Fiesta

PARTY LIKE YOU’RE IN ’09, FIESTA HAS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE

When I wrote this, I was dreaming of the unbridled revelry that is about to transform our community into Fiesta Central with neighborhood street parades, Fiesta wreaths on every door, lawn parties honoring Fiesta royalty and the plethora of 78209 volunteers that will keep many of the 100 official Fiesta events flowing for 10 days of continued celebration. Not only are fellow ’09ers seasoned celebrants, they are pretty good at throwing blockbuster bashes in their own locale. Here are four Fiesta festivities that are taking place in 78209, just a short stroll through the neighborhood.

ALAMO HEIGHTS NIGHT
Party Time in ’09 says it all. For the past 28 years, the Alamo Heights Rotarians have put on a party that gets Fiesta revelers rolling with Alamo Heights Night. Now an officially sanctioned Fiesta event, the 29th party takes place on the University of the Incarnate Word campus, 4301 Broadway, on Friday, April 17, from 5:30 until 11:30 p.m. The family-friendly fandango features an expanded games area this year with rides for all ages, including a Hamster Ball Racetrack, Laser Skeet Shooting, Joust Pit and Archery Hover Ball.
Finding a favorite food or beverage is no problem with more than 30 local restaurateurs, caterers and food vendors packing the party with culinary favorites. Look for Fresh Horizons Creative Catering, Picante Grill, The Lion & Rose, Broadway 50/50, La Madeleine, P. F. Chang’s and Trader Joe’s. Live music stages feature Hotcakes, Suede, Blow My Cover Band, Tennessee Valley Authority and the Fire On The Mountain Cloggers.
Shuttles will run from 5 p.m. to midnight from the Alamo Heights Methodist Church and Alamo Heights High School. Admission is $12 for adults and $5 for ages 12-17, and children under 12 and active-duty military are free. Proceeds benefit Alamo Heights Rotary Charities and Scholarships. For more information, go to www.alamoheightsnight.org.

JEWELS OF THE COURT
Fiesta finery is featured in all its splendor at the Witte Museum’s Jewels Of The Court: A Journey Through Fiesta’s Coronation running now through May 3. For the past two years, museum staff have been planning and assembling a monumental collection of Order of the Alamo Coronation gowns, robes, pages’ costumes and accessories, including scepters, crowns and formal invitations to royal receptions and galas.
The wondrous collection from Fiesta’s most glamorous event features more than 30 coronation robes, from the 1911 Queen of Fiesta’s royal attire to the 2014 Court of Sovereign Legends, providing historical perspective to the fashions of Fiesta royalty for over 100 years.
Founded by San Antonio businessmen and community leaders in 1909, the Order of the Alamo chose its first queen that year and staged her coronation at the Old Beethoven Hall. Today, with a spectacularly set stage, the San Antonio Symphony performs as visiting and in-town duchesses make their full-court bows followed by the presentation of Her Royal Highness, the Princess, and the coronation of Her Gracious Majesty, the Queen.
The queen and her court ride in the Battle of Flowers Parade each year as thousands of parade patrons shout, “Show us your shoes!” It has become a Fiesta tradition for the young ladies to wear outrageous footwear under their elaborate full-length gowns. Paying homage to that tradition, the Witte exhibit features two life-sized replicas of parade floats which feature the gowns of past duchesses.
General admission to the exhibition is $3 with the price of a regular museum admission. Museum members are free. For more information, go to www.wittemuseum.org or call 210-357-1910.

VIVA BOTÁNICA!
Spring has sprung, and the San Antonio Botanical Garden will be in full bloom on Saturday, April 18, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. with Viva Botánica! Nature’s way to celebrate Fiesta with flair, Viva Botánica! begins with a children’s parade, where decorated strollers, wagons and scooters transport young participants dressed in Fiesta and flower-inspired costumes, with all youngsters winning a ribbon for their creativity.
The Garden’s 38 acres are a wondrous area for exploration with plant exhibits representing the various regions of Texas from an East Texas landscape complete with pond, log cabin and growing garden to the arid landscapes of West Texas. Fiesta fans can “walk across Texas,” experiencing the Texas Native Trail. For a bit of Texas in your own backyard, the Botanical Society will host a spring plant sale of San Antonio-friendly plants, all lovingly grown in the volunteer greenhouse at the Garden. With crafts, music and games, the Garden is a wonderful starting point for friends and families to begin their Fiesta fun.
Admission is $10 for adults and $7 for children. For more information, go to info@sabot.org or call 210-207-3250.

FIESTA POOCH PARADE
For some dog-gone Fiesta fun, the annual Fiesta Pooch Parade on Saturday, April 25, is a pleasant “paws” for a cause that supports Therapy Animals of San Antonio.
The annual event begins at 8 a.m. with doggy registration followed by judging in six categories for the costume contest, including Best in Show, Top Dog, Most Creative, Most Patriotic, Best Fiesta Flair, and Best Matched Human and Dog.
The parade starts at approximately 9:15 a.m.
Winding its way through the streets of Alamo Heights, the canine procession features some 1,000 canines and their human handlers dressed in full Fiesta flair. Beginning at the Alamo Heights swimming pool, 250 Viesca Street, the 2.6-mile parade of pooches is a tail-wagging way to end Fiesta in the neighborhood.
For more info, go to www.therapyanimalssa.org.

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