By Emily Rodriguez
Fiesta, the most anticipated citywide celebration, is around the corner.
Fiesta is a 10-day celebration throughout the city that includes parades, carnivals and other cultural events. It will begin Thursday and will run until April 28.
The event began in 1891 with a Battle of Flowers as a way to honor those involved in the Battle of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto for Texas Independence.
According to Dustin Turner, director of communication and consumer marketing of the Fiesta San Antonio Commission, it is expected that 3.7 million people will attend at least one Fiesta event.
Turner said that there are at least 75,000 volunteers helping to staff the events and booths.
“There’s volunteers that make arts and crafts to sell in the store, there’s volunteers that work with our recycling initiative that we’re working on, and there’s volunteers that man the booths and sell the items, do the set up, decorating and the tear down,” Turner said. “Really the whole event is run by volunteers.”
Turner said the event is estimated to have a $300 million economic impact on the city.
The money made goes to the nonprofit groups that sponsor events. They use the money to fund their causes or to create scholarships.
“For example, NIOSA (Night in Old San Antonio) is run by the San Antonio Conservation Society, they use their money year round to preserve the history of San Antonio. The Oyster Bake, there money goes back into scholarships for students of St. Mary’s,” Turner said.
Popular Fiesta events are NIOSA, the Battle of Flowers Parade, King William Fair, Fiesta Del Rey and the Fiesta Flambeau parade.
Fiesta offers a College Night event held April 23.
Turner offered tips for first time Fiesta goers.
“Dress comfortably. There are over 100 events; I would determine what your interests are. Do you like music, are you more of a foodie or do you want to see more of a cultural thing? And try to divide events by that,” he said. “Cascarónes are definitely a must for a first timer. Just make sure that you take care of yourself.”
For more information and a calendar of events, call the Fiesta San Antonio Commission at 210-227-5191 or visit fiesta-sa.org.
Fiesta Hat and Shoe contest by student life 10 a.m.-11 a.m. April 24 in mall. Entry forms in Room 260A of Loftin are due before April 22. Call 210-486-0228