The 2016 Battle of Flowers Parade passes through Alamo Plaza. Photo Credits: The Alamo/Amelia White

Let’s Fiesta San Antonio!

By: Allegra Zwaan and Tyler Werland

It is that time of year again, when San Antonio is filled with bright colors and high energy. This can only mean one thing — Fiesta is here! This year, Fiesta San Antonio kicks off on April 20 with festivities lasting through April 30.

Fiesta started in 1891 as a one-parade event honoring the heroes of the battles of the Alamo and San Jacinto. At this first parade, a group of San Antonio women decorated horse-drawn carriages that paraded in front of the Alamo as the women showered each other with flowers. This was the first Battle of Flowers Parade. Since then, the parade has grown into one of the largest parades in the United States.

Fiesta is known as “the Party with a Purpose,” as funds raised by Fiesta events benefit various nonprofits and provide services to San Antonio citizens throughout the year. In addition to its charitable influence, Fiesta has an economic impact of more than $284 million for the city and through the years has transformed into one of the nation’s premier festivals.

While Fiesta still commemorates the heroes of the Alamo and Battle of San Jacinto, it has also grown into a city-wide celebration of San Antonio’s diverse cultures. 2017 marks Fiesta’s 126th anniversary!

Fiesta Events In and Near Alamo Plaza

Fiesta Fiesta

April 20, 5:00pm — 9:00pm

Hemisfair Park, 434 S Alamo St.

The sounds of fireworks, live music, and crowds yelling “Viva Fiesta!”, will be heard at the official opening of Fiesta 2017 at Fiesta Fiesta at Hemisfair Park! The event is free of charge, and will be an evening filled with live music, and a firework show presented by Macy’s from The Tower of the Americas. Notable traditions of Fiesta Fiesta include people’s parade, cutting the ugly tie, and breaking the cascaron! With the event being bigger, and better than ever, it will be one you don’t want to miss!

Texas Cavaliers River Parade

April 24, 7:00pm — 9:00pm

River Walk

Every year thousands of people line the San Antonio River in order to watch the Texas Cavaliers River Parade. This year’s parade is themed “Kaleidoscope” and will offer live music, celebrities, lights, and river barges transformed into colorful and elaborate floats.

Members of the Alamo Staff at the 2016 Pilgrimage to the Alamo. Photo Credit: The Alamo/Amelia White

Pilgrimage to the Alamo

April 24, 4:00pm — 5:00pm

Alamo Plaza, 300 Alamo Plaza

The Alamo Mission Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (DRT) have staged the annual Pilgrimage to the Alamo since 1925. It is a memorial tribute to the defenders of the Alamo and the heritage of Texas. A wreath bearing procession of various organizations throughout San Antonio depart from the Vietnam Memorial at the Tobin Center and walk silently to the Alamo. During this time a representative names each of the Alamo defenders.

One of Fiesta’s many traditions is the crowd asking Fiesta royalty to “Show us your shoes!” Photo Credit: The Alamo/Amelia White

Battle of Flowers Parade

April 28, 12:20pm — 4:00pm

Parade Route, E Grayson & Broadway

The Battle of Flowers Parade holds the distinction of being the first celebration to be held in Alamo Plaza and is considered the founding event of Fiesta. The theme for the 2017 parade is “Blazing Trails” and the parade will honor trailblazing people, events and ideas.

Fiesta Flambeau Parade

April 29, 6:30pm — 10:00pm

Parade Route, E Grayson & Broadway

The Fiesta Flambeau Parade is the largest illuminated night parade in the nation. The theme for 2017 is “City Lights and Celebrations.” Many local bands, marching units, equestrian units, and spectacular floats participate.

Air Force at the Alamo

April 24, 11:00am — 1:00pm

Alamo Plaza, 300 Alamo Plaza

United States Air Force units will have demonstrations and performances, including a Military Working Dogs demonstration and a performance by the Drum and Bugle Corps from JBSA-Lackland.

Members of the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team jumped into Alamo Plaza for the 2016 Army Day at the Alamo. Photo Credit: The Alamo/Amelia White

Army Day at the Alamo

April 25, 11:00am — 1:00pm

Alamo Plaza, 300 Alamo Plaza

Army Day at the Alamo includes performances by U.S. Army Soldiers and patriotic music performed by Army musicians.

Marines at the Alamo

April 26, 11:00am — 1:00pm

Alamo Plaza, 300 Alamo Plaza

The Marines of the 4th Reconnaissance Battalion will be present at the Alamo showing military equipment such as free-fall parachutes and combat driving equipment, along with small arms being that are used by the Corps. Attendees will have a chance to meet members of the 4th Reconnaissance Battalion while listening to music from the US Marine Corps Band.

Navy Day at the Alamo

April 27, 11:00am — 1:00pm

Alamo Plaza, 300 Alamo Plaza

San Antonio’s sailors will have demonstrations on skills and capabilities America’s Navy assigned in San Antonio including military working dogs and emergency medical care.

View the complete list of official Fiesta San Antonio events