Get your hands on a replica of the first Fiesta medal

By David Sears - Anchor/Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Fiesta is full of wonderful sights and sounds. parties, parades, food and of course medals.

Perhaps the most distinct sounds you'll hear are those of medals clanging from sashes, which can give you an idea how many medals a Fiesta reveler has collected.

One medal available this year is a replica of the very first Fiesta medal, which was designed in the early 1900s by artist Pompeo Coppini and became available to the public in 1905.   

"Comes with a lot of history. Design with an actual Mexican from the times with a double sombrero and a mask-like and actual mask, like you would wear in a masquerade party, but a Fiesta party." said Vic De La Fuente, first vice president of the Coppini Academy of Fine Arts.

The original medal was discovered a couple of years ago in a drawer in the studio Coppini built in 1936, which serves as the academy and museum.

The King Selamat, which is tamales spelled backwards, and the queen wore the medals while they were sold to the public for $1. Coppini sold the medals to raise money for the Alamo grounds.

The medal was not the only influence Coppini had on Fiesta. He was able to expand it from one day, The Battle of Flowers, to a multi-day celebration.

"He just felt like San Antonio was a wonderful city and it needed to celebrate," said Charlotte Cox, president of Coppini Academy of Fine Arts.

Coppini built the studio in 1936 when he got the commission to build the cenotaph, "Spirit of Sacrifice," that stands on the grounds of the Alamo to this day.  

A replica of the first medal is available at The Junction at 1704 Blanco Road, Feliz Modern at 110 W. Olmos and The Coppini Academy at 115 Melrose Place. 

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