Fiesta for Dummies


Photo credit: Alexandra Parris

As a San Antonio native, I’m appalled every year when I hear Trinity students say they don’t know what Fiesta is. I get first-years, though — when I was a first-year, I didn’t even fully register that Fiesta was San Antonio-specific. But every year, I hear students in their second, third, fourth and fifth years joke about how they don’t understand what Fiesta is.

The Trinity Bubble is a thing, I get it. But how can you live in a city for more than a year and not take part in or even try to understand its biggest annual celebration? Fiesta is problematic in a lot of ways, but it’s a big part of San Antonio culture, and when done right, it’s a lot of fun. So stop blaming the bubble; get out there. Here are some tips:


Bring sunscreen. Bring a hat. Bring a fan. Bring a water bottle. Most events are outdoors, and Texan Aprils are secretly brutal (Remember, Fiesta is April 18–28 this year, which means it’s really just May). There are water fountains along the Riverwalk for you to refill, but don’t let yourself be found defenseless under the Texan sun.


Some Fiesta events are expensive, but the experience doesn’t have to be. Don’t eat all your meals at a parade (but save yourself some room for a funnel cake or a turkey leg). Pregame NIOSA. Look for free events or walk along a parade instead of buying a seat. Walk or take a VIA bus.


Crack some cascarones. Wear bright colors. Collect as many medals as possible. Put yourself in the middle of a big, hot, sweaty crowd of drunk people having the times of their lives. Fiesta only happens once a year (unfortunately), so take advantage while you can.