2023 NIOSA Fiesta medal unveiled, paper tickets return

Advance tickets can be purchased at H-E-B for 75th annual NIOSA festival

SAN ANTONIOFiesta fan-favorite NIOSA, short for Night in Old San Antonio, is returning for its 75th year this April and officials unveiled the medal on Thursday.

The Fiesta medal features a woman dressed in traditional Fiesta garb holding the Conservation Society of San Antonio seal.

“The wild olive branch is symbolic of the Society’s interest in the preservation of parks, plazas, and all natural beauty, and at the same time, depicts a peaceful relationship in historic preservation and the community,” according to SAConservation.org. “The tower represents not only all the missions, but all other historic structures of historic significance. The all-seeing eye refers to the Society’s watchful role in the preservation of the remaining amenities of our local heritage.”

2023 Fiesta Medal for NIOSA (KSAT 12)

Patti Zaiontz, fourth vice president NIOSA chair, told KSAT during the medal unveiling that the Conservation Society will be celebrating 100 years of saving San Antonio in 2024 and the medal is the way to launch into that celebration.

“We were founded by 13 women who were wanting to say the history and culture of San Antonio — to preserve and protect,” said Zaiontz. “They founded the society and soon learned that we’re going to have to have a fundraiser to be able to do all the things they were doing because it cost money. And that’s how we got started.

They started with a fall festival in San Jose selling fish plates. Then they went to the river walk selling Chilean stew out of canoes for $0.15. And in 1948, the Fiesta Commission invited them to move to the spring and move to the district. So that’s how NIOSA was born,” she said.

“So the metal reflects those 13 women holding the seal for the San Antonio Conservation Society, which is our seal that keeps a watchful eye on the city itself. And we’ve saved so many buildings over the years and returned millions of dollars and grants and scholarships to San Antonio and the community,” Zaiontz continued.

In addition to the unveiling of the medal, NIOSA officials also revealed that paper food-and-drink tickets will return for 2023 after the coronavirus pandemic prompted organizers to create an all-digital ticketed event for the last two years.

Tickets go on sale starting on March 1. Advanced tickets will be sold online or at H-E-B for $20 and tickets sold at the gate will be $25.

The 75th annual four-night festival will take place April 25-28 at La Villita in downtown San Antonio.

Masks and proof of COVID-19 vaccination will not be required for guests. All bags are subject to search.

More information can be found at NIOSA.org.

One of Fiesta's best events, NIOSA, is gearing up to begin this week. This event is the largest historic preservation festival in the nation.

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.