Editor’s Note: This commentary was submitted by the City of San Antonio’s Center City Development and Operations interim Director John Jacks, Solid Waste Management Director David McCary and Chief Sustainability Officer Doug Melnick.
Fiesta San Antonio is one of our city’s signature events, with 11 days of fun-filled celebrations for residents and visitors. We encourage Fiesta attendees to take pride in our city and think “green” this year. By recycling, using alternative modes of transportation, making healthier food choices and promoting a smoke-free environment, residents and visitors can help keep San Antonio looking its best.
City staff is working hard to support Fiesta event organizers in their sustainability efforts. Most of the events will feature recycling, and many Fiesta events have obtained the City’s “Green Event” certification under the City of San Antonio’s Green Events Ordinance, including the Fiesta Oyster Bake, Night in Old San Antonio (NIOSA) and King William Fair. New this year, the Battle of Flowers Parade will have water stations at select locations along the parade route for attendees to refill their reusable water bottles.
Fiesta attendees are encouraged to place plastic bottles and aluminum cans in recycling bins at Fiesta events and parades. Blue recycling and brown garbage carts will be stationed at most street intersections along parade routes for convenient disposal of items. Solid Waste Management staff and volunteers from the city’s SA volunteer program and Keep San Antonio Beautiful will distribute yellow mesh recycling bags during the Fiesta Battle of Flowers and Fiesta Flambeau parades to collect recyclables. Parade attendees who are seen utilizing the yellow mesh recycling bag correctly may receive a recycling Fiesta medal from volunteers.
To promote physical fitness during Fiesta, residents and visitors are encouraged to utilize San Antonio B-cycle, the City’s bike share program, to travel downtown for Fiesta events. Fiesta street and river parades continue to be smoke-free to ensure parade attendees enjoy festivities in a safe and healthy environment.
Fiesta San Antonio, celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, began with a small group of residents in horse-drawn carriages with fresh flowers to honor the heroes of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto. Today, as one of San Antonio’s signature events, Fiesta San Antonio features 100 events that boast music, food, sports, pageantry, military and patriotic observances, exhibits and parades.
Top image: Cyclists pass through Alamo Plaza during Fiesta’s official opening ceremonies. Photo by Scott Ball.