Nonprofits look for direct community support after Fiesta 2020 cancellation

Fiesta was previously postponed until November

The cancellation of Fiesta San Antonio 2020 means the loss of millions for local nonprofits.
The cancellation of Fiesta San Antonio 2020 means the loss of millions for local nonprofits.

SAN ANTONIO – More than 100 nonprofits are looking for a plan-B after Fiesta San Antonio 2020 was canceled after officials had postponed the event for November.

The 11-day celebration brings in millions of dollars to nonprofits who depend on the events surrounding Fiesta to make their budget.

Fiesta San Antonio canceled in 2020, officials announce

Barton Simpson, the commander of the Texas Cavaliers, said his organization was prepared but disappointed by the cancellation.

The group supports 68 local agencies by raising about $2 million each year. Simpson said they fundraise year-round, and the annual River Parade is a gift to one of the nonprofits.

“The River Parade is our effort to put the charities in the limelight,” Simpson said. “Putting them in the limelight line, like giving them the exposure through the television. And the attention that they get is helpful to their other fundraising efforts.”

Simpson said he knows businesses and individuals are hurting because of the pandemic, but this is a time when giving means the most.

“We have a strong belief that it’s best to give when it’s hardest to give,” Simpson said.

Simpson said organization members are committed to working hard for those agencies so they can make it to the next Fiesta event.

Fiesta ‘encouraging’ nonprofits to honor 2020 tickets for 2021 events

Katrina Campbell, with Brighton SA, said they have jumped into fundraising mode already.

“Old fashioned fundraising, getting on the phone, calling these people -- we’re already starting that process,” Campbell said. “You know, just because events are happening doesn’t mean that the needs still aren’t there.”

Campbell said her organization’s Taste of Northside event brings in about $700,000 into the $1.6 million they need to fundraise.

Brighton SA provides developmental services for children with disabilities. Their gala fundraiser, which is typically held around November, is also canceled this year.

Campbell says about $100,000 in presold tickets for the 2020 Fiesta event has been donated back to the organization since the event was canceled.

The organization is counting on San Antonio to help make up the rest, Campbell said.

“Every little bit adds up,” Campbell said. “Please, please still consider giving it because it will add up, and it will go a long way.”


About the Authors:

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

Before starting at KSAT in August 2011, Ken was a news photographer at KENS. Before that he was a news photographer at KVDA TV in San Antonio. Ken graduated from San Antonio College with an associate's degree in Radio, TV and Film. Ken has won a Sun Coast Emmy and four Lone Star Emmys. Ken has been in the TV industry since 1994.