Battle of Flowers Parade - Fiesta San Antonio
The Battle of Flowers Parade is the event that launched San Antonio's Fiesta. In 1891, a group of ladies decorated horse-drawn carriages to parade in front of the Alamo, and showered each other with flower blossoms. The Parade was organized to honor the heroes from the battles of the Alamo and San Jacinto.
The modern parade showcases Texas' diverse cultures and landscapes, arts and industries, and experiences and historic events. You'll also get to see spectacular floats carrying costumed Fiesta royalty. Come to this wonderful family event prepared to shout at the passing floats, "Show me your shoes!" (Read on for explanation.)
2009 Date: Friday, April 24
Time: Vanguard 11:50 a.m., Parade 12:45 p.m.
Location: Fiesta Parade Route (Broadway and Josephine to Santa Rosa and Martin, following Broadway, N. Alamo Street, Commerce Street, and Santa Rosa Street)
In brief: The granddaddy of Fiesta events, started in 1891
Tickets: Tickets are not required to view the parade, but if you want to guarantee yourself a good vantage points, tickets are a good idea. Go here for ticket info.
More Info: Visit the Battle of Flowers Parade website or email email@example.com.
Will it be hot outside?
It's late April, it's Texas, and the parade gets rolling at 12:45 p.m., so you'll definitely want to prepare for heat. Put on sunscreen and a hat, carry with you bottled water and sunglasses. If you're the type to carry and umbrella for shade, now's a good time to do so. It's likely you'll spend three hours out in the sun, between getting to your spot and watching the parade. If you're out on the bleachers at Broadway and Jones - not a bad vantage point for the parade - you'll want to be particularly attentive to these tips, as shade will not be happening for you.
Where can I find shade?
Though you may find some pockets of shade along the turn (on 3rd Street, as the parade shifts from Broadway to Alamo), the surest bet is the north side of Commerce Street between Soledad and St. Mary's. Thanks to the Aztec Theater and connecting buildings, those seats are shaded. The seats on the south side of Commerce, however, get as much sun as most of the parade route gets. One drawback with the shady seats is they're located toward the end of the parade route. If you're looking for your bands and marchers to be extra-peppy, you want to be closer to the starting point at Broadway and Grayson.
What about food?
Vendors sell a variety of festival foods along the parade route, but many families take their own food to the parade. Leave room for the famous San Antonio Raspas (snowcones), which will be available from an abundance of street vendors. You can also find roasted corn in abundance and many other varieties of food.
If you have time beforehand, and if your seats are along Commerce, you can always duck down to the River Walk for lunch. The restaurants, though not overwhelmed, do brisk business prior to the parade.
How do I get the royals to show me their shoes?
Just ask. In fact, one of the principal occasions for audience participation at the Parade is calling out to the passing floats, asking the waving women to display their footwear. Most of them, under beautiful gowns, are wearing tennis shoes or flip-flops for comfort.
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