Fiesta is my absolute favorite time of year in San Antonio, Texas! It’s a big tradition for the city, I’m 30 years old and I’ve been going to Fiesta for 29 years. I’m so excited for my 30th year of Fiesta. I’ve had so many people ask me about Fiesta this year. I know it can be a bit overwhelming for a first timer. So I’ve complied a list of tips and tricks for having a blast!
1. Fiesta origins: started in 1891 with the Battle of Flowers Parade to honor the fallen heroes of the Battle the Alamo and Battle of San Jacinto! Has grown bigger, into a party with a purpose every year since, with fundraisers for varies organizations for the city.
2. It’s a marathon, not a sprint! Pace yourself! You can find a calendar of events on the Fiesta website or even download the app to plan out the events you want to attend. Remember, Fiesta last 10 straight days in a row, just slightly shy of two week long with way too many events to attend all. Pick your favorites and maybe even one you’ve never been to before.
3. Collecting Fiesta medals is a thing!! Just about every participating organization and events has a unique Fiesta medal to sell and raise extra money for various scholarships, charities
4. Fried chicken on a stick is also a fiesta food must. Yes, there’s a vast variety of food options, but chicken on a stick is a Fiesta food staple and the most sought out delicious item.
5. Hydrating with water is a must! (it’s a marathon, not a sprint)
6. Fiesta tiaras and hat will be everywhere! (…flower crowns are similar, but this isn’t Coachella, tiaras usually have tissue paper flowers and long curly ribbons on the back)
7. When a attending a parade and a float with Fiesta Royalty member, in a gown passes by, it’s customs to yell, “show us your shoes!”
8. Cascarones, or colored confetti eggs with a tissue paper seal are for celebrating and cracking on your friends and family…not for eating.(I didn’t know people outside of Texas only used egg dyeing kits just for boiled eggs until we got new neighbors from Colorado when I was about 12 yrs old)
9. Drinking adult beverages is a great way to relax and enjoy Fiesta, just don’t drink and drive. It’s no refusal, and with Uber, Lyft, and Viva Park & Ride options there’s no excuses! Viva Park & Ride is what I usually take.
10. My mom’s tip is to always wear comfortable shoes. Don’t go barefoot if shoes are uncomfortable.
11. Take cash, nowadays most ticket booths can take a credit card, but it’s usually quicker with cash!
My top pick of events in no particular order
• Taste of New Orleans:amazing food, not too crowded, amazing live music, and decently priced
• Fiesta Fiesta: opening ceremony and kick-off celebration with Pin -pandemonium: the one event where you have the chance to buy just about every New Fiesta medal and trade with collectors
• Texas Cavaliers River Parade: one of my favorite parades to attend! Seating is along The Riverwalk. The floats actually float because they are on the river barges
• NIOSA: Night in Old San Antonio: known as the drinking drunk fest of Fiesta, but there’s so much food! Thursday and any day after that it’ll be packed shoulder to should, so if you’re wanting to be able to walk around with ease and enjoy all the different cultures and foods available, go before Thursday!
• King William Fair: in the gorgeous King William District, this is a big family friendly Fiesta event. Free entry for kids 12 and under. There’s a parade, crafts, food, and live music.
• Fiesta Flambeau Parade: The night parade is the biggest Fiesta parade. Beautifully lighted floats, people, and bands. You’ll definitely have the chance to yell “show us your shoes!”