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Fiesta 2021 Postponed Until June; 2 Major Parades Canceled

Joey Palacios
TPR News

Fiesta will be postponed until June due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The 11-day celebration usually takes place in April, but officials did not feel it was safe to proceed.

This is the second time the coronavirus has pushed back Fiesta. Last year, it wasmoved to November and ultimately canceled. Fiesta is a collection of nonprofit events that take place in April to raise money for various groups in sometimes massively attended events and parades. At least three events have been fully canceled until 2022.

The two-month pushback to June 17-27 comes as San Antonio continues to see exceptionally high numbers of COVID-19 cases. Officials like San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg believe June could be safer.

“Delaying Fiesta 2021 until June puts safety first, and it is the right move for our community,” Nirenberg said. “Through the ongoing vaccination program and our continuing efforts to suppress COVID-19, we are working to be in a better position by June. We are deeply appreciative of the Fiesta San Antonio Commission’s willingness to work with the city’s health professionals to ensure San Antonians' safety.”

Previously, the Fiesta Commission had announced it brought in Dr. Martin Makary of Johns Hopkins University to determine if Fiesta could safely take place.

“Based on current data on viral transmission, June is projected to be a very low point in the viral prevalence in the area, given the high levels of natural and vaccinated immunity we will achieve by May,” Dr. Makary said. “The Fiesta San Antonio Commission and Mayor’s Office have appropriately prioritized safety in considering a modified Fiesta.”

Fiesta Commission President Baltazar Serna said the commission feels confident in a June event but that reevaluations will occur between now and then.

“This virus has proved a lot of people wrong in the past and we’re optimistic that we are able to pull off June,” said Serna.

A handful of events have committed to the June dates for now while others have cancelled outright.

So far, theOyster Bake at St. Mary’s University, the Fiesta Flambeau Parade, the Battle of Flowers Parade and Band Festival have been canceled until 2022.

The Battle of the Flowers and the Fiesta Flambeau parades are the highest attended events with more than 300,000 people lining the streets in previous years. The Flambeau is billed as the largest night parade in the country.

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