What’s new at Fiesta 2024: La Semana Alegre returns, paper tickets at King William Fair, new start for Battle of Flowers

Fiesta Fiesta, the kickoff event, has a new location this year

Battle of Flowers Parade 2019

SAN ANTONIO – Fiesta season is here, and many people around San Antonio are already gearing up for the 11-day party with a purpose.

Medals? Check. Flower crown? Check. Cascarones? Check.

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If you’re ready for Fiesta’s biggest events, you may want to know about some new venue and time changes for 2024. For example, Fiesta Fiesta, the kickoff event to the season, is moving east to the Alamodome on Thursday, April 18.

Here are other new things to know about Fiesta 2024.

La Semana Alegre returns

La Semana Alegre, a music festival that was popular in San Antonio during the 1980s and ‘90s, will relaunch at Hemisfair.

The revamped two-day music festival will take place on Thursday, April 25 and Friday, April 26.

La Semana Alegre Hemisfair is a fundraiser to support Hemisfair’s mission to “revitalize the site of HemisFair ‘68 and create a vibrant, walkable urban district for the people of San Antonio.”

“Like Hemisfair, this festival holds a special place in the hearts of many San Antonians who fondly remember its festive atmosphere and the talented musicians that headlined. Our goal is to recapture that magic in a new way and create an unforgettable experience for the next generation,” Hemisfair CEO Andres Andujar said in a news release.

General admission starts at $15 each day. VIP packages are available for $100 each day.

La Semana Alegre will return on April 25-26 at Hemisfair in downtown San Antonio. (La Semana Alegre)

New food, drinks at NIOSA

The popular four-night festival at La Villita will have new food and drink options when it returns on Tuesday, April 23.

A spokesperson for NIOSA, otherwise known as Night In Old San Antonio, told KSAT 12 News that new food will include funnel cake fries in Froggy Bottom and popcorn and pickles in Clown Alley.

Corona Premier and Modelo will now be sold in every Cerveza Especial booth, and Warsteiner, Franz Hefe, Spaten and Bitburger beer will now be sold in the Sauerkraut Bend area.

Also new this year, iced Irish coffee will be sold in Irish Flat.

As for new entertainment, the popular Mariachi Campanas de America will play every night in the Haymarket area.

This year, NIOSA will have two Fiesta medals as well as a lapel medal. One of the medals portrays the sun, and the other incorporates the popular beer cup.

NIOSA is selling two medals and a lapel pin for the 2024 Fiesta season. (NIOSA)

Confirmed vendors returning this year are Mr. Chicken, Maria’s Tortillas, anticuchos, German sausage, Bongo-K-Bobs, Shypoke Eggs, eggrolls, beignets, fried mushrooms, Yak-i-Tori, steer on a stick, gorditas and fajitas de pollo.

NIOSA ends on Friday, April 26. Tickets for NIOSA are $20 per person. They will be $25 at the gate. Children ages 12 and younger are free when accompanied by an adult.

Admission is $20 in advance and $25 at the gate. Tickets can be purchased on NIOSA’s website, at local H-E-B stores, and at NIOSA headquarters at 227 S. Presa St.

NIOSA uses paper coupons for food, drink and souvenir purchases. Those coupons can be purchased inside and outside NIOSA gates, but they are cash only.

King William Fair goes back to paper tickets

The King William Association Board’s Executive Committee decided to do away with the BlastPass system and return to paper tickets for the 2024 King William Fair on Saturday, April 27.

The King William Fair will return to using paper tickets for food and beverage purchases.

In 2023, fairgoers had challenges with the BlastPass system as many could not load money into their accounts.

In a press release after the event, the association apologized to fairgoers, vendors and volunteers who experienced disappointment and frustration.

They explained that the pandemic prompted organizers to explore cashless options in 2022 and 2023.

“The 2023 King William Fair did not deliver to fairgoers the experience they’ve come to know and love,” the association’s Executive Director Lisa Lynde said in the release. “While we had a wonderful parade, amazing entertainment, and talented arts and craftspeople, everyone’s experience with the BlastPass overshadowed the many positives. That is not what the Association wants. We look forward to re-establishing the King William Fair as one of the premier events of Fiesta San Antonio with the return to paper tickets.”

If you plan to attend the event, admission is $15 in advance and $20 at the gate. Children 11 and younger can get in for free.

King Williams Fair 2024 to return to paper tickets after system glitches (King Williams Fair Association)

Battle of Flowers has new start time

Battle of Flowers, one of the most famous flower parades in the country, will shift an hour later compared to the last couple of years.

The 2024 parade will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, April 26.

The Battle of Flowers parade is the nation’s second oldest parade and the only parade in the United States produced entirely by women, and all of them are volunteers. This year’s theme is “Viva Amor 2024.”

San Antonio Food Bank CEO Eric Cooper was selected as the grand marshal for the 133rd Battle of Flowers Parade.

KSAT will host a watch party along the route for Insiders.

Fiesta Fiesta moves to Alamodome

Fiesta’s kick-off event, Fiesta Fiesta, will leave the center of downtown and move to the Alamodome.

It will be held at H-E-B Plaza at the Alamodome from 4-11 p.m. on Thursday, April 18.

Fiesta Fiesta took place at Travis Park in 2023, though it had to be canceled mid-event due to storms. Before then, it was held at Hemisfair.

The event is free and open to the public. There will be food and drink booths in addition to musical acts and performances from a multitude of talented artists at the end of the event. Click here for a schedule.

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About the Author

Rebecca Salinas is an award-winning digital journalist who joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.

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