Fiesta San Antonio is a Party with Purpose

April 29, 2011 at 3:34 am EST


Talk about a win-win: San Antonio's biggest party of the year is also one of its biggest fundraisers.

Fiesta San Antonio, “The Party with a Purpose,” is an annual spring festival of 11 days that hosts more than 100 music, culinary and cultural events benefiting 100 local nonprofit member organizations.

The event began as a way to honor the memory of the heroes of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto, starting in 1891 as a one-parade event.

Today, it has evolved today into one of the nation’s premier festivals, attracting up to 3.5 million attendees and providing the city an economic impact of almost $284 million.

Each of Fiesta's events is produced by a nonprofit organization selected by the Fiesta San Antonio Commission. The funds they raise provide services to San Antonio citizens throughout the year.

Fiesta events include three major parades—two along Broadway and past the Alamo, and one on the San Antonio River River Walk, where the floats actually "float."

One can't-miss element of the festival is the Battle of Flowers Parade. The parade dates back to the beginning of the festival, when it included horse-drawn carriages, bicycles decorated with fresh flowers and floats carrying children dressed as flowers.

Today, it's the largest parade in Fiesta and the only parade in the country to be planned and directed completely by women. It’s second in size nationally only to the Tournament of Roses Parade.

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