By R. Harrison Barnes
Damas and caballeros it’s that time of year again. Get ready to dust off your favorite medals and loosen your belt a notch – Fiesta® San Antonio is just around the corner! Since 1891 devoted San Antonians have been meeting every year to honor those lost at the Battle of the Alamo and the long-standing tradition continues once again from April 16th – 26th with parades and activities for all ages.
If this is your first Fiesta® or you just don’t know how to tackle the ten day locura, don’t worry Mambo has your back (duh). Check out our top ten favorite Fiesta® sights to see!
1) Fiesta® at the Alamo – Alamo Plaza – April 16 – 5:00pm – 9:00pm
Come out on April 16th and kick off the party right with the official Fiesta opening! Onlookers will love the traditional breaking of the cascarones in Alamo Plaza as well as live music, official medal and pin trading, and the introduction to this year’s Fiesta® Royalty. Come experience the traditional grand opening for free.
2) A Taste of Kellogg’s – April 16 – April 26
Last year Mambo helped feed the hungry hoards of Fiesta® goers by passing out thousands of Kellogg’s snacks, and this year we’re staged to do it again! What does Mambo have up its sleeve? You’ll have to stop by and see for yourself! Here’s a hint… you might wanna to bring a spoon!
3) Fiesta® Oyster Bake – St. Mary’s University Campus – April 17 – 18
It’s a CRUSTACEAN CELEBRATION, y’all! If you’re a fan of oysters, you have to stop by the Fiesta® Oyster Bake. Come enjoy the family-friendly carnival area with 70,000 of your closest friends as you fill up on mountains of fresh oysters served fried, baked, or – our favorite – raw! If you want to stop in, tickets at participating HEB stores are $23 for one-day tickets ($25 at the gate) and $35 for a two-day wristband. Children under 12 years old are free!
4) WEBB Party – Lambermont Estate – April 17 – 7:00pm
Want to get down for a great cause? Fiesta’s® WEBB Party is the place to be for those who want to support the San Antonio AIDS Foundation (SAAF). The WEBB Party boasts the best of the best from local caterers, restaurateurs, and DJs; and it’s all to promote HIV/AIDS prevention and care! Tickets are $85 pre-sale and $100 at the door.
5) Taste of New Orleans – Sunken Garden Theater – April 17 – 19
Come out to Fiesta’s® Taste of New Orleans and laissez les bon temps rouler! If you want to experience the flavors and sounds of the bayou, you won’t want to miss this three-day festival with a Cajun kick! This party will have you spending all day enjoying the incredible Jazz and Zydeco music, paired with Crescent City favorites like gumbo, crawfish and etouffee! If you want to roll on by, tickets are is $12 pre-sale and $15 at the door. Children under 10 years old are free.
6) Texas Cavaliers River Parade – San Antonio River Walk – April 20 – 7:00pm – 10:00pm
Seriously, what would a party in San Antonio be without a river float parade?! For almost 90 years now The Texas Cavaliers have been raising money for local children’s charities, and their tradition continues with The Texas Cavaliers River Parade! One of Fiesta’s® most popular events, thousands of spectators surround San Antonio’s River Walk to watch the more than 40 incredibly decorated floats meander down stream. It gets packed so don’t forget to save a seat! If you want to check it out, tickets are $12 – $24.
7) A Night In Old San Antonio® (NIOSA®) – La Villita – April 21 – 25 – 5:30pm – 10:30pm
If you’re a fan of historic San Antonio, then A Night In Old San Antonio® is for you! This four-day party takes place in the heart of La Villita – one of San Antonio’s oldest neighborhoods – and will welcome 85,000 visitors as they enjoy live music on over a dozen stages! Don’t forget to bring your appetite, La Villita will be ready to feed the army of hungry onlookers with over 250 food and drink booths. If you’re up for a stroll, tickets are $12 pre-sale and $15 at the gate. Children under 12 years old are free.
8) Fiesta® Gartenfest – Beethoven Garten – April 22 – 24
Are you ready to bust out your lederhosen? Because I’m ready to bust out my lederhosen… Come experience a taste of Germany deep in the heart of Texas at the Fiesta® Gartenfest! If you like lively Biergarten’s then you’ll love this three-day party with their 50-piece band, and German food and drink. If you want to get your Polka on, tickets are $3 pre-sale and $5 at the door. Children under 12 years old are free.
9) Battle of Flowers Parade – April 24 – 11:30am – 4:00pm
One of Fiesta’s® oldest traditions, the Battle of Flowers Parade has been attracting thousands of onlookers for 123 years! Since 1891 this procession of brightly colored floats has been passing the Alamo to honor those who fought for Texas’ independence. This family-friendly parade will be a hit for everyone who decides to line the parade route!
10) Fiesta® Flambeau Parade – April 25 – 7:30pm – 10:00pm
Want to see San Antonio in another light? Fiesta® Flambeau promises to cover the downtown with brilliant lights and over 150 spectacular parade floats! This night parade will be sure to please all ages with it’s 2.8 mile parade route, dance groups, and international marching bands!