Tonight is the last night of NIOSA, and if I have one piece of advice it would be to make sure that you get your chicken-on-a-stick as soon as possible. Last year, I waited until Friday to order one of these skewered fan favorites. The booth ran out just two people in front of me and I missed out on getting a chicken-on-a-stick for the entire Fiesta. Word to the wise, don’t let this happen to you. Here are a couple of standout events for today, along with a YouTube sensation and what will become a new Fiesta food favorite.
Today is the second day of the three-day 10th Street River Festival at VFW Post 76, the oldest functioning VFW Post in Texas. The VFW is one of my favorite places to grab a beer in the downtown area. You get the ambiance of a 19th-Century mansion, a location right on the North part of the River Walk and beers that are affordable in an environment that carries no pretense. Each time I go to the VFW, folks are always chill and having fun. This festival will have an array of tejano, oldies, blues and country-western bands playing outside. All proceeds go to help renovate the building in addition to providing financial assistance to veterans. There is no admission fee and the party goes from noon to midnight, so bring your lawn chairs over after the Battle of Flowers and set up shop all day long.
So a big parade isn’t quite your style? If you’d rather chill out and listen to the sweet sounds of jazz, the 52nd annual Fiesta World Class Jazz Concert is probably more your speed. Hosted by the St. Mary’s Music Department and the Fiesta San Antonio Commission, this event features local, regional and national jazz musicians. The event starts at 1 p.m. with the University Invitational. The Rakalam Bob Moses Trio headlines the event at 8:30 p.m. Admission and parking are both free, and you can find out more information at the St. Mary’s Univerity website.
The San Antonio Parks Foundation’s Fiestas Fantasias has been on hiatus since 2010, but it’s back this year! Having moved from Market Square to HemisFair Park, the foundation has revived the event as Parks Rock. Tonight is the last of a three-night engagement where local musical talent and community parks are highlighted. At 5 p.m. there is a “spin off” with DJ Menyo and Finding Frida takes the stage at 8 p.m. This free event is both family and pet friendly, and it is capped with a laser show set to music from 9 – 10:30 p.m.
The Fiesta breakout food of the year has to be the Super Funnel Cake. While you can order the blasé traditional funnel cake topped with powder sugar, you’ll regret not ordering one of their specialty cakes. The Strawnana Bomb, their most popular option, is a funnel cake topped with a mound of strawberries, bananas, ice cream and chocolate syrup. Another popular item is Cookies & Cream, a funnel cake topped with ice cream in a cone, Oreo cookies, bananas and chocolate syrup. You’ll be able to find the husband-wife duo selling their funnel cakes outside of the Cadillac Bar downtown throughout Fiesta.
“Selfie” Gets a Fiesta Remix
La Prensa Editor-in-Chief Nina Duran and DJ Quake teamed up to make a parody of the radio hit “Selfie” specifically for Fiesta. Admittedly, I can’t stand the original, but their remix is hysterical. With the tagline of “But first, let me eat a taco!” they found a way to crack me up (in between bites of my breakfast taco I might add).
Let Garrett know about your favorite Fiesta event, awesome unofficial party or where he can find medals by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Featured/top image: The 2013 Battle of Flowers Parade. Photo courtesy of Fiesta San Antonio/©JONATHAN ALONZO PHOTOGRAPHY.