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Fiesta History

Everything you need to know about … Fiesta History


San Antonio ‘Fiesta’ is officially pronounced in ‘effect’ on the 3rd Friday of every April and ends on the last Sunday night of April. 10 days of ‘fun & frolick.’ ‘Happy Fiesta!’

  • April 20, 1891: The first Battle of the Flowers Parade is scheduled to coincide with President Benjamin Harrison’s visit, however, rain forces the parade to be delayed.
  • April 24, 1891: The first Battle of Flowers Parade takes place.
  • 1895: A weeklong celebration surrounds the parade and the first queen is chosen.
  • 1900: For the first time, the Battle of Flowers Queen has a court. It includes a princess, duchesses and other attendants.
  • March 7, 1906: The Battle of the Flowers Association hands over the organizing of Fiesta events to the Spring Festival Association.
  • 1909: The Order of the Alamo is organized.
  • May 26, 1913: The Spring Festival Association becomes the Fiesta San Jacinto Association.
  • 1916: The King Antonio line of monarchs begins.
  • 1918: The Battle of Flowers parade is canceled due to WWI, but the Pilgrimage to the Alamo is conducted.
  • 1919: Fiesta is called the Victory Spring Carnival and citizens are encouraged to buy bonds to pay for the war.
  • April 12, 1926: The Texas Cavaliers are chartered and they take over the task of choosing a King Antonio from within their ranks.
  • 1942-44: Fiesta is canceled due to WWII.
  • 1947: La Villita Fiesta, renamed Night In Old San Antonio (NIOSA) in 1948, premieres. The first El Rey Feo is elected by LULAC to rule over La Feria de las Flores, a one-day celebration held during the summer at La Villita. Not until 1980 is El Rey Feo officially part of Fiesta.
  • 1948: The first Fiesta Flambeau Parade takes place.
  • 1959: The Fiesta San Antonio Committee is formed and takes over coordinating the celebration. The event is officially named Fiesta San Antonio.
  • April 27, 1979: At 1:02 p.m., Ira Attebury opens fire at the Battle of the Flowers Parade, killing two and wounding 55. The parade is immediately canceled.
  • 1980: The first El Rey Feo Parade takes place.
  • 1985: The Shriners take over production of the Flambeau parade.
  • 1986: The Jaycees take over production of the Flambeau parade.
  • 1989: King Antonio chooses to share the River Parade with El Rey Feo. The Fiesta Flambeau Parade Association forms and takes over Flambeau.