Fiesta User Guide 2018

Things you need to know before you go to Fiesta

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SAN ANTONIO – Fiesta is back in Alamo City!

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.

KSAT Fiesta medals revealed, secret medal giveaways start April 16

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. 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. Discounts are available for children, seniors, students and active-duty members of the military.
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.

The events listed below can be viewed on KSAT 12 and on

Thursday, April 19 - Fiesta Fiesta 7 p.m.

Monday, April 23 - Texas Cavaliers River Parade 7 p.m.

Monday, April 23 - SA Live After Party for Texas Cavaliers River Parade 9 p.m.

Thursday, April 26 - Battle of Flowers Band Festival 7 p.m. (This will be livestreamed on

Friday, April 27 - Battle of Flowers Parade 9:30 a.m.

Friday, April 27 - SA Live After Party for Battle of Flowers Parade 12:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 28 - Battle of Flowers Band Festival 3 p.m.

Saturday, April 28 - SA Live Flambeau Special 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 28 - Fiesta Flambeau Night Parade 7:30 p.m.

About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.