If you have been thinking about making a trip to San Antonio, April would be a great time! Every year, for about two weeks, San Antonio becomes one big city-wide party. Fiesta 2011 is from April 7 through April 17.
From several parades, including one on the Riverwalk, to great festivals, music and food, Fiesta showcases the cultural diversity and spirit of San Antonio. All events are produced by local non-profits so all event proceeds go to serve those living in the San Antonio area.
Because Fiesta is not just one event, I will tell you some of my favorite things to do and see. Being a native San Antonian, I am well versed in “Fiesta stuff.” I will TRY to be succinct, but with all that goes on during Fiesta, this blog may run a little long. Check out the Fiesta official website to get ALL of the details.
Also, although most of the events are kid/family friendly and offer lots of kid activities and entertainment…it’s called Fiesta for a reason and there is a lot of partying going on. I wouldn’t say things get as crazy as Mardi Gras, but just know there is a lot of drinking occurring at most of the festivals.
Some of San Antonio’s debutantes attend the Court of the Order of the Alamo, which celebrates Texas’ struggle to gain independence from Mexico. You will be completely awestruck by the detail and beauty of the Court’s gowns and trains as well as the pomp that goes along with this event. This is a great family event, especially for those with little princesses in the house. This is a reserved seating event, with admission from $12 to $44, so get your tickets early! If you can’t make it, you can still enjoy the beautiful gowns at one of the parades.
Held at the St. Mary’s University Campus and is typically one of the first festivals of the Fiesta season. Lots of music, entertainment, and you guessed it….oysters! If you’re not a bi-valve eater, not to worry….lots of other great festival food for the rest of you!
For you less reverent types, the Cornyation is a parody of the Order of the Alamo Coronation. Definitely not one I would take the kiddos to, but it is great fun and hilarious to watch, unless you are easily offended.
Pronounced neeh-OH-sa, this is hands down my favorite Fiesta event. You will never look at festival food the same way again. NIOSA takes place at La Villita Plaza in downtown. I would suggest trying to go with someone who knows the lay of the land, because it is not only crowded but very easy to get lost in. Plus…there are certain food booths that you must try out while you are there including the “anticuchos,” “shy-poke eggs,” and “Maria’s tortillas.” With over 250 food booths, you definitely want to make room for the “good stuff.” Figure out why I love NIOSA? Yup, the food. Each section of La Villita represents a different ethnicity contributing to San Antonio’s cultural heritage. And watch out for cascarones! These confetti filled eggs are sold by the dozen and smashed on top of the head. It usually takes me a couple of weeks to get all of the confetti out of my house after NIOSA.
The only bummer is that it is only for four days (April 12-15 this year) and runs Tuesday through Friday which can make it difficult for working out-of-towners. If you can take off work on Friday, you will be glad you did!
There are several parades during Fiesta. My two favorites are the Texas Cavaliers River Parade which takes place on the San Antonio River that runs through downtown and the Fiesta Flambeau parade which is especially beautiful because it is at night.
I am proud to be from San Antonio! Get to Fiesta this year and see why!