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Fiesta San Antonio: Everything You Need To Know About The 'Party With A Purpose'

There're the parties, the pageantry and, of course, the parody.

From the coronation to the Cornyation, to the two kings — Antonio and El Rey Feo — and a slew of other royalty, including the Queen of Soul Miss Fiesta; the Queen of San Antonio Charro Association; Miss Fiesta Teen Queen; Reina de la Feria de las Flores -- there's no shortage of pomp and circumstance for the next 11 days in the Alamo City.

LISTEN | TPR's Joey Palacios talks about opening night of Fiesta on Thursday

But navigating through the roughly 110 events spread throughout the city isn't as difficult as you might think. Here's everything you need to know to get the most out of Fiesta.

What To Do?

Fiesta San Antonio is an 11-day "party with a purpose," highlighting the arts and culture of San Antonio in honor of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto.

  • CONTINUE READING | Want to learn more about Fiesta? Keep reading

The annual celebration features events from more than 100 local nonprofit organizations and military units, including galas, parades, food fests, carnivals and more.

Ride The Bus

The park-and-ride fare is $5 roundtrip for adults — $2.50 each way. A discount fare of $2.50 roundtrip is available for children ages 5-11 as well as senior citizens ages 62 years and older, Medicare recipients, persons with disabilities, and students with a valid VIA ID. VIAtrans customers ride free. 

Tickets for park & ride service can be purchased on the VIA goMobile app and at the park & ride location, using cash or credit.

Hail A Ride

Lyft and Uber are available throughout Fiesta.

Lyft is part of the Sober Rides program. Lyft passengers can use the promo code BUDLIGHTDD18 in the Lyft mobile app to receive two $5 increments of Lyft ride credit April 19-29.

Taxi service is also available. Minimum charge downtown is $5.

Grab A Bike

Credit Jerry Quijano / Texas Public Radio
Texas Public Radio
SWell Cycle

Another way to get around is through the SWell Cycle bike share program. 

SWell Cycle has more than 60 stations and 500 bikes available throughout the city.

You can rent on an hourly basis or pay a flat rate of $12 for 24-hour access to bikes across San Antonio.

Here's how it works

If You Insist On Driving

For the brave (or foolish) ignoring advice from anyone who has driven to Fiesta events and parades in the past, here's a map of parking garages near major events. The city has also suspended free parking on Tuesday until after Fiesta. 

What is Fiesta?

Credit Cyle Perez / Texas Public Radio
Texas Public Radio

OK, if you've read this far down, you have a pretty good what this “party with a purpose” is all about. But if you need an explainer for out-of-town guests, you're in luck.

TPR has produced an eight-part podcast series answering questions about what to eat, drink, wear and do during Fiesta.

Your hosts are Asia Ciarvino, local arts advocate, actress, and president and CEO of SA Youth, and Angela McClendon Johnson, a marketing and public relations professional and former Fiesta queen.

Credit ©Betsy Newman Photography / Photograph courtesy of Fiesta® San Antonio Commission
Photograph courtesy of Fiesta® San Antonio Commission
The Texas Cavaliers River Parade is 7 to 9 p.m. on the first Monday of Fiesta each year.

Vince Kong can be reached at vkong@tpr.org opr on Twitter @teamvincek

Vince Kong comes to Texas Public Radio after working for about a decade in print, including stints in the Midwest, Northwest and Southwest.