Did you know that Fiesta San Antonio dates all the way back to 1891? This fun-filled festival has long cemented itself as one of the best cultural events in the nation. What started in 1891 as a way to honor the heroes from the Battle of the Alamo has transformed into a way to share in the fun of celebrating our city’s largest city-wide party with a purpose, Fiesta.
What can you expect this year at Fiesta San Antonio 2022? In this blog, we will walk you through everything you need to know including festivals, parades, community get-togethers, and more. Read on to learn what this special place has to offer you.
What is the History of Fiesta San Antonio?
Fiesta San Antonio has been held every year dating back to 1891. Originally, it was a flower parade headed up by a woman named Ellen Maury Slayden, who was the wife of a local congressman. She put together the flower parade to help honor the heroes of the Alamo in the battle of San Jacinto.
Slayden and a group of other women in San Antonio helped to form an organization called the Battle of Flowers Association. During the original festival, participants rolled through the streets in horse-drawn carriages tossing flowers around Alamo Plaza. The event became very popular and by 1895 it morphed into a week-long celebration.
14 years later, an organization called The Order of the Alamo was formed to help oversee the administration of the festival each year. This organization continued to help expand the traditions at the festival. They only temporarily withdrew these plans during World War I.
Ultimately, the leadership of the festival changed hands to the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. This organization took over the event starting in the 1920s and introduced a march that went from the Municipal Auditorium in San Antonio to the Alamo, where the names of Texas soldiers who died at the Alamo were read aloud.
Over the course of the 20th century, the event only continued to grow in popularity every year. By the mid-1980s, the Fiesta San Antonio committee had built out plans for approximately 25 different events. This parade was the only major parade in the United States managed by a woman-run group. The event has been sponsored by dozens of major local businesses and organizations. Since the 1990s, an astounding 50,000+ volunteers from the local community and the military have come together to help put together Fiesta events each year.
Events at Fiesta San Antonio 2022
Fiesta San Antonio offers a wide range of events for all ages promising top-notch live entertainment, special door prizes, vendors, guest appearances, and more.
A variety of parades will take place over the course of this nearly two-week-long celebration: including the Fiesta Flambeau Parade, the Battle of Flowers Parade, the Texas Cavaliers River Parade, and the 22nd Annual Fiesta Pooch Parade.
Festivals are also aplenty at Fiesta with something for everyone to enjoy. Kid-friendly areas and live music will be complemented by many vendors and shopping opportunities. Fiesta Fiesta at Hemisfair acts as the official opening ceremony to the 11 days of fun. Fiesta Carnival is a multi-day event offering numerous exciting rides and an excellent cadre of food options right in the middle of the city. The featured work of 110 artists from across the country will round out the scene at the Fiesta Arts Fair. The King William Fair is finally making its triumphant return this year. Hosted in San Antonio’s first residential historic neighborhood, this daylong event includes a 2-mile parade, 5 stages of entertainment, and over 65 food/beverage vendors. There is a special adults-only event at the Fiesta Cornyation, which will provide a comedic satirical review of current events.
Hungry for more? Taste Of the North Side is an exclusive Fiesta event. It brings together over 60 local restaurants and numerous wine and spirits vendors. You can purchase an all-inclusive ticket for $85 in advance of the event; with proceeds supporting the Brighton center, which helps to support children with disabilities and developmental delays.
Fiesta is not short on food options and will showcase a wide array of cuisine cultures such as Night in Old San Antonio, Taste of New Orleans, Fiesta Oyster Bake, Chili Queens Chili Cook Off, and Fiesta Gartenfest.
Additional Happenings Throughout San Antonio
There will also be a selection of sports events to attend such as the Valero Texas Open’s 19th Hole Fiesta, the Fiesta Kings Cup Polo Party, and L’Étape San Antonio by Tour de France which is a part of Fiesta FitFest. Fiesta FitFest 2022 is a new addition to the event schedule and a great way to explore the outdoors in San Antonio! You can participate in the FitFest 5K-10K or compete in the Alpha Warrior Fitness Challenge. In fact, there are multiple other runs you can sign up for as well such as the Fiesta Especial Inclusion 5K Parade, the Ollu 5K Confetti Walk & Run, or the Any Baby Can Walk for Autism.
This list goes on and there are too many events to list here. Click here for a full calendar of ALL the Fiesta activities!
Expect the Unexpected
Our world continues to recover from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, event-goers should expect the unexpected. Some slight changes and unplanned detours from the schedule of events may occur. It is possible that local weather patterns and health restrictions can change routes. They may also alter the number of people allowed in a public space at any given time.
Some of Night in Old San Antonio's (NIOSA) popular areas may be under construction. Plan accordingly by referencing the map here. Any of these events are subject to change, so be sure to check out the event-specific pages before heading out.
You may also find that certain events are starting to go cashless. Night in Old San Antonio (NIOSA) started this trend last year to help reduce the transmission of viral illness during the pandemic. BlastPass has become the official remote cash technology for NIOSA since its successful trial run last year. BlastPass allows you to easily buy food and drinks by uploading funds to a wristband. It has not been confirmed whether other parties will follow suit with Blastpass or similar options.
You may also find that certain parades are rerouted and different from previous years, even compared to planned events from earlier this year. Historically, Broadway was a major component of the route of the parade. In 2022, however, this will change. Instead, the Battle of the Flowers and Flambeau parades will be starting elsewhere near San Antonio College. The parade will continue to go past the Alamo; however, there will now be certain rules to help respect the privacy of the property. This means that parade participants cannot use air horns, play loud music from parade floats, and participate in other noise-making behavior.
Help San Antonio to Grow & Join Us for Fiesta 2022
Fiesta continues to be a passion project of the people of San Antonio, who every year come together as a community to facilitate over the 100+ celebrations honoring the long-standing history and traditions of the city. Welcoming to all, Fiesta proves to be the best reason to party for a cause and worth the support in attendance each year.
We look forward to seeing you at Fiesta San Antonio 2022!