Tuesday, April 14, 2009


It is amazing how one word can turn a whole city into the biggest block party ever, Fiesta, say that word and every San Antonian immediately gears up for fun, food, and friendship.

As a native San Antonian I grew up thinking that Fiesta happened everywhere, that all cities celebrated like we did. I have memories of being carried on my father's shoulders as we walked from our parked car to the carnival area downtown. We were not "made of money" but we enjoyed the celebration, my parents made sure of that. Dad parked the car in an area that we could afford and that meant finding free parking on the street, blocks away from the main attractions. This in itself was not an easy task as the thousands of visitors and locals headed downtown to join in the fun of Fiesta. We had fun at carnivals, although my mother was frightened of carnival rides and would not let me particiapate except in the smallest of the Kiddie rides, and I guess that is what instilled in me a fear of fast rides to this day. By the end of the week we had attended the carnival and were ready to head out to the Fiesta Flambeau Parade, held on Friday afternoon of the closing weekend. We sat or stood in the blistering heat of the mid day sun to watch marching bands, military formations, horses, and what seemed never ending parade floats go by, and all this meant a sunburn for sure. We didn't know about skin cancer in those days and the most we had were sun hats and maybe sunglasses to protect us from the sun, of course Dad always tried to find a spot in the shade for at least a little bit of comfort.

The first River Parade I ever attended was when my own daughters were children and we sat on the banks of the San Antonio River watching barges float by. Each barge was decorated with brightly colored streamers and paper flowers with music playing as the crowds sitting on the banks in the grass cheered and waved. Other spectators stood in the windows of towering buildings or watched from the bridges at street level as they stopped for a moment to glimpse at the commotion from below on the river. The party that was happening on the street was just as much fun as what was happening down below so no one felt left out of the celebration. This night time parade is the first of the starting weekend of Fiesta in San Antonio, TX.

Today Fiesta has come to mean so much to so many San Antonians and the list of Fiesta activities has grown and there is even a website, http://www.fiesta-sa.org/ to help you keep track of days, times and any information you might need so you don't miss out. After spending so many years away from home we returned to live in this area in 2001 and introduced our then 12 yr old to the fun of A Night In Old San Antonio, and she had a blast.

These memories and the fact that Fiesta is just around the corner along with the perfect fabric, I was inspired to create three different bags for my etsy shop.


GrandmaMarilyns said...

I didn't get to San Antonio until my daughter was being born back in 1973. I lived there for about 20 years. Loved to go to the parades. Had to settle for the nigh parade though as I burnt bright as a lobster if I went to the day parade. My kids grandparents would take them to the day parade. It was such a ball.

Love your new pieces.

Ilena said...

Sounds like such an exciting time. Your Fiesta bags are the perfect expression of your love of this occasion and your craft!