Fiesta is San Antonio’s moment to shine, and is certainly known for its pageantry and parades which demonstrate the city’s tradition and heritage in a series of bright and colorful parades and balls. While these are the biggest and most well-known events, and are broadcast on TV to hundreds of thousands—if not millions—each day is also full of smaller, more intimate gatherings and events that may not receive the publicity of the big ones, but are still lots of fun and shouldn’t be missed!
Let’s have a look at what is on the schedule for the first day of Fiesta!
April 18, 9 AM
The opening ceremony takes place at the Alamo Plaza, and the party officially gets underway as the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and the Alamo Heroes Committee declare, “Viva Fiesta!” The event ushers in the newest installment of Fiesta with dancing, singing, and all the pageantry that participants expect.
Across the city, the morning sees a variety of choices depending on individual tastes.
· At the Witte Museum dancing aficionados will want to come and enjoy an elaborate display which traces the art of dance through the years of Fiesta. Throughout the years, the samba, polka, ballet, and more have been parts of the celebration, and this exhibit shows off some of the gowns and dresses that have made Fiesta such a colorful experience.
· The Alamo Plaza is also home to the Randolph Art League Exhibit which allows local artists to show and sell their pieces. The exhibit is ongoing throughout the day.
· At the River City Christian School, the special needs community celebrates with a family-friendly event featuring carnival rides, music, dancing and more.
· All day long, Market Square is open for music lovers to attend the free concerts taking place on five stages. People with all musical tastes should find something to fit the bill, as country-western, Latin Jazz, Tejano, and more will be represented. Food lovers will also enjoy finding something delicious at one of the many food booths.
· UTSA has its own mini-Fiesta, featuring food, music, games, and other forms of entertainment, the proceeds of which go to supporting school groups and associations.
· Fiesta is quite different from Mardi Gras, but nevertheless gives a nod to the New Orleans celebration, as the San Antonio Zulu Association offers food, music, kid’s areas, and every kind of music imaginable. Brackenridge Park is home to lots of kids’ events, such as face painting, moonwalks, slides, and more.
· St. Mary’s University Alumni Association gets the night off on the right foot with their 92nd Annual Fiesta Oyster Bake. They will cook over 100,000 oysters, and also will have fajitas, hamburgers, sausages, and much more. Music includes Latin, country, and rock and roll. This is a three day event, and Friday’s festivities conclude with a fireworks display. All proceeds go towards scholarships and student programs, so enjoy the bake and support education at the same time!
· Fans of Tejano music will not want to miss Friday night’s Tejano Explosion at Cattleman’s Square. This is a family event, featuring food and music as well as carnival rides for the kids.
· Join the mariachis and the throngs of people gathered for the coronation of 2008’s El Rey Feo. The crowning takes place at the Main Plaza, and the reception afterwards will be held in the AT&T Community Center.
· The WEBB party is San Antonio’s largest alternative event, which raises money for the San Antonio AIDS Foundation. Come down and enjoy the open bar, DJs, food, and silent auction and help support a good cause also.
· Omega Psi Phi Fraternity hosts its annual Fiesta Jamboree. Attendees are encouraged to dress in their best party duds for the chance to win $100 for the best costume. The party lasts until midnight at the Doubletree Hotel.
· At La Villita, Incognito: Fiesta’s Masked Ball, invites guests to dress up in their best South American flavored outfit, and join in the Carnival-inspired party.