Tips for Winter Texan Trip Planning - #1
As the mass exodus has already begun from the colder, northern states to the more moderate climate of Central and South Texas, many RVers are planning their itineraries. There's park reservations to make, festivals to plan for, exciting and historical attractions to visit and special events to include. While some travelers plan routes through the Midwest, desert areas or the beautiful Florida beaches, Texas always does things in a big way. Over the next few posts we'd like to share some of our local, favorite "must do and see's."
So you have plenty of time to plan, the first special event we'll cover is held in early spring when many are just about ready to head back to their Northern homes. The month of April is host to one of the most popular festivals in the Alamo City — Fiesta San Antonio.
Annually the Fiesta Organization begins way in advance to put together an art competition which will result in the official Fiesta Poster. Here you see the current years winner. Chosen for it's vibrant color and it's Mexican Folkart feel, this poster is extra special due to 2018 being the Tricentennial of San Antonio. Notice the tricentennial recognition in the "1" of the 2018. Not only is it the poster, it will be echoed on all the Fiesta products for this year, from T Shirts to marketing materials.
So what's it all about? The streets are filled with music, confetti and celebrations galore. But is it all just another excuse for a party or is there a history behind the most celebrated San Antonio holiday of the year?
It started as a one-parade event as a way to honor the memory of the heroes of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto. According to Fiesta San Antonio organizers, in 1891, a group of ladies decorated horse-drawn carriages, paraded in front of the Alamo and pelted each other with flower blossoms. The parade was organized to honor the heroes from the battles of the Alamo and San Jacinto and was formerly known as The Battle of Flowers Parade. Within a few years, more events were taking place on or near April 21 including a carnival, balls and coronations.
Fiesta has taken place every year except for 1918 during World War I and 1942 through 1945.
Since 1959, the Fiesta San Antonio Commission has reinvigorated the celebration, planning activities for 100 local nonprofit organizations and the more than 75,000 volunteers.
According to Texas Public Radio, Fiesta medal history dates back to 1946, when the Texas Cavaliers created little coins to take to hospitalized children.
"They had special coins — the king’s coin — and they’re just little half-dollar sized coins. But in 1961 Joske’s department store provided the Cavaliers with a little cardboard piece that had a punch-out in the center where you could insert the coin. And then it apparently had a hole in the top of it where ribbons could be inserted through those. And so you could then hang this around your neck. After 1971 a few other Fiesta organizations started producing Fiesta medals, but it was little more than an aside among other Fiesta festivities. So how exactly did they become such a Fiesta phenomenon?
A Lt. Col. Childers, was stationed at Ft. Sam Houston, and was looking for ways to generate support and friendliness between the public and the military. He came up with the idea of making a Fiesta-themed, military-looking medal to hand out during events. It was a hit! Since then, every radio and television station, business, agency and organization in the San Antonio area goes to great expense to design and manufacture a "pin" to show their support of the Fiesta celebration. Fiesta goers make it a goal to get as many of these medals to don all over their Fiesta outfits, covering their hats and making heavy the large medal filled sashes many wear.
You can purchase medals and Fiesta products to feel a real part of the festivities. Both the official Fiesta Store and their webstore, https://www.fiesta-sa.org/shop-home/ make it easy. Feel free to search our blog for other "Fiesta" articles to get photos and more info. remember though that 2018 is the San Antonio Tricentennial year so this event promises to be the best yet.
So, will your travels include an April visit to San Antonio? If you have any questions or want to share past Fiesta experiences with our readers, please ask and tell in the comments.