Organizations participating in Fiesta San Antonio gathered March 19 to preview the annual citywide party, which begins April 18.

What happened

Several participating member organizations with the Fiesta San Antonio Commission were present for Fiesta Media Day activities at Estancia del Norte Hotel.

Representatives of official Fiesta events such as King William Fair and Night in Old San Antonio talked with Fiesta royalty members and local military personnel.

Elsewhere, mascots and colorfully costumed dancers helped to further promote Fiesta, where proceeds from each official activity go to benefit various local nonprofits and charitable causes.

A closer look

The bulk of formal activities in this year’s edition of Fiesta, which will take place April 18-28, will offer some changes, according to event organizers.

For one, Fiesta Fiesta, the official kickoff event, will be held April 18 at the H-E-B Plaza at the Alamodome, 100 Montana St. Fiesta Fiesta is a free event that features music, food, merchandise, and opportunities for visitors to buy, sell or trade Fiesta medals and pins.

Fiesta leaders said some formal Fiesta programming will take place before the official start of the event. In one example, Battle of Flowers Parade Association will bring a float to six places around town where visitors can check out and take photos of the float. The first Battle of Flowers float appearance is scheduled for 11 a.m.-3 p.m. March 23 at Frost Plaza in The Rock at La Cantera, 1 Spurs Way. Admission is free, Fiesta officials said.

What they’re saying

Special guests speaking at the Fiesta Media Day event said Fiesta is meant to be inclusive for all people.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg said partygoers are ready to get into the Fiesta spirit, noting how 2022 marked the return of many Fiesta happenings following the height of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Fiesta has gotten bigger, bolder and brighter and we're going to be back. Fiesta 2024 will be like nobody's ever seen before,” he said at the event.

Fiesta Commission President Richard Sparr acknowledged members of 2024 Fiesta royalty, as well as local representatives of all military branches. Sparr said with the military’s historical presence in San Antonio, it is right that Fiesta events welcome active armed forces members and veterans.

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Russell Driggers, commander of the 502nd Air Base Wing and Joint Base San Antonio, spoke at Fiesta Media Day. He recalled how he and his wife Janet had their first Fiesta encounter 11 years ago during an event at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph.

Driggers said he and fellow local military officers are proud to be part of Fiesta San Antonio.

“This is the party with a purpose," Driggers said. "One of the purposes is charities coming together to bring resources to those who need the resources. That’s an amazing purpose."