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.
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.
There is a 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.
Oyster Bake dates have changed this year
This year Oyster Bake has moved outside of the traditional Fiesta dates due to Good Friday and Easter. Oyster Bake will be April 12 and 13, which is the weekend before Fiesta kicks off on April 18.
Headliners for this year include Seether, 10 Years, Wade Bowen, Montgomery Gentry, Puddle of Mudd and more. Click here for the official music lineup.
Fun fact: 100,000 oysters and 32,000 chicken on a sticks are sold every year over the two days of Oyster Bake, according to the Oyster Bake website.
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 started in 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).
The events listed below can be viewed on KSAT 12 and on KSAT.com:
Thursday, April 18 - Fiesta Fiesta 7 p.m.
Monday, April 22 - Texas Cavaliers River Parade 7 p.m.
Monday, April 22 - SA Live After Party for Texas Cavaliers River Parade 9 p.m.
Thursday, April 25 - Battle of Flowers Band Festival 7 p.m. (This will be livestreamed on KSAT.com)
Friday, April 26 - Battle of Flowers Parade 10 a.m.
Friday, April 26 - SA Live After Party for Battle of Flowers Parade 1 p.m.
Saturday, April 27 - Battle of Flowers Band Festival 3 p.m.
Saturday, April 27 - SA Live Flambeau Special 7 p.m.
Saturday, April 27 - Fiesta Flambeau Night Parade 8 p.m.
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