Ready, Set, Fiesta!

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If you are  looking to discover the most over-the-top, Texas-style celebration, then Fiesta San Antonio is your ticket to a crowning achievement of parties, parades, processions, pageants, flotillas, flurries of philanthropic fetes, and a magnificent Coronation of its Queen and her Court.

In 1891 a Battle of Flowers parade began with a group of San Antonian women to commemorate those valiant men who died fighting for independence from Mexico in the Battle of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto. The latter was the decisive skirmish of the Texas Revolution.

Today, the spectacle has grown into the annual community ritual that blends culture, history, food and music into a pageant of epic proportions. There are more that 100 events with 100 non-profit organizations taking place in the city and beyond.

The Texas Cavaliers River Parade is a highlight of celebratory sites and sounds around town, attracting over 300,000 revelers.  This year’s theme is ¡Viva America!: Great American Landmarks. The Cavs support various local children’s charities.

Scott Allen Christy, King Antonio CI, explains the importance of the festival. “I look forward to all that Fiesta 2024 brings — incredible fellowship with the citizens of our great city, and the special food, music, parades and festivals that highlight San Antonio’s many cultures that make the city so unique. It is with true excitement that I will continue the tradition of supporting local children. I am extremely humbled to be able to spread fiesta merriment and provide encouraging messages to our youth.”

Scott Allen Christy, King Antonio CI, a second-generation member of the Texas Cavaliers.

The Order of the Alamo was founded in 1909 by a cohort of patriotic San Antonio men to commemorate the heroic struggle for freedom.  Each year during Fiesta, The Pilgrimage to the Alamo, a solemn and silent procession, winds its way to the historic shrine led by a riderless horse.

Since its inception, the organization has selected a Queen of The Order of the Alamo to reign over the festivities and create her coronation with tremendous pomp and ceremony.

Hilary has attended several years and offers her “What to Wear” advice:

“This will be my third year attending Fiesta and I cannot wait. I try to pack strategically for the events. I love floral long dresses for the black tie nights and wear the same gold shoes to each. Bold accessories and jewelry spice up each look, and most of the ladies attending have on their most beautiful and important jewelry pieces. For the day parties and parades it is more casual so I wear linen dresses to withstand the heat and easy comfortable heels. This year I have two daughters of friends that are participating and I look forward to supporting and cheering them both on along with their families.”

Hilary’s Floral Formals

Gowns: Ricky Freeman for Teri Jon Floral Chiffon $750 /  Badgley Mischka Puff Sleeved $890  /  Aqua by Aqua Bendita Bell Sleeved  $1600  /   Bronx and Banco Floral Applique $795  /  Stella McCartney Floral Draped $2500  / Earrings:  ASHA Collette Earrings $225  /  ASHA Celine $495  /  Shoes: Schutz Gold Sandals $138 

Elizabeth Roberts, Todd Romano, and Hilary Dick at the Fiesta.

The Parade of Flowers inspired this soft spring collection of gowns, for spring balls and black tie weddings throughout the season. Each of these designers create beautiful shapes for women. The accessories sparkle with excitement and elevate the ensembles for the night of formal festivities.

Marchesa Notte Embroidered Tulle Gown $995  /  Badgley Mischka Pleated Gown $890  /  Talbot Runhof Flower Bouquet Gown $1995  /  Earrings:  ASHA Palazzo Earrings SALE $175  / ASHA Chandelier Earrings SALE $175  /  Bags:  Aquazzura Mini Twist Clutch $1495  /  Simkhai Metallic Shell Clutch $595  /  Shoes:  Versace Embellished Pumps $950  /   Stuart Weitzman Embellished Sandals $550

Friend and Texan Stephanie Loeffler will experience a special delight at this year’s Fiesta San Antonio. “In our daughter Madeline’s childhood room, there hung a picture of my aunt (her great aunt) in her beautiful duchess gown from Fiesta 1955. It’s so special for us that Madeline can follow in her footsteps all these years later.”

Madeline Loeffler’s Great-aunt Mary Alice O’Connor Williams – Fiesta, 1955.

“Fiesta is a week+ long extravaganza filled with parades, bursts of radiating color, pageantry, and dazzling intricately designed gowns — transforming San Antonio into a celebratory wonderland, like Mardi Gras and New York Debutante season combined … but with a Texas flair.”

Each Court member or Duchess, wears an elaborate dress and tiara, resplendent with trains spangled with glittering beads, crystals and jewels.

The Order of the Alamo queen and her court are known for their ornate gowns which often feature 18-foot trains and can weigh up to 100 pounds! Photo: Kin Man Hui – San Antonio Express-News

The Witte Museum, Fiesta Looks to the Skies, presents a brilliant display of embroidery on celestial themed gowns of the past.

In its 11 days of celebrations, Fiesta San Antonio contributes over $300 million in sales to the local economy and tens of millions to local charities. Here’s a delightful video that captures the community spirit of the historic town:

Stephanie’s attachments run deep. “Fiesta celebrates many things, but from its original late 19th century beginnings it honors the soldiers who fought at the Alamo and at the Battle of San Jacinto in the Texas War of Independence from Mexico. Madeline is, in a small way, also following in the footsteps of another ancestor, Tom O’Connor, who as a teenager fought at the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836.”

Courtesy of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Special thanks to Fiesta San Antonio, The Texas Cavaliers and The Order of the Alamo for the use of the photos.

Hilary Dick and Karen Klopp of We take the guesswork out of dressing, the legwork out of shopping, and the panic out of packing.©

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