Return of full Fiesta means uptick in business along new parade route, benefits local nonprofits

Proceeds from events go to San Antonio nonprofits

While the party ended Sunday after 11 days of festivities, the impact of this year’s Fiesta will be felt for some time.

SAN ANTONIO – After a two-year wait, Fiesta made a full return across San Antonio. While the party ended Sunday after 11 days of festivities, the impact of this year’s Fiesta will be felt for some time.

For many local nonprofits, the city’s “party with a purpose” serves as the organizations’ primary fundraiser. That’s the case with the King William Association, which hosts the King William Fair.

“Funding for the fair is basically about 90% to 95% of the association’s annual budget,” said Lisa Lynde, executive director of the King William Association.

The fair returned Saturday in a big way after two years of uncertainty. “Gross sales were higher than in the previous two years,” said Lynde.

Lynde said the previous two years were a struggle without the event.

“2020 was lean. We had to cut back staff hours. We sold the building that we owned. We purchased this one to keep going,” said Lynde.

Proceeds from the fair go directly to the community and cultural arts programs.

“We have a grant program that we do in the summer for area neighborhood organizations, and we give a lot to various organizations at both of our schools -- Bonham (Academy) and Brackenridge (High School),” said Lynde. “The Cannoli Fund receives grants that are generated from the proceeds of the fair. We have our cultural arts district and cultural arts committee that does our displays in the gallery that we have here.”

The Taste of New Orleans also returned after a two-year hiatus. Organizers with the San Antonio Zulu Association told us the three-day event benefits the Zulu College scholarship program and Donate Life. According to the Zulu Association, crowd capacity and vendor food supply exceeded 2019.

Fiesta 2022 did not just benefit local nonprofits. Many local businesses also saw an uptick in customers, especially those along the new parade route.

Molina’s Store on Brooklyn Avenue opened an outdoor seating and eating area and had vendors for the first time on their property. The change in parade route meant Molina’s customers had a front-row seat to the parades.

“It was kind of like a little marketplace in here. We had music and food,” said Leonie Molina.

“It was a great experience, the parade going through here,” said Juan Molina.

Overall, it was a successful Fiesta in the books, not only for hundreds of thousands of San Antonians but for many organizations and businesses.

“I saw a lot of people seeing friends for the first time in a couple of years. The mood was just generally happy and upbeat,” said Lynde.


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About the Authors:

RJ Marquez is co-host of KSAT News Now and reports for Good Morning San Antonio. He's been at KSAT since 2010 and covered a variety of stories and events across the San Antonio area. He also covers the Spurs for on-air and digital platforms, including his Spurs newsletter. RJ has reported stories for KSAT Explains.