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Fiesta San Antonio: Non-Profits Prep To 'Party With A Purpose'

Joey Palacios
Texas Public Radio
Michael Quintanilla poses for a photo in a mock float from the Battle of Flowers Parade

Fiesta 2018 is just three weeks away. At that time, you can expect the return of Fiesta events, flamboyantly dressed royalty, and all-day festivals to make their triumphant return to San Antonio on April 19. But it takes a small army of non-profits to bring Fiesta to life.

Behind the cascarones, Fiesta medals and chicken on a stick, historically, Fiesta is a remembrance of the soldiers who fought at the Alamo and Battle of San Jacinto.

It started in 1891 as a simple parade around the Alamo. However, like Fiesta Commission P:resident Bill Mitchell says, Fiesta has grown into a party with a purpose.

“We have 113 events put on by 97 participating member organizations, and they’re all non-profits,” he said, “and this is their largest fundraiser for almost all of them.”

For example, when you go to Alamo Heights Night, it funds the Alamo Heights Rotary Club. PACfest supports Palo Alto College. The King William Fair benefits the King William Association and Oyster Bake is a fundraiser for St. Mary’s University scholarships.

Fiesta lasts 11 days, featuring at least eight parades, dozens of day-long festivals, multiple fireworks shows, stage productions and fashion shows, he said.

“It’s a way for us to come together as a community to celebrate who are,” San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said. The mayor said he plans on attending NIOSA, Taste of New Orleans, PACfest and the Fiesta Arts Fair at the Southwest School of Art.

One notable change taking place is at the Battle of Flowers Parade on April 27. Although the parade has traditionally started at noon, it will begin at 10 a.m. this year.

With all the events, Fiesta is expected to provide an economic impact of at least $340 million to San Antonio.

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


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