Fiesta User Guide 2017

Things you need to know before you go to Fiesta

By Mary Claire Patton - Digital Content Curator
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SAN ANTONIO - What you need to know before you go

The Texas heat can be sweltering, so use sunscreen and remember to bring a hat and sunglasses.

Bring water to parades to stay hydrated, and alternate drinking water between alcoholic beverages at Fiesta events.

Choice of footwear is also important -- opt for function over fashion. Walking around all day can cause blisters if you’re not wearing the proper shoes.

SEE A FULL LIST OF FIESTA EVENTS FOR 2017 HERE. 

Cash is king at Fiesta events; almost everything is cash-only, so bring plenty. ATMs are sometimes available but lines get long. Eating roasted corn is more fun than standing in line to get cash.

VisitSanAntonio.com suggests bringing hand sanitizer for the Porta-Potties.

Beware of the no-smoking ordinance along the Fiesta parade routes. The ordinance extends to any areas or seats in the public right of way.

Be wary of fraudulent tickets/coupons. NIOSA food/drink coupons are sold ONLY on the NIOSA grounds and at the NIOSA gates. 

Plan for parking

VIA Park & Ride offers hassle-free transit to major Fiesta events at a cost of $2.50 for a one-way ticket. Children ages 5-11 and senior citizens 62 and older can purchase one-way rides for $1.25.
For service times and locations, click here.

History of Fiesta

Fiesta started in 1891 when a group of San Antonio citizens honored the heroes of the Alamo and Battle of San Jacinto with the first Battle of Flowers Parade.

Children dressed up as flowers and horse-drawn carriages were adorned with flowers. Parade participants threw blossoms at each other, a tradition that hasn’t been passed down. 

The success of the Battle of Flowers Parade led to more events every year, thus Fiesta was born.

Since its introduction, Fiesta has been celebrated every year except 1918 during World War I and 1942-1945 during World War II.

Fiesta fun with medals, cascarones

Cascarones are hollowed-out eggshells filled with confetti. They are sold at booths all over Fiesta. Break them over a friend’s head to give them good luck.

Fiesta medals are collected and worn with pride at all Fiesta events. The tradition came from 1946 when King Antonio gave out commemorative coins.

Kids started wearing the coins as badges shortly after and the ceremonial medal tradition was born.

The Rain Rock is a rock hung on a tree in La Villita on the first Monday of Fiesta to protect against rainy weather during NIOSA (A Night in Old San Antonio).

Tune in to KSAT on Channel 12 to watch the following events live if you don’t have a chance to make it downtown.

Fiesta Fiesta at the Alamo
5 – 9 p.m. on April 20

Texas Cavaliers River Parade
7 – 10 p.m. on April 24

Battle of Flowers Band Festival
7 – 10 p.m. on April 27

Battle of Flowers Parade
12:20 – 4 p.m. on April 28

Battle of Flowers Band Festival
3 – 6 p.m. on April 28

Fiesta Flambeau Parade
6:30 – 10 p.m. on April 29

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