Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Medals of Fiesta San Antonio, The Old Guard, and El Rey Feo

Fiesta San Antonio is a fun 10 day event that Remembers the Alamo during the anniversary of Sam Houston's victory over Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto! Monday I wrote about the River Parade which is hosted by the Texas Cavaliers. Tuesday I wrote about Pilgrimage to the Alamo which is hosted by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. Today I'd like to share about the medals...because they are fun collector's items!

Throughout this year's Fiesta festivities which this San Antonio gal has been enjoying via facebook  (I now live in Northern Virginia) medals have been posted everywhere! One of the facebook groups I follow is of The United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps. I grew up in San Antonio being a huge fan of the Old Guard. I always watched the Fiesta parades on tv, so I always got to see them! Monday night was the River Parade. Friday afternoon all the San Antonio schools have a holiday for the Battle of Flowers Parade.  Saturday night closes Fiesta with the Fiesta Flambeau. Invariably in one of these parades I'd see The Old Guard perform! They were always my favorite group! Somehow as a little girl living in Texas, I felt a kinship with all things 18th century. It began with television footage of a colonial town with colonial people with a colonial fife and drum corps. In utter fascination I asked my dad where that was because it seemed so real. He told me about Colonial Williamsburg and I fell iin love. However I did not get to visit Virginia, or Colonial Williamsburg, until  my husband took me the year we were married. In the meantime my longing for the 18th century was fueled by seeing the Old Guard, which I now know is based in Washington DC area, or more specifically Fort Myer, Virginia. For today's Army they reenact General George Washington's Continental Army. We now see The Old Guard perform all the time at Colonial Williamsburg's Drummers Call. Their stellar performances thrill me to my soul! Here is video footage of them at Monday's River Parade. Go to 27:20 mark. They are so good that they set off the fireworks on the stage behind them!

On the Old Guard's facebook page I've been seeing all their photos of their many performances at numerous Fiesta events this week. Each day they accumulate more and more medals that I'm sure have been bestowed upon them for participating in such grand manner! Though these are not regulation, they are permissible during the Fiesta events (many have asked on their facebook page.)

Even I have a medal collection...and now so do my husband and kids, though I have more than they do! These are medals that we have been gifted at various special events.

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These are my three medals and two Fiesta hat decorations. One hat is a pin and another is a barrette. I think I purchased one and was gifted another years ago when I was a public school teacher in San Antonio. One of the other teachers crafted these for us. Everyone either buys these or makes them because dressing up with flowers and ribbons and glitter is part of Fiesta finery! Hopefully I can find a photograph or two of me all decked out with my students. Stay tuned for that hopefully on Friday!

When I was in kindergarten King Antonio came to visit us during Fiesta. He gave us a token, but sadly I no longer have that. =( When I was a public school teacher El Rey Feo came to our school...and this time I got a medal! Here is the front...

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...and here is the back! "El Rey Feo" is Spanish for "The Ugly King." As horrible as that sounds, it holds special meaning. There is already King Antonio, introduced by the Texas Cavaliers in 1926. Crowned for the first time in 1947, El Rey Feo represents the LULAC Rey Feo Scholarship Committee that raises money for college students. The tradition of El Rey Feo originated in the Middle Ages of Spain when the common people elected one like them to be king for the day.   

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In 2007 my family and I got to attend the River Parade, courtesy of the Texas Cavaliers. As part of their gift of tickets, dinner, and pre-parade entertainment we were also gifted two medals! This one isspecific to the Texas Cavaliers.

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...and here is the back. Each King Antonio from the Texas Cavaliers is announced at a special ceremony at the beginning of Fiesta in front of the Alamo.

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The second  medal the Texas Cavaliers gave to us was of the River Parade that night! The theme was A Fiesta of Film...Red Carpet on the River. The image is of the Arneson River Theater which is the stage on the Riverwalk, across from La Villita (the original village of San Antonio that dates back to the 18th century) for many special events, including the stage for the River Parade.

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...and the back.

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Tomorrow I shall post about the gorgeous gowns of Fiesta!

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