If you are craving Oyster Shots, preparing your lungs for NIOSA, and hot gluing your fiesta hat back together from last year, then you know your breathing that Fiesta air in San Antonio. Every April marks one the of biggest parties in America. 11 days plus 100 events makes 1 BIG Fiesta this year is from April 19th to April 29th and already some pre-party activities. If you a new resident of San Antonio or some how never walked into a Fiesta related event, then no fear. I am here to prepare you for all things Fiesta 2012!
First, the unique traditions of Fiesta starts with the royalty.
There is alot of different Fiesta Royalty which are basically chosen by organizations of the city. There are two kings:
El Rey Feo translates to”The Ugly King” but is more often referred to as the Peoples King. El Rey Feo is selected by the local San Antonio LULAC council for raising the most amount of money for the LULAC scholarship fund. Throughout Fiesta, Rey Feo visits schools, Latino sponsored events and enjoys all of the evening festivities.
King Antonio is selected by the Texas Cavaliers as the presiding king of Fiesta. King Antonio spends the days visiting schools, charitable organizations, military bases and attending ceremonies while evenings are spent at various parties and Fiesta theme dinners around San Antonio. During the year King Antonio takes trips with the Cavaliers, attends government functions and even takes a ride in an Air Force jet trainer. King Antonio is king for a year during his reign.
The additional royalty of Fiesta consists of a queen, princess, and numerous duchesses. These members of the royal household are selected by the Order of the Alamo. The Order presents their court at the Queens Coronation held on the Wednesday night of fiesta at the Municipal Auditorium. This event is one of the coolest things during Fiesta. All of the duchesses enter the stage in dresses with long trains. The take their seats one by one until the entire court is prepared for the entrance of the princess and queen. The coronation guests include the kings and several local dignitaries. This is truly one of the neatest things to see during Fiesta in San Antonio and you’ll wonder how in the world those ladies can pull those jewel covered trains.
The Royal Household consists not only of the Queen, Princess, and Duchesses but also the gentlemen that escort these ladies during their Fiesta reign. The Prime Minister escorts the Queen, the Prince escorts the Princess and the Dukes escort the Duchesses. During this week of reign for the royal household, the men (escorts) are primarily focused on the needs of their duchess, queen, or princess and ensure that their Fiesta week is one of royal treatment. An interesting note about these ladies and their royal attire – it takes almost an entire year to design and “build” the dresses, crowns, and trains for these ladies of the royal household to wear during Fiesta.
San Antonio Fiesta royalty consists of more than just the above mentioned. Fiesta brings out the royalty in all walks of life, groups of people, and social clubs. Some of the additional Fiesta Royalty includes:
- Queen of Soul
- Miss Fiesta
- Queen of San Antonio Charro Association
- Miss Fiesta Teen Queen
- Reina de la Feria de las Flores
Fiesta medals and pins are an integral part of the celebration. Maybe because San Antonio is a military town? Numerous organizations create medals to sell or give away each year, with the goal being to collect as many as you can. King Antonio XLIX is credited with starting the tradition in 1971, when he put 200 royal coins on ribbons and distributed them at Fiesta events. If you have an opportunity to shake hands with Fiesta royalty, you may be lucky enough to have a medal slide into your palm. This year I plan to be activate in this!
Want to be seen in Fiesta, then make a Fiesta Hat! Now this is a sight to see, which can be through out Fiesta but mainly in NIOSA (Night In Old San Antonio)
“Show Me Your Shoes!”
First time I saw this I thought it was so stinking cute. The kids love this! During the Fiesta Flambeau Parade when a female royalty (queen, princess, duchess, and etc) pass by in her float. The kids yell out “Show me your shoes” and the royality would display a wild pair of shoes under dress.
The kick off for Fiesta is Fiesta Fiesta at the Alamo
Fiesta Oyster Bake at St Mary’s University
For a full listing of events go to: http://www.fiesta-sa.org/events/all-events/
Now your ready to Fiesta, now don’t forget to Siesta! Take in as much activities you can, some are free but most do have a cover. Buy discount tickets to the popular events go to the new Fiesta Store downtown or go to your nearest HEB, check if sold out.
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