SAN ANTONIO, Texas - The vibrant celebrations of heritage and culture are underway for Fiesta San Antonio. The event began on March 31 and runs through April 10.
Fiesta started in 1891 with a Battle of Flowers when a group of people decided to honor the heroes of the Alamo and Battle of San Jacinto. The first parade had horse-drawn carriages, bicycles decorated with fresh flowers, and floats carrying children dressed as flowers. The Belknap Rifles represented the military and participants pelted each other with blossoms.
Organizers say the Battle of Flowers was an immediate success and within a few years more events took place around the same time including a carnival, balls, and coronations of "royalty." Other early events included street dancing, children's festivals, a Trades Display Parade, and an orphans party.
Today, the Battle of Flowers has become the largest parade in Fiesta and it's second in size nationally only to the Tournament of Roses Parade. It's also the only one in the country to be planned and directed completely by women.
Another parade being held for Fiesta is the Texas Cavaliers River Parade. Floats go down the San Antonio River and all proceeds and donations benefit more than 70 children's charities. 1,200 service men and women, 1,200 first responders, and 800 children are invited to attend the parade for free.
For a full list of events and to purchase tickets, you can go to Fiesta San Antonio's website.