For nearly 130 years, San Antonio has observed Fiesta, a city-wide celebration that started in honor of the soldiers who fought in the Battle of San Jacinto and the Battle of the Alamo. Since then, Fiesta’s grown a life of its own beyond its problematic history and into a celebration of the city itself.
Fiesta’s origin is kind of shady, and even locals may feel conflicted about celebrating it. It started as a celebration of the Anglo victory at San Jacinto and honored the fallen heroes of that battle. But to understand Fiesta, you can’t ignore this problematic past. San Antonians have reclaimed the celebration for themselves.
Over the course of the celebration, you’ll notice large hats decorated with flowers and colorful objects, sashes with clanging medals and a smile on nearly every San Antonian’s face. You’ll eat more funnel cake, turkey legs and elote than thought humanly possible.
There are multiple events happening every day, so you won’t get bored. Can’t do midday events? Go to the Flambeau Parade or NIOSA. Don’t like night outings? The Battle of the Flowers Parade and King William Fair are probably right up your alley. If you don’t like big crowds, there aren’t many events you’ll enjoy, but the festive atmosphere radiates throughout the city during Fiesta. No matter where you are, you’ll feel the Fiesta spirit.
Fiesta is a time unlike any other. It’s so unique that most people — most Texans, even — don’t know what it is before coming to the Alamo City, and even then, they may not understand it as a concept. The 10-day celebration is filled with colors and lights and sounds, more parade food than you could ever eat and margaritas galore. And Trinity is just miles from the action.
As Trinity students, we’re all keenly aware of this bubble we’ve created, but in the next few weeks, think about leaving it. You have 10 days to take advantage of the festivities. There will be parades and parties and carnivals. The streets will be littered with confetti and cascarón shells. Everyone will be drunk. It’ll be great.
Immerse yourself in San Antonio culture, even if for a day. Don’t know where to start? We have all you need to prepare for it: a list of tips from a local, a guide to avoiding cultural appropriation and look into the traditional medals you’ll start seeing everywhere. Still unsure? Look to the stars to figure out which Fiesta event is best suited to you.
Join San Antonio in celebrating its past and its present. As we get closer to April 18, the city will become brighter, more colorful and more alive; make sure you’re ready for it. Fiesta is in the air, and we are incredibly excited. Hopefully, you are, too.
| Class of 2020 | Major: English