A man wears a sash with many fiesta medals during Fiesta Fiesta at Hemisfair.
A man wears a sash with many fiesta medals during Fiesta Fiesta at Hemisfair in April 2018. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

Although Fiesta 2020 may have been canceled, Fiesta medals that were ordered and made well in advance are still up for grabs for collectors.

On Thursday evening, Fiesta San Antonio is hosting a virtual sales event on Facebook to encourage people to buy Fiesta 2020 medals before they’re pulled off the shelves.

“We wanted to host this event as a last opportunity to sell 2020 medals before we wrap up our year at the store,” said Paige Wolf, director of communications at the Fiesta San Antonio Commission, in an email Wednesday. “The remaining inventory of the medals goes back to each organization once we close them out at the store.”

Wolf estimated about 25,000 medals are produced to be sold through the official Fiesta store each year. Those medals come from the Fiesta San Antonio Commission as well as from more than 100 Fiesta Commission member organizations. 

The San Antonio Humane Society is one of those member organizations hoping people will buy their Fiesta 2020 medals. The San Antonio Humane Society (SAHS) hosts the Rey Fido competition each year, where dogs and their human owners fundraise for the nonprofit with the ultimate prize in mind: having their pup crowned Rey Fido when all the fundraising totals are tallied up.

SAHS Multimedia Manager Mikael Persson serves as the nonprofit’s Fiesta commissioner, acting as the go-between for Fiesta and SAHS. Persson said the Humane Society ordered 1,400 medals for 2020, and has about 1,100 left. Some of their medals have been purchased through the Fiesta store, Persson said, and he hopes even more will be sold on Thursday.

In 2019, SAHS managed to offload all of their medals, but in past years they’ve had leftover stock. This year will likely be the largest amount of leftovers yet, Persson said.

“I’m guessing we’re going to have a big number – hundreds of metals still – as inventory after 2020,” he said.

SAHS has two medals for sale – one dog and one cat – that cost $10 each. They feature bright enamel designs and ribbon, like most of the other medals for sale at the official Fiesta store. There are also typically Fiesta medals for sale around San Antonio each year from individuals and businesses that aren’t official partners with the Fiesta Commission, although Wolf said it was impossible to estimate how many.

But the official Fiesta medals will be on the website for a little while longer, at least. The Facebook event will run from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, and photos of medals will be posted on the event page with links to purchase, Wolff said.

“In between batches of photos being posted, pre-recorded videos from some familiar Fiesta faces will be posted promoting this event,” she said.

After Thursday, the store will begin the process of taking inventory and removing the medals for sale from the website, Wolff said. The process will take a few weeks.

“This medal sales event acts as the last big selling chance, and purchasing chance, for organizations and customers to sell/purchase 2020 medals – much like Pin Pandemonium that we have at Fiesta Fiesta – that is a huge opportunity for organizations to sell their medals,” Wolff said.

Jackie Wang covered local government for the San Antonio Report.