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Visitors guide to Fiesta San Antonio

With a Texas car rental, visitors can explore the delightful city of San Antonio, from its lively nightlife scene to the many historical missions, museums and various heritage sites. When April rolls around, drive your vehicle downtown to take part in the exciting festivities of one of the city's oldest and most beloved traditions: Fiesta San Antonio. This annual event commemorates the rich history of the metropolis, marked by its Hispanic roots and the Texas Revolution, with a multitude of activities. A variety of block parties, food and drink events, musical performances and parades are why 3.5 million people are drawn to the streets of this Texan city each April. Discover the history and highlights of this intriguing fest before making your trip to San Antonio.

The beginnings of Fiesta San Antonio

This massive festival all began with a small, one-day event called the Battle of the Flowers Parade. It started in 1891, when Congressman James L. Slayden's wife, Ellen, organized the parade to honor the brave soldiers of the battles of San Jacinto and the Alamo. As participants marched around Alamo Plaza, they would batter each other with colorful flower blossoms. By 1895, the quaint event had expanded into a week of merrymaking and cultural festivities, and today it spans 18 full days of live music, sprawling tents featuring food and drink, carnival games and the appointing of a Fiesta king, queen and royal court.

The Flower Parade today

Despite growing to massive proportions, the fest's main feature is still the traditional Battle of the Flowers Parade. But unlike the humble procession it was more than 120 years ago, it's now a tremendous spectacle that fills the downtown streets hundreds of thousands of people. Residents and visitors alike marvel at the huge, colorful floats while tasting the flavors of local cooks, winemakers and brewers. Kids and adults have fun pelting one another with flower blossoms, and live musicians and other performers add to the excitement of the parade.

Other Highlights of Fiesta San Antonio

In addition to the beloved flower parade, more than 100 events and activities make up Fiesta San Antonio. All throughout the downtown area and spreading to the surrounding neighborhoods are a flurry of fairs, community festivals and parades. Night in Old San Antonio is one of the most popular block parties, with more than 200 food and drink vendors lining the streets and about a dozen stages featuring live entertainment. Use your San Antonio car rental to follow the Pilgrimage to the Alamo, a procession that has been running every year since 1925 to pay tribute to Alamo soldiers who fought for Texas' freedom. You can also experience the Fiesta Flambeau Parade, which features Boy Scouts from the region, and the Texas Cavaliers River Parade featuring dozens of decorated boats floating by on the San Antonio River current.