta Medals, revelers like Angela Alcantar began crafting the battle plans on which of the more than 100 events to attend.

“I’m a Fiesta junkie; I love Fiesta, this is like one of my favorite times of the year,” Alcantar said. “I’m planning Oyster Bake, twice to go to NIOSA [Night in Old San Antonio], and maybe the Taste of New Orleans, and we’re going to the Flambeau Parade this year.”

Fiesta can be a lot to digest all at once, especially for new people. It’s a little hard to compare it to other celebrations around the world but attendee Pedro Zepeda believes he has it summed up pretty well.

“It’s San Antonio’s culture in your face for the span of eleven days,” Zepeda said. “It’s the food, it’s the drinks, it’s the music, it’s the colors, and it’s the people!”

Fiesta runs now through Sunday, April 26. You can find the full list of Fiesta events at Fiesta-sa.org.

Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules