Fiesta San Antonio is just 41 days away! Take advantage of this tax deductible opportunity to combine ASI's 45th Annual Conference with one of Central Texas' premier annual events!
History of Fiesta San Antonio
The first Battle of Flowers
By 1890, San Antonio, Texas was a thriving trade center with a 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.
The Battle of Flowers Parade is the only one in the country to be planned and directed completely by women. Today it's the largest parade in the Fiesta. It's second in size nationally only to the Tournament of Roses Parade.
Fiesta becomes a San Antonio tradition
The Battle of Flowers was an immediate success. Within a few years, more events were taking place on or near April 21-a carnival, balls and coronations of "royalty." The Fiesta tradition had been born. Other early events included street dancing, children's fetes, a Trades Display Parade and an orphans party. Fiesta has taken place every year except for 1918 during World War I and 1942 through 1945.
The Order of the Alamo
In 1909, John Carrington founded the Order of the Alamo, one of the oldest Fiesta organizations. The members meet once a year to choose the next year's queen and her court. The queen's court includes a princess, 12 in-town duchesses and 12 from out of town. This royalty is featured in the major Fiesta parades.
Claire Driscoll, patron of the Alamo, was the only person to serve as Queen of Fiesta for three years-1904, 1905 and 1906. Since then queens have served for only one year. Many people have speculated about the value of the elegant gowns worn by the queen and her court. Members of the Order say the costs are determined between the families and their dressmakers. So figures of $10,000 or more are just guesses by people admiring the beautiful dresses and trains.
The Texas Cavaliers
Over the early years Fiesta royalty included King Cotton, King Selamat (tamales spelled backwards), King Omala (Alamo spelled backwards) and King Antonio. Some years no king was named.
John Carrington formed the Texas Cavaliers in 1926. One purpose of the organization was to select King Antonio. The first Cavaliers king was Sterling Burke, crowned King Antonio IX in 1927.
See tomorrow's e-blast for more on Fiesta San Antonio!
The Hotel Contessa is located on the Riverwalk, sometimes known as Paseo Del Río, a winding network of walkways along the banks of the San Antonio River. The Riverwalk is an important part of the city's urban fabric and a tourist attraction in its own right.