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Experience San Antonio’s Biggest Festival, Fiesta San Antonio

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You know you want to attend SMART Airports, but what’s the other reason to come? It’s also the week of Fiesta San Antonio, the city’s signature event and largest festival! This year, it will take place from Thursday, April 16 to Sunday, April 26. With over 3 million people attending every year and over 100 events taking place over Fiesta weekend, it’s a joyful and celebratory event that San Antonians invite everyone to come take part in. As one of the biggest parties in the U.S., it’s something everyone should get to see at least once, so make this your year to viva Fiesta!

History of Fiesta

Originally existing as a single parade, Fiesta San Antonio was created in 1891 in order to honor the fallen heroes of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto. The parade, called the Battle of Flowers Parade, is the second biggest parade in the county. As it has continued to grow year after year, the community has built an entire weekend around it as a way to come together, have fun, and celebrate their shared history and culture. Today, the festival has a large cultural, economic, and charitable impact. It’s put on with help from the whole community, including the Fiesta San Antonio Commission, over 75,000 volunteers, 100 nonprofit organizations, city police, and many of the other city departments. The nonprofit organizations spend the rest of the year giving back to the community, truly making it a “party with a purpose.”

What To Expect When You Go

So, what should you expect to see and do when you attend Fiesta San Antonio? The Official Guide for 2020 hasn’t been released yet, but you can see last year’s guide with Schedule of Events here. It’s a lot to read through, so we’ve listed some of the biggest and best of Fiesta below. Get ready to experience the food, fun, music, entertainment, colors, and spirit of Fiesta San Antonio!

Fiesta Carnival

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What’s a festival without a giant carnival?! Thrill seekers come back year after year for fair-favorite rides like the Super Cyclone and the Yoyo Swing, while families of all ages can enjoy fun games and prizes, delicious fried food and other fair treats, the big ferris wheel, and of course the sparkling rainbow lights of the carnival at night.

Battle of Flowers Parade

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See the parade that started it all! What began as a way to honor the men who fought in the Alamo and San Jacinto was the Battle of Flowers, now exists today to also support the community’s youth and to “celebrate the diversity and heritage of Texas and our nation.” It is the only parade in the country to be planned and produced exclusively by women, and one of the largest in the country. Equal parts exciting, dazzling, and historically significant, this parade is not to be missed. Be one of more than 550,000 each year to see this spectacular event!

Taste of the Republic

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Calling all foodies! Join this VIP fundraiser party to try different types of cuisine and get a full taste of the Texas Culinary Experience. Taste of the Republic brings together some of the top chefs all across San Antonio to offer gourmet small bites of the many types of cuisine that exist within San Antonio’s landscape, and pairs them each with a complimentary wine. 

Texas Cavaliers River Parade

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What would a festival in San Antonio be without the River Walk? Each year, over 50 magical floats float down the river with live music, celebrities, beautiful lights, colorful costumes and more. This parade began in 1941 when a group of Texas Cavaliers decided to bring the idea of “floating gardens” that they saw in Mexico City, and the tradition still stands today. Be one of over 250,000 to witness the San Antonio River come to life.

Fiesta de los Reyes

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Taking place in the heart of Alamo City at Market Square, Fiesta de los Reyes is 10 days of non-stop live music, fun and entertainment! This event has 5 different stages with tons of different bands and musical acts playing every day. Fans of every genre will be able to find something to groove to, and the plethora of options at over 30 food booths will make the foodie in everyone happy.

King William Fair

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This family friendly fair takes place at the oldest residential historic district in Texas, the beautiful King William neighborhood. The day-long event begins in the morning with a parade and continues on with arts and craft vendor booths, live music, food, drinks, and activities. Kids of all ages will love Kids Kingdom for its endless supply of rides, games, activities, and treats. 

For more ideas on what to see and do at Fiesta San Antonio, head over to their website. If you attend, make sure to let us know! Post your photos on social media using #SMARTAirportsSanAntonio #Fiesta2020 and share your experience at the conference and festival. 
Next Step? Register for SMART Airports and start planning your trip! Stay tuned for our next installment in our San Antonio for SMART Airports series. To read the previous article, click here