San Fernando cathedral in Main Plaza during the 2013 Bike/Beat. Photo by Steven Starnes.
San Fernando cathedral in Main Plaza during the 2013 Bike/Beat. Photo by Steven Starnes.

Some of you may have noticed last night that Lonesome Louie was not on his stage at NIOSA. The musical troubadour is staying home this year to help support his ailing wife. Like many NIOSA partygoers, I wish her a speedy recovery. It’s just not going to be the same this year without ol’ Louie singing the classics (I personally would always drop some dollars in the jar to request Mustang Sally). Today, I’ve got four big events that are all a blast, so choose wisely.

Fiesta San Fernando

So you’re at NIOSA and it’s 10:30 p.m. The party is shutting down so what do you do? Stay downtown and make your way to Fiesta San Fernando outside of the main cathedral downtown. As opposed to NIOSA, there’s no entry fee so you’ll have more money to spend on the food vendors that line the plaza. A music stage features norteño, conjunto and tejano bands along with alternative, classic rock, country and blues. The best part? It starts at noon and lasts until 1 a.m. each night through April 26th. I remember stumbling onto this event several years ago and couldn’t believe how big of a party it was. Buy plenty of food as all the money goes towards the restoration and operation of the cathedral.

Taste of the Northside

Up in Stone Oak is the popular Taste of the Northside. While the tickets are a little pricey ($55 in advance and $60 at the door), you have to consider what’s included. There are over 60 restaurants providing food along with a Stella Artois Beer Garden featuring brew masters and specialty beers, not to mention wine and top shelf margaritas. Be sure to look at the map for the different parking options before leaving for the event. Proceeds from Taste of the Northside goes to benefit the Brighton Center, a place provides family and community education and developmental services to children with disabilities or delays.


The irreverent, rollicking, laugh-out-loud drag show that pokes fun at anyone-and-everyone has its second of a three-night engagement at the Empire Theater tonight. King Anchovy, Cornyation’s own version of Fiesta royalty celebrated at Coronation, holds court over the evening. Making light of world and local events in a profane but hysterical manner, you’re guaranteed to leave the theater laughing while mildly offended. If not, check to see if you have a pulse. The coolest thing about this Fiesta event is that an all-volunteer crew donates their time, with 100 per cent of ticket sales going to charity. While the 7:30 p.m. show is sold out, there are still a handful of tickets to the 10 p.m. performance. Cornyation is not kid friendly, so leave the little ones at home.

Fiesta Gartenfest

Put on your lederhosen, grab a stein of beer and a side of sauerkraut. No, this is not Oktoberfest, this is the Fiesta Gartenfest at the Beethoven Garten just a little off of South Alamo Street in Southtown. The Beethoven Maennerchor, the oldest active singing society in Texas, will help fill the Biergarten with traditional German music. This event is one of my friend’s favorite things to do at Fiesta; in fact, he actually has signed up for German language lessons at Beethoven. There’s a suggested donation of $5 at the door, so don’t be stingy folks.

Let Garrett know about your favorite Fiesta event, awesome unofficial party or where he can find medals by emailing him at

*Featured/top image: San Fernando Cathedral in Main Plaza during the 2013 Bike/Beat. Photo by Steven Starnes. 


Prida: Artist & Designer On Stage At Fiesta 2014

Photo Gallery: Rey Feo Crowning and King Antonio Investiture Fiesta 2014

The Fiesta Arts Fair 2014: Fine Arts and Fun Times For All

Photo Gallery: The WEBB Party’s Grand Menagerie for Fiesta 2014

Fiesta Verde: Teaching Parade-goers to Leave It Like They Found It

Garrett Heath blogs for Rackspace and is the Average Joe that started SA Flavor. He loves San Antonio, especially eating at mom and pop Mexican food restaurants.