Hold on to your cervezas and sombreros folks, there’s plenty to do and see today. There are events that take you all over the Westside, Southside, Northside, and downtown, including two brand new festivals. I’ve even thrown in an unofficial party where you can score one of the finest Fiesta medals for free.
Go downtown at 10:45 a.m. to get your Sunday morning started off right at the St. John’s Lutheran Church mariachi worship. While I haven’t been to this particular mariachi service, I have attended the one at Mission San José that was a lot of fun. After worship, follow the band outside for the Fiesta Nueva celebration. There will be games, rides, food and drink with all the proceeds benefiting the ministry of St. John’s.
Deco District Arts & Music Festival
There is an inaugural Fiesta event being held by the Network for Young Artists (NYA) on Fredericksburg Road in the Westside. The Deco District Arts & Music Festival was created as a fundraiser for the NYA, an organization that helps build up area youth through the creative arts. Beginning at 11 a.m. there are three stages that showcase over 20 musical acts—not to mention a tamale-eating contest. One of the stages features only local youth talent throughout the day. Local favorites Los #3 Diners and Ruben V will also be on hand to perform in the evening.
Day in Old Mexico & Charreada
Want to take a trip South of the border without leaving the city limits? Then you need to go this event put on by the San Antonio Charros Organization. The gates open at 1 p.m. but the charreada—a Mexican styled rodeo—starts at 3:00 p.m. at the Charro Ranch (it’s adjacent to Mission County Park on the Southside). After attending the charreada several years ago, this has been one of my favorite things to do at Fiesta.
Teams of charros compete in nine different skills competitions to show their prowess at different ranch activities. There is roping and reigning, but the competition culminates in the final event known as El Paso de la Muerte, literally “the pass of death.” In this event, the team of charros get a wild horse to circle the ring at full speed at which time one of the riders leaps from his horse on top of the unbroken one. Thrilling and dangerous, this event alone is worth the price of admission.
In the middle of the charreada is an event known as the Escaramuza, an all female event. Women dressed in beautiful dresses ride complex patterns throughout the ring, weaving the horses in-and-out of each other. Here’s a tip: get there early and try to snag a seat on the right hand side so that you can remain in the shade.
Family Funday Sunday
If you are looking for a family oriented event, check out the Family Funday Sunday at Clark High School off of De Zavala at 1 p.m. The event benefits the Clark Cougar Band Booster organization and the marching band will be out in full force. The event boasts Fiesta’s shortest parade and the Cougar Jazz Band will provide entertainment throughout the day. Looking to do a little exercise? There’s also a Funday Sunday 5k Run and Walk in the morning that kicks off at 8 a.m. at Shavano Park’s City Hall. Just be sure not to speed on the way there, that municipality is a well-known speed trap.
Chili Queens Chili Cook-Off
San Antonio is widely regarded as the birthplace of chili. The Chili Queens of yore would set up shop in Main Plaza to serve a bowl of red. Since that time, chili has become the state dish of Texas with a devoted following of chili-heads making the pilgrimage to Terlingua for the International Chili Championship. But this inaugural Fiesta event at the Bonham Exchange ain’t your grandpa’s chili cook-off. They have decided to take a different interpretation of queen by hosting a drag competition in conjunction with the chili cook-off. Being at 3 p.m., I’m sure the Chili Queens Chili Cook-Off will be an event everyone talks about at the end of Fiesta.
Saint Arnold’s Brewery Fiesta Medal Giveaway
One of the coolest fiesta medals is the Saint Arnold’s Santos medal. You’ll have you opportunity to score one of these guys at noon out at the Point Park & Eats located off of I-10 North of Loop 1604. This is the second of four giveaways that the brewery is doing and they’ll go fast. Can’t make out this far North? Check out two other opportunities to get the medal.
Let Garrett know about your favorite Fiesta event, awesome unofficial party or where he can find medals by emailing him at email@example.com.
*Featured/top image: El Rey Feo LXVI Jimmy Green poses for a photo with fans at the San Antonio AIDS Foundation WEBB Party on April 11, 2014. Photo by Scott Ball.