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Fiesta user guide 2016

What you need to know before you go to Fiesta

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SAN ANTONIOWhat you need to know before you go

The Texas heat can be sweltering, 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.

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.

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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.

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.

Parking garages and meter parking are also available downtown. 

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 and 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 Thursday, April 14

Battle of Flowers Parade
12:20 – 4 p.m. on Friday, April 22

Fiesta Flambeau Parade
6:30 – 10 p.m. on Saturday, April 23

Texas Cavaliers River Parade
7 – 10 p.m. on Monday, April 18

Battle of Flowers Band Festival will be live streamed on KSAT.com starting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 21.