Let's Look Back at How Fiesta Has Changed Over the Years 

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Well, Fiesta season is here. Or, at least it would be if the pinche coronavirus hadn't screwed things up for us.

San Antonio's annual excuse to raise a glass (and some chicken on a stick) while benefitting local charities was scheduled to kick off Thursday, April 16 but has since been pushed back to November. If we can't start Fiesta next week, at least we can get into the spirit by mixing up a marg at home and taking a look back at past celebrations.

Photos: UTSA's Digital Collections
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5th U. S. Cavalry mounted band in Battle of Flowers Parade, San Antonio, Texas, 1897
Here comes the cavalry! This mounted band clopped down the streets of San Antonio over 120 years ago.
1940 Battle of Flowers Parade participants on Houston Street
An aerial view of the Battle of Flowers Parade coming down Houston Street.
Fiesta Island, rides and games area at HemisFair'68
Why don’t we have this anymore for Fiesta?
Acrobat Monnette DeViney Performing
Monnette Deviney performing the ultimate tricep dips on canes.
Margaret ''Monnie'' Barclay, Fiesta Queen
The Queen of the Court of the Old South rides upon her float in 1940.
Paddleboat in the 1941 Texas Cavaliers River Parade
The caption at the time called them “strange creatures,” but nowadays we call them Oklahomans.
Bozo the Clown in the Fiesta San Jacinto River Pageant
You're forever in our hearts, Bozo.
Crowd lining Alamo Plaza for 1937 Parade
Probably Joske’s favorite time of year as people line down the street for the parade.
"Save the Alamo" Float, sponsored by Joske's, in the 1904 Battle of Flowers Parade
Protecting the Alamo has been an issue since the very beginning.
Street Litter from the 1939 Fiesta Parade
Not much has changed since then.
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Fiesta '95: Drinking at the Block Party
THOSE SHORTS!
Rowdy the Roadrunner Holding Fiesta UTSA (OOTSA) Poster in Front of Sombrilla
Well... at least it wasn’t as bad as the New Orleans Pelicans’ first mascot. Rowdy would go on to get a much-needed facelift years later.
The Lagoon Cruise Approaches Fiesta Island at HemisFair'68
Again, why is this not a thing today?
Will Rogers and his musicians posed on sidewalk playing instruments
Will Rogers, his musicians and a dancer roaming around town during Fiesta week.
King Antonio's Horse on a Float in the 1941 River Parade
The King’s horse looks like he either hates water or just realized he forgot to close the paddock door.
Betsy Smith at Fiesta Carnival
Betsy Smith in her Fiesta best.
Betsy Smith on ferris wheel
Our girl Betsy Smith also took a ride on the ferris wheel.
George Friedrich, King Antonio XXIII, and Mayor Maury Maverick
We don’t know whether to be more impressed by the entire bird’s worth of feathers on that hat, or the secret agent standing in the back left.
Marcel Robin Working on a Parade Float
Marcel could probably feel the judgy looks behind him as he was constructing this float.
Western Fiesta Band
Fiesta singers and band members getting ready to put the city in the mood to party.
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Mini-Monorail Passes Fiesta Island at HemisFair'68
The only successful urban rail system in San Antonio so far was a part of Fiesta Island.
Bottle-feeding a baby at the 1940 Battle of Flowers Parade
A mother feeding her child on one leg with a 5 cent sale in the shop behind them.
Mrs. Joe Lee Stands on Box to Watch 1937 Battle of Flowers Parade
Mrs. Joe Lee stands on the back edge of her box to share views of the Parade along with other local citizens. That’s dedication, y’all!
1941 Battle of Flowers Parade Clean-Up
The real MVPs after Fiesta.
UTSA Fest 1990
The Fiesta tradition was alive and well at UTSA during the '90s.
Fiesta Flambeau: Pearl Brewing Company Float
This float must have been super effective, because we all know how much of a hotspot the Pearl is today.
Dr. Dora Grossenbacher at the First Fiesta UTSA (OOTSA), April 14, 1978
Dr. Dora bravely awaits getting dunked in water, hoping the baseball team doesn’t show up.
Goliad Band Members Resting Before Performance
Members of the Goliad Band taking a well-earned rest before performing for miles in the parade.
Street Vendors Unloading Cushions for the 1937 Battle of Flowers Parade
Can we revive this courtesy for the street chairs given to us at the parade?
Threesome at Texas Cavaliers' cocktail party
The original Distracted Boyfriend meme.
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Town Club Party During Fiesta in Colonial Dining Room, Menger Hotel
Jay Gatsby would’ve been proud of this party at the Menger Hotel.
Ladies grilling kabobs during Night in Old San Antonio
Even back then people were debating how to properly say NIOSA.
Harry Anthony DeYoung Painting
Before Bob Ross, San Antonio had Harry painting for Fiesta contests.
Belgian Gardeners Float in the 1910 Battle of Flowers Parade
Belgium represent! This float went down the streets of San Antonio over 100 years ago.
Sarah Garrahan Holding Fiesta UTSA (OOTSA) button
Big buttons, big glasses and big hair were all the rage as we headed into the 1980’s.
"Fiesta Brava" (Gran Corrida de Toros), a bloodless bull fight in the HemisFair Arena, sponsored by Pearl Brewing Company and Lulac Council No. 2
Even if it’s “bloodless” a bull fight doesn’t sound like something that would fly nowadays.
Roy Lyons Working on Battle of Flowers Parade Float
Roy Lyons working hard to create the float representing Lohengrin.
Pickup Truck with Load of Spinach Crates for the Battle of Flowers Parade
Popeye would’ve loved Fiesta back then, but today spinach is not a staple of this celebration.
Officials on Reviewing Stand for the 1937 Battle of Flowers Parade
Officials including the grand marshal, mayor and governor ready to view the parade coming by.
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5th U. S. Cavalry mounted band in Battle of Flowers Parade, San Antonio, Texas, 1897
Here comes the cavalry! This mounted band clopped down the streets of San Antonio over 120 years ago.

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