Happy Fiesta, Y'all!

I guess most towns and cities have their own festivals that people look forward to every year. Poteet has the Strawberry Festival every spring. In Hope, Arkansas (my hometown), the fun happens toward the end of summer. The folks there brave the nearly unbearable heat to enjoy the Watermelon Festival. They grow big ol’ melons. They have seed spittin’ contests. In May every year in Little Rock, Arkansas, the good times are all a part of Riverfest. Riverfest, like any great celebration, is about yummy food, cold beer, and amazing music. In Dallas, I guess it’s the Texas State Fair in October. New Orleans, of course, is all about Mardi Gras. Austin seems to have more than its fair share of fun, fun, fun. And then there’s San Antonio.

When I first came to San Antonio, it seemed like there was a different party or festival or celebration every weekend. It was June, 1982, and the dust had finally settled from the previous Fiesta. A few folks were still basking in the afterglow of all the fun they’d had in April. That’s some powerful partying, when the aftereffects hang on for that length of time. I didn’t get to experience it for myself until the following April. And every April since then. Roughly ten days of nonstop fun.

Over the years many friends and family members have helped us create wonderful Fiesta memories. One April my sister Charlotte and her friend David came from Little Rock and my cousin Kathy came from Dallas for the Fiesta experience. Mr. Beers and I happily dragged them from one Fiesta event to another. They had a great time. We have great memories of that particular Fiesta. They went home with fantastic stories. Such great stories that a few years later my brother Larry and sister-in-law Robin made a similar pilgrimage from Hope. Fiesta experiences sometimes border on legendary. (Well. Urban legend, anyway.) There are great memories of driving through sunny San Antonio with the windows (or the top) down, with the car stereo cassette player (and later the CD player) blasting out Swing Out Sister or Janet Jackson... I have a rather vague memory of driving home from some late night Fiesta revelry and being pulled over on 281. I took and passed a breathalyzer test. I’m still not sure how that happened. These days the deli boys cab it to and from Fiesta events. Drinking? Probably. Driving? Probably NOT. If you’ve experienced Fiesta, no doubt you have your own crazy stories and memories. [Discuss.]

This year, we’re looking forward to revisiting all our favorite events: NIOSA, The Fiesta Arts Fair, Cornyation, The Battle Of Flowers Parade, and more... If you’re a San Antonian, we hope to see you out and about. If you’re not, we hope you’ll make the trip sometime soon.


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