The coming of Spring means it’s time for a day trip (or a weekend!) to San Antonio for Fiesta, a city-wide party that blankets the city in crepe paper flowers, tacos, and joyful music of every variety. Sort of like a Tex-Mex Mardi Gras, the annual 10-day festival has something for everyone, from fancy debutante balls and nighttime parades to neighborhood dog walks and fun runs. This year, events start on April 19 and celebrate San Antonio’s 300th birthday, and if you haven’t been before, you shouldn’t miss your chance to crack a cascarón on someone’s head and yell “Viva Fiesta!” Check out the full schedule of events, or dive right in to some of our favorites:
Fiesta Oyster Bake (April 20 & 21, St. Mary’s University)
This year marks the 102nd Anniversary of this two-day event, featuring more than 100,000 oysters served baked, raw and fried plus 70+ food and beverage booths and more than 35 bands.
A Day in Old Mexico & Charreada (April 22 & 29, Ranch del Charro)
Charrera is a traditional rodeo that originated in 19th century as a way to prepare horses and riders for war. Expect to see an amazing equestrian competition featuring horse reining, bull riding and artistic roping skills, as well as Ballet Folklorico performances and live Mariachi music.
Battle of Flowers Parade (April 27, Alamo Plaza)
Started in 1891 to honor the heroic spirit of the patriots of the Alamo, Battle of Flowers is now the second largest day parade in the U.S. One of the best traditions is the cry of “Show us your shoes!” to those on floats—when prompted by the crowd, Fiesta queens lift their beaded gowns to reveal fancy boots, bunny slippers, flippers and more.
King William Fair (April 28, King William Historic District)
This neighborhood parade and street fair always keeps it weird, with art and craft vendors, live music, food and beverage booths, a kids’ carnival and the quirkiest parade this side of Austin, all set in a beautiful historic district.
NIOSA (Night in Old San Antonio) (April 24-27, La Villita)
Where else can you grab a sausage on a stick and dance a polka at the same event where you can salsa while eating frog legs? NIOSA’s 15 culturally-themed areas celebrate San Antonio’s unique heritage, from German and Mexican to French and Irish. With 85,000+ visitors, this four-night party is crowded and rowdy, but also really fun.
Fiesta Flambeau (April 28, Downtown San Antonio)
Billed as the world’s largest illuminated night parade, Fiesta Flambeau is definitely one of the highlights of Fiesta. For the event’s 70th anniversary this year, The University of Texas Longhorn Band will kick things off, followed by spectacular themed floats, marching units, bands, dance groups, equestrian groups and more.