Fiesta® San Antonio
Over 100 Events, 18 Days, One Fiesta®!
Viva! It is that time of year again to stock up on cacarónes, collect medals and celebrate—all for a good cause. The annual Fiesta® San Antonio in April boasts more than 100 events. Plus, the city-wide celebration festival features seven new events to add to your schedule this year.
With almost 3.5 million people attending Fiesta®, it is one of the biggest festivals in the United States, a top three in Texas and the largest in San Antonio. It is held each April to honor the memory of the heroes of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto, celebrating the diverse heritage, culture and spirit that make up the city of San Antonio.
This year’s schedule is a wide array of fun for all ages including music, food, sports, pageantry, military and patriotic observances, exhibits, parades and nine official Fiesta® Royalty.
Why is it all for a good cause? Because Fiesta® is also the “Party With a Purpose” with more than 100 local nonprofit organizations and military units create each of the terrific events you can enjoy over this year’s 18 days. Those groups then spend the rest of the year giving back to their community. They provide education, religious ministries, the arts, athletic opportunities for youth, health services and the defense of our great country.
All of this began over a century ago. By 1890, San Antonio was a thriving trade center with population of 38,000. In 1891 a group of citizens decided to honor the heroes of the Alamo and Battle of San Jacinto with a Battle of Flowers. The first parade had horse-drawn carriages, bicycles decorated with fresh flowers and floats carrying children dressed as flowers. The Belknap Rifles represented the military. The participants pelted each other with blossoms. Today, the Battle of Flowers® parade is the largest parade, is second in size nationally only to the Tournament of Roses Parade and is the only parade in the country to be planned and directed completely by women.
Within a few years, more events take place in late April — a carnival, balls and coronations of “royalty.” Other early events included street dancing, children’s fetes, a Trades Display Parade and an orphan’s party. The Fiesta® tradition had been born and as the years passed, Fiesta® continued to grow.
The Order of the Alamo was founded in 1909, along with the Queen and her Court; the Pilgrimage to the Alamo began in 1925 with The Daughters of the Republic of Texas; the Texas Cavaliers and King Antonio were formed in 1926; the first El Rey Feo was crowned in 1947; and 1948 marked the first Fiesta® Flambeau® Parade as well as the first NIOSA®.
In 1959, the Fiesta® San Antonio Commission was formed as an independent nonprofit organization working year-round to manage the thousands of details and day-to-day tasks essential to planning and executing the huge citywide celebration. The Commission also acts as the liaison between its nonprofit members, local military activities and City departments. The Commission provides funds for Fiesta® events that are not financially self-supporting. The organization itself is funded entirely by the private sector and receives no direct City funding, relying heavily on membership dues, corporate partnerships, carnival income and licensed merchandise sales.
Fiesta® has grown over the years to a grand, citywide celebration. So, get started on that whimsical hat, a sash for the many pins to be collected or the tradition that makes your Fiesta® yours.
A full schedule of events can be found at by clicking on our website below, or new this year, download the Fiesta® app!