Monday, April 20, 2015

Fiesta San Antonio River and the Texas Cavaliers

It's Fiesta week in San Antonio! Even though I am now living in Virginia, I am still part Texan. One of my favorite memories were of Fiesta, so I thought I'd share San Antonio's week long festivities on my blog this week! King Antonio! Glittering gowns! Floats! Flowers! Flambeau! Fiesta!
Fiesta began in 1891 to honor the fallen heroes of the Alamo with the Battle of Flowers Parade. Because Fiesta has grown into a ten day event with terrific histories, I will break it down bit by bit this week. Since tonight was the 62nd annual river parade, I will start with that.
The San Antonio River Parade began because of the Texas Cavaliers which were founded in 1926 for the sole purpose of being a social group. They got their name because they promoted horsemanship, which at that time was becoming a dying art. One of their big social events was to elect one of their own to be King Antonio to preside over Fiesta, which by now was 35 years old.
Inspired by "boats and barges decorated with flowers in the 'floating gardens' of Mexico City", the Cavaliers organized the first River Parade in 1941 which premiered on the newly built San Antonio Riverwalk.  
By 1989, the Texas Cavaliers' mission became charitable based helping area children through various avenues.
I remember as a little girl in kindergarten, King Antonio came to my school. To prepare for the big event, we made King Antonio hats (blue with a red fan) to wear. We went outside to meet him and I think he came in a beautiful carriage...and he gave us gifts, which I think were coins.
Fast forward to 2007 when a dream came true for us. We got to attend the Fiesta River Parade, courtesy of the Texas Cavaliers! Every year they host the military by giving them free tickets to the parade with a dinner and concert before the big event!The link says that the military even gets to meet King Antonio during this event. We missed him! I'm sure my kids would have loved meeting King Antonio. Perhaps we hadn't arrived early enough. First we had gone to the Alamo for a special event, which I shall share tomorrow.
When we arrived the party was in progress! A millitary jazz band performed to get us in the mood! Meanwhile we went through the food line and got our food, soda, Blue Bell ice cream cup (am I remembering all of this correctly) and we got some medals! This year's River Parade medal looks like this. How gorgeous! (A separate post on medals is forthcoming.)

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We sat near the band to enjoy our food and music. Soon they got one of the boys to help entertain. 

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Then it was time to find our seats on the river.  Not to worry if we fall in, the river is only a few feet deep. You can see the medals my kids got! Oh, and we were also given flags!

4 Fiesta

The parade has begun! (squeal)

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King Antonio!

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Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison

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One of the parade queens. I forget who she represented but there are many. See her lovely gown? I am planning a blog post on the Fiesta gowns because they are a big deal in the parades.

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I forget but this is probably one of the children's groups that the Cavaliers sponsor. It was definitely a happy looking float!

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More swoonworthy gowns!

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One of our favorite weathermen from KENS 5, Paul Mireles. Several of the weathermen (I think they were all weathermen...or local celebrities of some sort) were on these innertubes floating around and having lots of fun spraying water at us! (I think they were spraying water at us. I wasn't blogging yet so I don't have notes to reference.) 
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Sadness, the parade is over, but lots of fun! Now that we are in Virginia we are glad when the parades are streamlined on the internet so we can watch too! I also plan an entire week of Tex Mex food to enjoy. Old habits are hard to break.

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